Tomato & Lycopene Benefits| Burnt Tomato Salsa
Tomatoes are high in lycopene. The anti-oxidant lycopene gives tomatoes their ruby red color and also gives those that eat them improved health.
Studies have shown that anti-oxidants prevent the “bad” cholesterol from forming in our blood. Lycopene is one of the best nutritional anti-oxidants you can consume naturally. Found in fresh tomatoes, it is even more potent in the many concentrated processed tomato products found in your grocery store.
Tomato & Lycopene Benefits
The benefits of tomatoes, tomato products and lycopene have been well studied and documented. Diets high in lycopene have been found to:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease*
- Reduced the risk of some cancers**
- Reduce the risk of macular degeneration disease***
We cannot naturally produce lycopene, therefore we can only get lycopene from our diet. Foods high in tomatoes and/or tomato products will give you the benefits of lycopene.
Tomato Salsa – Healthy Snack
Salsa that is made from scratch with no added sugars is a healthy snack. I love this burnt tomato salsa. The natural sugars caramelize under the broiler and add a nice touch of sweetness.
Burnt Tomato Salsa
This burnt tomato salsa can also be made by caramelizing your tomatoes on the grill.
2 pkg. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced red onion
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
6 basil leaves-thinly sliced
- Wash and dry tomatoes.
- Cut in half toss in olive oil.
- Place onto broiler-safe sheet pan cut-side down.
- With broiler on its highest setting, broil tomatoes on the topmost shelf until the skin burns. Watch closely!!
- Cool tomatoes for 10 minutes and combine with all other ingredients including cooking liquid.
This salsa is great served warm with steak, chicken or fish as well as chilled with tortilla chips or cut veggies.
*Lenore Kohlmeirer, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina
** Dr Edward Giovannucci at Harvard Medical School
***Mares-Perlman JA et al., 1995