I love eating tomatoes but I’m not so fond of drinking them. So coming up with some tomato smoothie recipes that didn’t taste too much like tomato juice was a challenge. The trick seemed to be to either turn them into a Bloody Mary without the alcohol, or add fruit as a sweetener. They are a fruit after all and as a child I can remember my mother sprinkling them with sugar to entice us to eat them, declaring they were “so good for us”.When making smoothies, the vine-ripened heritage ones have the most flavor. I love to use smaller varieties, such as cherry tomatoes. These are small and dainty and have a delightfully sweet flavor that can be paired with fruit such as mango and berries.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene and glutathione, two powerful antioxidants. Research suggests tomatoes are thought to reduce the risk of many cancers. Lycopene is also thought to help maintain mental and physical functions and is absorbed by the body more efficiently when tomatoes are juiced or cooked. Tomatoes also provide iron, potassium, fiber and a host of B vitamins.
Buying and Storing
Tomatoes are best bought fresh when in season. Look for fruit that is heavy, with a firm skin, dark color and an earthy aroma. Avoid anything with bruises or that looks decayed. Fresh tomatoes that have a bright red color will keep for two or three days at room temperature. When almost overripe, store tomatoes in the refrigerator for only one or two more days. Unripe tomatoes can be placed in a paper bag to hasten the ripening process.
How to Use in Smoothies
Tomatoes can be added to smoothies by using tomato juice or whole tomatoes. The skin and seeds will blend up quite finely and do not need to be removed.
Hot Tomato Smoothie
Ingredients ½ cup apple juice½ cup tomato juice1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes2/3 cup chopped carrot2/3 cup chopped celery ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauceHow to MakeBlend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into your favorite glasses and enjoy.
Tomato Carrot Smoothie
Ingredients2 tomatoes, quartered1 grated carrot½ red bell pepper, cut into chunks1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice½ cup tomato juice1 teaspoon turmericHow to MakeAdd the tomatoes, carrot, red bell pepper, lemon juice, tomato juice and turmeric to your blender. Whizz everything together until well blended.Pour into your favorite glasses.
Tomato Beet Smoothie
Ingredients1 whole cooked beet½ cucumber, sliced1 cup tomato juice1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil1/8 teaspoon ground cumin1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepperHow to MakeBlend together the cooked beet, cucumber, tomato juice, chopped basil, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.
Tomato Mango Smoothie
Ingredients1 cup frozen mango pieces4 cherry tomatoes½ avocado1 cup orange juice½ inch piece of grated gingerHow to MakeWhizz together the mango pieces, cherry tomatoes, avocado, orange juice and grated ginger in a blender until smooth.This will make two smaller glasses.