Hunt’s Tomatoes: Eat Right With Color!
I recently had the opportunity to work with Hunt’s and The Motherhood! Both are companies I absolutely LOVE! March was National Nutrition Month and ConAgra Foods, Inc., one of North America’s leading food makers, reminded people to “Eat Right with Color” by enjoying Hunt’s tomatoes as part of a healthful, nutrient-rich diet. Did you know that tomatoes are America’s favorite non-starchy vegetable and that they account for 85 percent of the lycopene consumed in the U.S.?
I recently learned that by eating more tomatoes and tomato products, people can become healthier and help decrease the risk of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis, according to a review article published in the March issue of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The article was co-authored by ConAgra Foods’ Nutrition Manager Kristin Reimers, Ph.D. and R.D.
“Tomatoes contain high levels of the powerful antioxidant lycopene and canned products such as tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce have approximately seven times more lycopene than raw tomatoes,” Reimers said. “In addition, tomatoes serve as a significant source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium in the American diet.”
The human body absorbs more lycopene from processed or cooked tomatoes products, such as Hunt’s tomatoes. Processing adds value by increasing the availability of lycopene for absorption by softening the cell walls of tomatoes, making it more accessible.
Both potassium and fiber are underconsumed nutrients, and according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, consuming more of these nutrients could improve people’s health. Calorie for calorie, tomatoes contain more than twice the potassium of other common sources such as bananas, potatoes, milk and orange juice. Also, one cup of pasta sauce contains 6.5 grams of fiber, approximately the same amount of fiber as one cup of whole wheat spaghetti, with studies showing that people who eat tomato products average a 30 percent higher fiber intake than those who don’t consume tomatoes regularly.
“At a time when consumers are as concerned about getting the most for their grocery dollar as they may be about their long-term health, products like Hunt’s canned tomatoes can help people balance value with nutrition,” Reimers said. “Encouraging greater tomato consumption may help increase overall vegetable intake since canned tomatoes, such as Hunt’s, are readily available year-round, widely accepted by consumers, convenient, and economical.’
Hunt’s tomatoes are available in many varieties, including No Salt Added options, making it easy to incorporate the health benefits of tomatoes into your daily meals. Hunt’s is the only leading brand to FlashSteam every tomato, which helps keep their backyard garden fresh taste. Flash-steaming is an all-natural steaming process that peels the skin off the tomato naturally before canning, whereas most other tomato brands use chemicals like lye. Each Hunt’s tomato goes from vine to can in just hours so home cooks can enjoy the summer-fresh taste of tomatoes all year round. Hunt’s tomatoes are 100 percent natural and contain no artificial preservatives or ingredients. Tomatoes are a natural source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to scientists, the body absorbs more lycopene from cooked tomatoes than from raw.
EASY CHILI MAC SKILLET
This recipe is dedicated to my boys, who LOVE this recipe! This is definitely a family favorite and I find seconds and thirds are requested on a regular basis. It’s easy, budget-friendly, and yummy! Enjoy!
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can Kidney Beans (about 15.5 oz)
1 can Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes (regular sized can, not small can)
2 cans Hunt’s tomato sauce (small can)
1 can corn (regular size)
1 can diced green chiles (small size)
1 cup macaroni noodles (not cooked)
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
Lots of shredded cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef in pot with chopped onions. Add drained kidney beans, drained corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced green chiles, macaroni noodles, water, chili powder, and garlic salt.
Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer. Cover with lid.
Cook for about 20 minutes until noodles are cooked. Add cheese and stir in. Cook a few more minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve it up and enjoy!!!