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Putting a Healthy Twist on Southern Classics

Tomatoes are a complete superfood.

Certified holistic chef and nutrition consultant Laura Lee currently resides in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, where she develops recipes and has penned her first book, LL Balanced. The goal of this cookbook is not to diminish any favorite southern recipes that Lee grew up with her mother cooking from scratch, but to offer healthier versions of southern classic dishes and to introduce new ideas about these foods. This Natural Gourmet Institute of New York graduate wants to impact every aspect of your life in a healthier way—from allergies to relationships—and this new way of looking at your diet includes inspiration from our beloved tomato.

Chef Lee’s enthusiasm for tomatoes as a superfood is palpable, and she also shared with the World Tomato Society two of her favorite recipes that showcase the fruit in the best light: roasted tomato quinoa salad (in link), and butternut squash tomato basil soup below. Why not try them both together for dinner tonight?

“Tomatoes! Tomatoes are a complete superfood,” according to Lee. “We often forget that whole, humble produce are ‘superfoods’ too! Tomatoes are right in antioxidants, carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and manganese, to name a few. As a result, tomatoes are anti-inflammatory, helping to combat the environmental pollutants and less-than-stellar dietary choices we sometimes make (refined sugar and vegetable oils, I’m looking at you). They have been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health, bone health, eye health, and preventing premature aging of your skin. Plus, they’re relatively low in calories, full of fiber, and delicious! Because tomatoes tend to be high in pesticides, I do recommend purchasing organic varieties whenever possible.”

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