Locking in lycopene: ways to preserve summer tomatoes

Late summer is the ideal time to capture the goodness of tomatoes; they are growing in abundance but they won’t be around for long. We've created three recipes that preserve tomatoes so that you can enjoy them in the depths of winter.Preserving tomatoes not only means you can enjoy them in the winter, but the act of cooking them (especially with olive oil) unlocks more lycopene, which is more readily absorbed by the body.

Tomato relish

tomato relish A spicy relish that is great in sandwiches or as an accompaniment to cheeses and barbecued chicken. Makes 3 jars (easily doubled) - 3 x 500g jam jars with lids - wax paper or baking parchment circles - 3 x red onions, finely sliced - 750g of ripe red tomatoes, diced roughly - 3 x cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced - 1 x red chilli, chopped finely - 2 x bay leaves - 200g of sugar - 100ml of cider vinegar - 2 tablespoons of olive oil Sterilise jars by washing them in hot, soapy water and then placing in a very low oven for 30 minutes – or wash them a dishwasher on the highest setting before leaving to dry. Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan or preserving pan, and bring to the boil, stirring all the time to ensure the sugar dissolves. Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the mixture is reduced and a thick sauce has formed. Remove the bay leaves. Spoon the hot mixture carefully into the jars, add a circle of wax paper or baking parchment to the top and put the lids on. The chutney will keep unopened for around 3-4 months, and once opened for 3 weeks in the fridge.

Tomato passata

tomato passata Tomato passata, or pureed tomatoes, are a kitchen stalwart – able to be used in many everyday dishes like Bolognese, chilli, curry or casserole. Add your own unique twist with spices like cumin, turmeric or ground coriander, or with dried herbs. - 5 large kilner jars with lids - 2kg of ripe tomatoes - 1 tsp salt Sterilise your jars with the same method mentioned in the relish recipe. Put a cross in the bottom of each tomato and put them in a very large saucepan or bowl (you may need more than one) and cover with boiling water. Leave them for 10 -15 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel off the skins and discard. Tip your tomatoes into a preserving pan and slowly cook for an hour on a low heat, stirring often. Don’t get distracted, as they can catch and burn very easily ! Once the hour is up, puree the tomatoes using a stick blender. Pass the tomato puree through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. At this point you can add any dried herbs, chilli or spices you’d like. Spoon into the prepared jars. Clean out your preserving pan and then add the filled jars to the pan, and fill half way with water. Bring to a slow simmer and heat the tomato jars for 1 hour – this ensures they are sterilised properly. Cool and store in a dark place. They will keep for at least 6 months, and should be used immediately once opened.

Oven dried tomatoes

ovendried tomatoes These nutrient-dense slow roasted tomatoes are ideal to pep up salads, and sandwiches or for adding flavour to sauces. Preserve these by adding them to a jar topped up with olive oil – the oil also helps to unlock the lycopene in the tomatoes. You can use as many or as little tomatoes you have, just add them to multiple baking trays and fill up your oven with them. Cut your tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a well-oiled baking tray, season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Place in a low oven (120c / 250f / gas mark 1) for 3 hours, checking at least once an hour. Leave to cool before storing in sterilised jars topped up with light olive oil, they will keep for 1 month. You can also just put them an airtight container, they will keep for one week.

Ateronon Heart

ateronon heart Ateronon Heart, the ‘tomato pill’ is a highly bioavailable supplement harnessing the lycopene in tomatoes. One capsule a day will give you the same lycopene as 2.2lbs of tomatoes, and our formulation ensures optimum absorption. Buy Ateronon Heart online today, or find out more about our scientific studies. Follow us on Twitter for more heart-healthy advice too.

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