When cooked tomatoes showed up on my intolerance test results, panic crossed my mind. My immediate thoughts were, no more spaghetti sauce, no more chili…but wait, how can it be? I thought to myself, aren’t all tomatoes created equal? Before taking my intolerance test, I never knew it made such a difference.
After some research, I found that when adding heat to any food product, the chemical makeup changes. While cooking vegetables may cause the loss of some valuable nutrients, like vitamin C, there are some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they’re cooked. Cooking vegetables can make the cell walls less rigid, which helps your body absorb more nutrients and digest food better.
According to Food Chemist Rui Hail Liu, “research demonstrates that heat processing actually enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content that can be absorbed by the body, as well as the total antioxidant activity.”
There are a couple of popular notions that Affordable Testing helps dispel; that cooked vegetables have a lower nutritional value than fresh produce, and that it’s beneficial to eat your veggies no matter how they’re prepared. Our testing shows that it indeed does make a difference! It is now easy to see why our test results provide individualized details regarding cooked versus raw for various items, i.e. does not just list “tomatoes”.
Granted, it is frustrating to think of cutting cooked tomatoes out of my diet, but luckily I found some fantastic recipes to try, such as The Ultimate Nomato Sauce Recipe, which is featured below (courtesy of thesoutherninlaw.com).
The Ultimate Nomato Sauce Recipe
A tomato-free tomato sauce alternative for those with nightshade or tomato intolerances
low fat, gluten free, clean eating friendly, sugar-free, vegan option
2 small onions or one large onion*
4 cloves garlic, crushed*
1 tbsp butter or oil
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
3/4 cup butternut pumpkin/squash, peeled and cubed
2 medium beetroot or 4 small beetroot, peeled** (see notes)
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock***
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely dice your onion and crush your garlic.
- In a large non-stick saucepan, saute your onions and garlic in your butter/oil until soft and translucent, adding a splash of water if needed to stop them sticking.
- Add in all of your other ingredients and the mix to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking until your carrots and pumpkin are soft.
- Once your veggies are soft, blend them until your nomato sauce reaches your desired consistency, seasoning to taste. .
- Use immediately or allow to cool before storing in a glass jar in the fridge (this prevents staining) or freezing portions in zip lock bags to use later. The nomato sauce will keep for around a week in the fridge.
- *If you also can’t have onion or garlic, you can leave this out, however, I’d suggest adding in some celery instead for that savoury flavour. I can’t eat celery, however, I did try another version with around 1 cup of celery instead of the onion and garlic and whilst it was different, it was still a hit with our testers!
If you can’t tolerate onion but can have leek or shallots, use them instead!
- **We find you get the best taste and texture using pre-cooked beets (like lovebeets) and it saves the cooking and peeling. If using raw beetroot, steam or bake your beets prior to adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- ***You can use water instead of stock, we just find the taste is better with chicken stock.