December 1, 2010

Heart Health Awareness with Hunt’s Tomatoes

I was recently invited to work with Hunt’s Tomatoes and The Motherhood on a program regarding the role of tomatoes in heart health. I immediately agreed since I am a big advocate of anything related to the promotion of eating well to keep your body strong and healthy. I eat tomatoes all summer long when they are in season and often turned to the canned variety during the colder months. Hunt’s is one of the brands of canned tomatoes I buy and I was so pleased to learn they’ve been participating in research projects beneficial to the greater good.

Tomatoes

In college I remember learning about the relevance of heart disease in women, it is so much more common than you think. When talking with my mother I learned that my grandmother was under the care of a cardiologist to manage her symptoms and it inspired me to start looking after my own heart health, even at the ripe old age of 20 . Since then I’ve taken notice when I read anything related to heart health, I want to eat well as a preventative measure, and help my family eat well, too.

Hunt’s and ConAgra provided some really interesting statistics about tomatoes that are testimony to their efficacy in preventing heart disease:
– Recent studies have suggested that the distinct combination of nutrients found in tomatoes may have a measurable impact on heart disease prevention.
– A press release announcing the study findings can be found here in this article.
– According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lycopene absorption is 2-3 times greater in canned tomato products than raw tomatoes.
– Using Hunt’s tomatoes is a great way to get a significant source of fiber, Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene into your diet.
– Hunt’s tomatoes are flash-steamed to help them keep their backyard-garden-fresh taste, are 100 percent natural and contain no artificial preservatives or ingredients.
– For more information about Hunt’s tomatoes and the FlashSteam process, some recipe inspiration and the latest news and promotions, visit www.hunts.com

When it comes to eating well with tomatoes there are a zillion ways to go about it. In the winter I like to add tomatoes to my soup, it ramps up the health factor and creates an amazing flavor. Plus, like all my soup recipes, I make it during naptime and reheat it for dinner. Here is a great recipe I’ve made in the past that I think it worth revisiting. Each cup is hearty and healthful.

Recipe

Chicken & Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

2 T. olive oil
12 oz. chicken sausage, sliced (I prefer sun-dried tomato flavor for this soup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
medium onion, chopped
4 c. chicken broth
2 t. italian seasoning
9 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
28 oz. can crushed Hunt’s tomatoes with juice
8 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped

Salt & Pepper Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

1. In a deep heavy bottom pot heat olive oil. Add garlic, onion and chicken sausage. Cook until onion is wilted and sausage is cooked through.
2. Add chicken broth and italian seasoning.
3. Bring contents to a boil and add tortellini.
4. Boil until tortellini is cooked through.
5. Lower heat, stir in tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
6. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

7. Season soup with salt and pepper to our taste.

8. Serve hot with a generous handful or parmesan on top and a crusty baguette on the side.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This soup is extremely easy to store, making it ideal for making ahead, or saving a portion for a later date. When I prepare it during naptime I leave it on the stove and re-heat it at dinnertime. Then, to store overnight I pop the whole pot in the fridge and scoop out ladle fulls when I want more the next day. On occasion I have also frozen the soup, it works well, so feel free to pour some into the plastic container to freeze for another week.

Naptime Stopwatch

This soup is a cinch to assemble, you just add the ingredients as instructed until you build up a nice soup. The whole thing about 30 minutes for me to make and then I had a soothing lunch and dinner for two days. What could be easier?

Naptime Reviews

This soup has proven to appeal to both children and adults. My daughter adored the sweet tomato taste along with the cheesey tortellini. My husband slurped down bowls and bowls, grateful for the warm soup after a long day at work with a box of cold medicine to sustain him.

More Naptime Recipes

This was a compensated review in conjunction with Hunt’s Tomatoes and The Motherhood