Italian culinary recipes have always mesmerized people all around the globe and for food aficionados; Italian food has always been amongst the favorites. Since many years now, communities around the globe have been enjoying specialties from this part of the world, with pizzas being the most commonly known and eaten Italian food. Sun dried tomato paste is one of the lesser known but truly amazing dip from Italy that has been known in the western hemisphere since quite some time now but is now becoming popular in other parts of the globe too. It is not very difficult to make and has numerous health benefits and is therefore, a good dip to make. It is most preferably consumed in summers because it is enjoyed refrigerated and cooled.
Sun dried tomato paste can be used in any form from spread for sandwiches to dipping for snacks and vegetables to a sauce for fish and meat to just about anything else. Since it contains dried tomatoes, it contains numerous nutrients such as lycopene, minerals and vitamins. Compared to raw tomatoes, the sun dried tomatoes contain more health benefits because cooked tomatoes are said to increase their nutritional contents unlike all other vegetables that loose nutrition on cooking. A paste made using them is sweet and tangy and is an excellent culinary delight from Italy that has come to add as an excellently nutritional and a great tasting sauce. Thus by cooking tomatoes, one can add an amazing nutritional value to them and make them healthier than ever before. One of the most talked about nutrient contained in sun dried tomato paste is lycopene which belongs to the chemical family of cartenoids. According to study and research, it is because of this nutrient that tomatoes get their red color. Lycopene is popularly known for its ant-oxidizing properties and clinical research has it that even though this nutrient is found in many foods, if taken through tomatoes, it works wonders against heart diseases and various types of cancer. One cup of sun dried tomatoes can introduce 24.8 mg of this nutrient into the body and higher intake of sundried tomatoes has been largely promoted by researchers and doctors owing to the presence of effective lycopene.
When it comes to the abundance of minerals, sundried tomatoes exceed many vegetables. Rich in calcium and iron, sundried tomatoes effectively promote healthy teeth and bones and a healthy amount of hemoglobin which is responsible for carrying oxygen through the red blood cells. A cup of sundried tomatoes can make up for 60% of the daily requirement for calcium and 27% of the daily requirement for iron. Along with antioxidants, the sundried tomatoes also contain high amounts of vitamins A and C. the vitamins contained in sun dried tomato paste have a similar function as that of lycopene and through their anti-oxidizing properties, fight off unwanted free radicals in the body, thus preventing against chronic diseases, heart ailments and cancers. A cup of this paste can bring 9% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A and 35% of the daily requirement for Vitamin C.
By adding olives and olive oil and cheese to sundried tomatoes and grinding them well together, one can make sun dried tomato paste and enjoy nutrition and taste together.