6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

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tomato salad

Plump and juicy tomatoes aren't just a summertime seduction, they've got nutrition credentials as well. They're low and calories and high in vital nutrients, including choline, fiber and folic acid. They also feature cell-protecting antioxidants lycopene, vitamins A and C, and lutein. (Interestingly, a 2013 study found that organic tomatoes contain more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts.)  But whichever type you buy -- and however you prepare tomatoes -- just remember  not to refrigerate them.

Green tomatoes are firmer and less sweet than their red equivalents and downright delish. Pair wedges with heart-healthy avocado and a handful of greens, then add a kick from fresh jalapeno.

This finger-food rendition puts the spotlight on cherry tomatoes and stuffs them with an apple-studded chicken salad.

stuffed tomatoes

Robert Irvine's Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Tomatoes and watermelon team up for a double dose of lycopene in this crisp and refreshing soup.

watermelon gazpacho

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Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Con Poulos Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Con Poulos Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

It may seems like an odd combo but don't let that deter you from trying the super-simple, vitamin-C-rich combination of fresh peaches and tomatoes.

tomato and peach salad

FNK_TOMATO_PEACH_SALAD_WITH_BASIL_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Make a fresh raw sauce with tomatoes and herbs and toss with ribbons of zucchini. Bonus: Not exposing the vegetables to heat ensures that all of the nutrients will be retained.

zucchini fettuccine

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Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Pam Morris

True, this tomato-topped fish dish is gorgeous, but it's not just eye candy. Protein and healthy fats are all in the picture.

halibut

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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