Tomatoes: Fruit or Vegetable?

The big question—is the tomato a fruit or vegetable? Botanically, they are considered a fruit. However, their nutrient profile more closely aligns with vegetables. A typical New Jersey beefsteak tomato contains only 33 calories, which is the type you would regularly find sliced onto a sandwich since they hold shape better than most other varieties. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C and potassium. Additionally, they possess the carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Lycopene has been studied for its promising role in reducing risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and protecting against macular degeneration. Absorption of lycopene is enhanced when consuming it with some type of fat such as olives or avocado as well as when the tomato is cooked.


Tomatoes grow best from June-September and are stored best at 55-65°F or room temperature in single layers to avoid bruising. When keeping for more than a few days, they should be located in the warmest part of the refrigerator. Tomatoes are great additions to meals, raw or cooked. Try them raw on salads or sandwiches, or cooked (i.e. grilled, stewed, etc.) in or with pasta or meats. Venture out and try other types of tomatoes such as grape, cherry, roma, or heirloom tomatoes.


In Oklahoma City, New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes are currently priced at the following:

Walmart: $1.78/lb

Homeland: 1.49/lb

Target: $1.29/ea or $.199/2 pk


Here are some recipes for tasty summer dishes with tomatoes. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes:


Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa:


Baked Parmesan Herb Tomatoes

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