If you’re looking for a flavourful but healthy appetizer to make this spring (that still supports your health goals), you may just love this recipe for an infamous Italian crowdpleaser: the tomato caprese salad. Not only can it be made in under five minutes, but with only five ingredients, it’s a hassle-free, inexpensive dish to make.
When combined, the balsamic vinegar, basil, tomatoes and mozzarella make for a mouth-watering salad that tastes so good, it hardly seems healthy. All of the ingredients in this recipe support the health of your immune system, while the tomatoes provide an extra nutrition boost with a carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene is rich in antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of cancer.
When made with fresh, quality ingredients, tomato caprese salads are loaded with other immune boosting nutrients such as:
Vitamin C is one of the most abundant nutrients in this salad. The tomato caprese salad contains basil and tomatoes, two excellent dietary sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a critical antioxidant nutrient for immune system support, which is why many people tend to load up on vitamin C rich orange juice when they’re sick. But oranges may actually encourage phlegm production, which is why tomatoes are a better vitamin C food to include in your diet when you’ve come down with a cold.
In any case, tomatoes and basil are two delicious and easy ingredients to add to any dish to boost your immune system and avoid getting sick this spring. Healthy Fats
Olive oil contains omega 6 essential fatty acids, which are an important anti-inflammatory nutrient. We must get omega 6’s from our diet because our bodies cannot produce them on their own.
Once thought to be “bad” for us, healthy fats such as omega 3 and omega 6’s are also needed for a healthy cardiovascular system and liver support, as well as a rock solid immune system.
Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in this salad, but olive oil also contains an antioxidant called oleuropein. Oleuropein has anti-inflammatory benefits to help protect against cold and flu season and support internal cleansing.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C also have health benefits aside from immune boosting properties. Vitamin C is a key nutrient for skin health because it helps build collagen (read: less wrinkles and bright, youthful looking skin). Vitamin C also helps support cardiovascular function.
Doesn’t it seem crazy to think that vitamin C packed tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous for us to eat? Now that you have more than enough reason to indulge in this salad, here’s the recipe.
Tomato Caprese Salad Recipe
2 cups roma tomatoes
1 cup organic mozzarella, chopped in bite size pieces
¼ - ½ cup fresh basil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch pure sea salt
Pinch black pepper
In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and olive oil together. Set aside.
Chop tomatoes into chunky cubes or slices.
Place basil and mozzarella in a bowl and add tomatoes.