Happy tomato season, y’all! Since there are roughly a gazillion varieties of tomatoes out there, let’s go over some of the most common types of tomatoes to help you figure out which to use in different recipes!
Types of Tomatoes
There are SO many types of tomatoes out there. It may leave you wondering, “which tomato do I need for this recipe”? A few of the most common varieties of tomato include:
- Cherry Tomatoes (mini tomatoes)
- Standard Globe Tomatoes (regular-sized slicer tomatoes)
- Beefsteak Tomatoes (large slicer tomatoes)
- Roma Tomatoes (paste tomates)
And as if you don’t already have enough choices, tomatoes can further be classified as either hybrid vs. heirloom and determinate vs. indeterminate.
Hybrid vs Heirloom Tomatoes
All of the different varieties of tomatoes can generally be classified into two types of tomatoes: hybrid and heirloom.
- Hybrid tomatoes are a cross between different varieties. They’re often bred to yield more or be resistant to pests and such.
- Heirloom tomatoes are on the other side of the spectrum. They are often grown and sold locally because they aren’t bred to be resistant to transportation and long shelf lives. These often have fun, funky colors and shapes!
Determinate vs Indeterminate Tomatoes
If you want to get into the gardening of tomatoes, this classification will be an important one.
- Determinate tomato plants are more compact and bush-like, bearing fruit all at once then dying.
- Indeterminate tomatoes plants grow in a vine and can bear fruit for a longer time, only stopping when you cut them or the weather becomes cold.
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are sweet and small. They grow in clusters and are pretty easy to grow, being both disease and drought resistant. Perfect for starting your own home garden! Throw them over a salad or roast them into flavorful perfection.
Standard Globe Tomatoes
The classic tomato! You may also see these called salad tomatoes. These are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) wide with a more tart, acidic taste. They’re perfect for slicing and eating raw, but can also be cooked into sauce (though they may need more cooking time to evaporate all their juices), or stuffed with breadcrumbs!
Otherwise know as paste or plum tomatoes, these are perfect for making into tomato sauce, fire-roasting, topping pizza, turning into gazpacho because of their low moisture content. They’re sweet, firm, and have fewer seeds.
Globe (or standard) tomatoes are the most commonly sold!
Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow right at home! Here’s how to grow cherry tomatoes.
While all tomatoes generally have the same health benefits, the roma (or plum) tomato has the highest concentration of nutrients (due to the lower water content)!
Tomato Health Benefits
Each type of tomato is incredibly full of nutrients! Check out these nutrition facts for tomatoes (this is per 1 cup cherry tomatoes, about 150 g).
Calories in Tomatoes: 27
Tomatoes are relatively low calorie as far as fruits go, with only 27 calories per cup. This makes them a great choice for using in meals or snacking for those trying to lose weight.
Carbohydrates: 6 g
While most of the calories in tomatoes come from carbohydrates, they’re still pretty low carb! This is because tomatoes are almost all water. Tomatoes are suitable for a low carb or keto diet.
Fiber: 2 g
Tomatoes are a source of fiber, and have about 7% of your Daily Value (DV). This means that tomatoes can can make you to feel full, helping you to eat less and lose weight.
Protein: 1 g
As with most fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are not high in protein.
Fat: 0 g
Tomatoes have almost no fat!
32% DV of Vitamin C
1 cup of tomatoes contains almost a third of the vitamin C that you need in a day! This antioxidant helps maintain your immune system as well as helps to create collagen.
25% DV of Vitamin A
Tomato is and excellent source of Vitamin A, which is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity!
15% DV of Vitamin K
Tomatoes contain Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain healthy blood clotting and bone synthesis.