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Great Stuff!

There's loads of great stuff out there to enhance your physical and spiritual health. Every two weeks, All Spirit Fitness brings you something we've found useful. Sometimes it's a brand new fitness tool, sometimes it's an everyday item that you can find at the store. Whatever it is, rest assured that if it's on this page, we think it's great!


Sun-Dried Tomatoes

sun-dried tomatoes
You can find sun-dried tomatoes at Amazon.com

We all know about simmering them for a beautifully chunky pasta sauce and slicing them up fresh and juicy for sandwiches — some of us even stuff them and broil them. Tomatoes are deliciously versatile. But we may be leaving out one of the tomato's best incarnations: how many of us keep sun-dried tomatoes in our cupboards? The number may be a lot lower than those who have a jar or two of spaghetti sauce on the shelf, but the popularity of sun-dried tomatoes is growing, and for good reason. Their intense, slightly sweet flavor and chewy texture is a welcome addition to almost any savory dish.

Toss sliced or scissor-cut sun-dried tomatoes into your primavera pasta sauce. Add them to your omelet. Put 'em in your turkey meatloaf. Do you like adding veggies to your brown rice, couscous or quinoa? Make one of those veggies sun-dried tomatoes and you'll never go back. They're a natural in risotto. They're great in most chicken dishes. Vegetarians can add them to spinach salad in place of bacon. You can even snack on sun-dried tomatoes right out of the package. Any way you eat them, you get all the benefits tomatoes always offer — nice amounts of Vitamins C and A, along with lycopene, a heart-healthy micronutrient.

You'll find sun-dried tomatoes two different ways at your local market or health food emporium: packed in olive oil or packaged dry in plastic or cellophane. Opt for the dry version. The olive oil used to pack sun-dried tomatoes is not usually of the highest quality, so if you like them that way, it's better to buy your favorite brand of olive oil and mix it with the sun-dried tomatoes at home. If you don't want the extra oil, then dry is the logical choice. Just pour hot water over the tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes to plump them up before using. And if you buy sun-dried tomatoes imported from Italy, make sure you rinse them well — Italian sun-dried tomatoes often contain loads of salt and taste better when some of it is rinsed off. (Always check the salt content in any case — less is always best.) Once the tomatoes have been plumped up a bit, add them to whatever you're cooking and enjoy!

Here are loads of sun-dried tomato recipes from Cooks.com.

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