This 1-Minute Sourdough Tomato Sandwich Recipe Is Inspired by the Longest-Living People on the Planet
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We asked Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, an award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook, to clue us in on how this sandwich can promote good health and longevity.
Why we love this sourdough tomato sandwich recipe
This plant-based sandwich is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that support wellness and healthy aging on several fronts.
Let’s start with the base: sourdough bread, which Amidor says is “rich in antioxidants due to the interaction of the lactic acid bacteria.” Antioxidants are key to stave off cell damage, which is linked to aging and adverse health effects. Moreover, fermented foods like sourdough can lower inflammation and bolster immunity—not to mention boost your gut health for wellness wins across the board.
Extra virgin olive oil
EVOO isn’t only delicious and versatile; it’s also proven to support longevity. “A 2019 study found that folks who exclusively used olive oil, compared to those who consumed no olive oil or olive oil in conjunction with other fats, had more successful aging,” Amidor shares. This study investigated olive oil consumption in adults residing in Greece (home of the Blue Zone island of Ikaria) over the age of 50, and the most impressive results were seen in participants over the age of 70. Read: Include this pantry staple into your rotation to protect your health for years to come.
EVOO is also a wonderful source of healthy fats, and Amidor adds that it contains about 13 percent vitamin E, “an antioxidant found to help prevent cell damage from free radicals.”
“This dark, sweet syrup is made out of the grape must, aka grape juice,” Amidor says. She adds that it’s a tasty natural sweetener to have on hand, especially due to its impressive mineral profile. “Research shows that grape molasses has high amounts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium."
While different varieties of this sweetener offer these nutrients and pro-aging benefits, you may want to keep an eye out for red grape molasses in particular, as it boasts the highest level of anthocyanins and overall antioxidant activity.
Amidor mentions that one medium tomato packs more than 20 percent of the daily recommendations for vitamins A and C, both of which are antioxidants and thus advantageous for healthy aging. This sourdough tomato sandwich recipe advises using tomato juice specifically—but if you don’t have a whole, ripe tomato to squeeze, a processed option can be a valid substitute.
“When a tomato is processed, like into juice or a canned tomato product, the antioxidant lycopene is potent,” Amidor explains. The benefits of lycopene include but aren’t limited to improvements in cardiovascular health and protection from certain cancers, so you’ll want to load up on this potent free radical fighter on the regular. (Tip: You can find it in red and orange fruits and veggies such as bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and blood oranges.)
Chopped red onions add a sharp kick to this recipe, plus antioxidants to boot. “They provide vitamin C and quercetin, a phytonutrient that helps fight inflammation, which can help with aging,” Amidor says.
Mint, parsley, and oregano
These herbs pack flavor and longevity-boosting nutrients in spades. “Fresh peppermint has vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium. It also has strong antioxidants known as phenols,” Amidor begins.
Next, there’s parsley, which offers benefits for your brain and body alike. “One tablespoon of fresh parsley provides over 75 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin K. It also provides several antioxidants including vitamins A and C; both help minimize the effects of free radical damage to your cells, which helps with aging,” Amidor says.
Finally, Amidor notes that oregano offers vitamin K as well, plus numerous B vitamins and the phytonutrient antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Tips to max out the benefits of this sandwich
Amidor shares a few helpful tips to amplify the health benefits of this sandwich recipe and your diet at large:
- Sub in whole-grain bread, which the recipe developers also suggest as an alternative. “Whole-grain bread, which has the bran and endosperm parts of the whole grain intact, provides vitamin E, which protects cell membranes from free radical damage—especially those from UV rays,” Amidor explains. Moreover, she prioritizes this variety of bread for its protein and fiber content.
- Use grape molasses sparingly at mealtime. Amidor says it packs added sugar, so be careful not to overdo it on the sweet stuff.
- Pack in the herbs elsewhere in your diet. Since herbs are often used sparingly in dishes, try to incorporate them whenever you can to rev up your intake and benefit even more from their nutrient content.
- Don’t forget protein, as Amidor emphasizes that balanced meals are key. Since this recipe was inspired by the Blue Zone of Ikaria, Greece, stay on theme by complementing the sandwich with their preferred plant-based proteins—such as chickpeas, lentils, and almonds—or fresh fish.
Blue Zones–inspired sourdough tomato sandwich recipe
1. Start with a slice of sourdough bread or heavy, whole-grain bread.
2. Drizzle one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and grape molasses.
3. Sprinkle with salt and oregano.
4. Add a thick layer of chopped onion, mint, and parsley.
5. Squeeze juice from one half of tomato on top.
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