THIS POST IS UNDERGOING UPDATES……….. PLEASE STAY TUNED!
Why did I write “How to find approved tomato products”?
Because I love beautiful tomatoes! My new healthy lifestyle, the 21 Day Fix, encourages eating clean, healthy, “fresh” foods. So I eat fresh tomatoes as often as I can. My farmer’s market is brimming full of them in the summer months. BUT here it is in the dead of winter and the ones in the grocery store just are not the same. Red and round are about all they have in common with their homegrown cousins! So I have to resort to using the canned variety more often in the winter.
Can you use canned tomatoes while on the 21 Day Fix?
Yes and a variety of tomato-based sauces too. They just have to fit certain criteria. You just need to learn how to find them.
One of the first things you have to know is what kind of tomato products are on our food list.
Our food list has:
Salsa, fresh, 1 cup = 1G
Pico de Gallo, fresh, 1 cup = 1G
Salsa, store-bought, 1 cup = 1P
Plain tomato sauce/marinara, 1 cup = 1P
Tomato sauce/marinara, no added sugar, 1 cup = 1G ** see update
***UPDATE*** In the Portion fix program materials, in the vegan section: Video 13- Deep Dive Into Vegan Food Lists, Autumn says “you can look for brands that say no sugar added, if it’s like 5 grams or less, okay, we are alright, but if it starts to go above that, you’re definitely going to count it in the purple. “
How to find what else are you looking at on a label?
Back to that label though, looking at the sodium level decide if it fits your plan. I try to get no more than 200mg of sodium in any one serving of food, so if the sodium is a little high I try to account for that in the rest of my meal or my day. I talk about sodium in this post.
Now on to the oil, some sauces have oil. I prefer to find one that uses olive oil. 5 grams of oil = 1tsp so do the math and figure out how many teaspoons of oil need to be counted in your daily total.
Green Container Canned Tomato Products:
From the calorie count of fresh tomatoes, we can determine how we can count canned tomato products. One cup of chopped fresh tomatoes has 3o calories. I use 30-70 calories as a “range” for tomato products in my Green container because of the easy math.
1 cup of fresh diced tomatoes = 32 calories
1 cup of cherry tomatoes = 25 calories
1 cup of diced canned tomatoes = 50 calories
1 cup of tomato sauce = 70 calories
1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes = 40 calories
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste = 40 calories
***NOTE*** The creator of the 21 Day Fix has been quoted to say that 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste can count as 1/2 Purple container.
The only other tomato product that I use that is NOT on our list is sun-dried tomatoes. I buy the dry ones not packed in oil. Because the Fix takes some foods like raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples and turns them into a “treat swap” because the drying process shrinks and concentrates the foods’ natural sugars. So I just applied that principle to tomatoes. I count 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes as a full green container. I would not use them every day as a green.
I like this brand because it is not in oil and is low in sodium. 1/2 cup = 1G
What are my favorite approved sugar-added tomato products?
I do shop at Aldi’s and I do like the flavor of this sauce for some of my recipes like lasagna, this sauce is just right in it. It is a sugar-added sauce so 1 cup = 1P.
The other sugar-added product I like to use is a pizza sauce. There are a few brands to choose from. Again I pick one by sodium and fat grams that are important to my goals. This one is a little high in sodium, so I DO adjust for that with my all veggie toppings and be careful with the rest of my meal or day if I use it. Read those labels and decide that for yourself. 1 Cup = 1P (I never use a full cup)
I made these WONDERFUL little Pizza Pepper Bites by filling mini bell pepper halves with this pizza sauce and then topped them with shredded mozzarella cheese. Broiling them in my toaster oven for 12 minutes or till the cheese started browning. I only used about 1/2 cup of this sauce so I just counted it as 1/2P. I counted 1G for my peppers and 1B for my cheese. They would make a perfect side dish to a plate of pasta. But I like them as an evening snack.
Pizza Pepper Bites
- 1 cup halved and seeded peppers
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- ⅓ cup mozzarella
- Fill pepper halves with pizza sauce. Top with cheese.
- Broil 12 minutes or till bubbly and browning to your taste.
- 1G 1B ½P
Learn how to find approved jarred salsa.
Last but not least. Jarred salsa. Once again we don’t have much to go on. They may or may not contain sugar that is not specified. But we know it is different than the “fresh” salsa we already discussed. Again the number of different things in the salsa may determine what YOU are looking for in a product. The sodium or how much sugar it has. But here are the ones I personally would use if I wanted to.
And YES, I did add Tabasco sauce to this list. It is not counted as a purple container. But we often reach for things with “heat” like salsa and hot sauce together. Since I have been pointing out things like SODIUM in products, I thought a little advice about hot sauce would fit in here nicely. In my research, I found out that many of the brands I have been using are really super high in sodium. (I have more information about sodium numbers HERE.)My favorite brand has 200mg of sodium per teaspoon…UGH! If I want to make a recipe that includes tablespoons of it I am WAY up there!!
But I found out that regular Tabasco Sauce only has 35mg of sodium per teaspoon. That is more like it!! It is going to be my go-to from now on. I have some more information about condiments HERE.
How to find Purple Container jarred salsas:
Now is the time I want to remind you that these are EXAMPLES of how to find approved tomato products. There is no possible way for me to list every single product that will fit on to our list. I am hoping that the visual aid of pictures and the numbers will help you learn to read YOUR labels. On the products, YOU have on YOUR grocery shelves.
I am going to try to continue this series of topics for each container where there are so many store-bought options to wade thru. Here is my Orange container one.
Please, leave me a comment about which one you would like to see next.