There are so many reasons to eat tomatoes, they’re high in water, low in calories, and a good source of nutrients. “One medium sized tomato can provide about 28% of the recommended daily intake” of vitamin C. Tomatoes also contain potassium, vitamin K1, folate, and antioxidants.
Unfortunately, the acidity in tomatoes doesn’t always agree with everyone. But, removing tomatoes from the menu can be depressing because not only do you have to avoid BLTs, but you have to rule out tomato based sauces for pasta and pizza. The good news is, there may be some things you can try:
1. Make your own
Want to try making tomato sauce from scratch? You may be able to create a lower acidic version. A recipe from Livestrong.com, recommends removing seeds before cooking, heating sauce, and adding “1/4 tsp of baking soda for every 12 oz. of pasta sauce.”
2. Buy a lower acidic pasta sauce
There are pasta sauces on the market that claim to be lower in acidity. This one from Papa Vince claims to have no sugar added and to be low in acid. This sauce was sold out at the time of writing this blog, but you can submit your email address to be notified when it is available again. Papa Vince is also listed on Amazon.
3. Switch to roasted red pepper sauce
Red bell peppers are a nutrient powerhouse. “One medium-sized red bell pepper contains 169% of the RDA for vitamin C.” There’s also vitamin B6, vitamin K1, potassium, folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
You can purchase these in store, but be careful, many of them contain citric acid, which can be a trigger for acid reflux. Roasted red pepper sauce can be made from scratch as well, there are several recipes online. Here’s one from BudgetBytes. It calls for jarred roasted red peppers, but you can actually roast your own bell peppers too.
4. Choose lower-acidic tomatoes
This choice may be iffy. There are many sources that claim there are lower acidic tomatoes. However, there is other evidence to say that all tomatoes are acidic, and that lower acidic tomatoes may be a bogus claim. If you want to give it a try, you can check out HealthyIcRecipes.com or ChilePlants.com which has a list of what they claim to be lower acidic options.
5. Add cheese to lower acidity
If you clicked on the link in the “make your own” section, you may have noticed they mentioned adding cheese to your sauce to reduce acidity. Did you know? “Most antacid medications use calcium as one of their primary ingredients. Calcium is an alkaline mineral that works to neutralize acid on contact.” This is why adding cheese can help reduce the acidity.
Bonus tip! Add baking soda to lower acidity
Adding baking soda to your sauce before serving reduces its acidity. Unlike adding sugar, which really just makes a sauce sweet and masks the acidity (but doesn’t actually counteract it), baking soda neutralizes the acidic taste of tomatoes and leaves you with a fresh tomato flavor. Want to give it a try? Add about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of tomato sauce and stir. It will bubble a little.