Homemade Sun-Kissed Tomatoes: A Taste of Portugal’s Coastal Delights

sun kissed tomatoes

There’s something truly magical about the flavours of Portugal – the sun-drenched landscapes, the salty sea air, and the vibrant culinary traditions that celebrate the bounty of the land and sea. And one dish that embodies the essence of Portuguese coastal cuisine is homemade sun-kissed tomatoes. These delightful treats are not only a favourite snack for my son, a sea captain who treasures his visits to our little home near Tavira, but also a taste of the love and care that goes into every jar.

The recipe for homemade sun-kissed tomatoes is simple yet sensational. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are transformed into sweet, savoury delights with just a few key ingredients: sea salt, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and crushed garlic. After dehydrating the tomatoes overnight in a dehydrator or on a very low setting in the oven, they emerge sweet like candy, ready to be infused with the flavours of the Mediterranean. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of these star ingredients:

Fresh Tomatoes

Bursting with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fresh tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re rich in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Tomatoes also contain fibre, which supports digestive health and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Sea Salt

Harvested from the pristine waters of the Atlantic ocean, sea salt is packed with essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Unlike highly processed table salt, sea salt retains its natural flavour and nutrients, making it a healthier choice for seasoning your dishes. In moderation, sea salt can help regulate fluid balance, support nerve and muscle function, and enhance the flavour of your favourite foods.


Not just a flavourful herb, oregano is also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid and thymol, which have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Oregano also contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, manganese, and calcium. Adding oregano to your diet can help boost your immune system, support bone health, and reduce inflammation.

Sun Kissed tomatoes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A staple of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil is renowned for its heart-healthy benefits. It’s rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is also a good source of antioxidants, including vitamin E and polyphenols, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your diet can promote cardiovascular health, improve cognitive function, and support overall well-being.

Crushed Garlic

Not just a flavour booster, garlic is also packed with health-promoting compounds. It contains sulfur compounds, such as allicin, which have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic is also rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and selenium, which help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Adding garlic to your diet can support immune function, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve circulation.

Versatile & delicious

Once you’ve combined these wholesome ingredients with your sun-kissed tomatoes, the result is a jar of culinary gold that’s as versatile as it is delicious. Spread them on toasted bread for a delightful breakfast, toss them with pasta for a simple yet satisfying meal, or simply enjoy them straight out of the jar as a flavourful snack.

But perhaps the best part of homemade sun-kissed tomatoes is the love and care that goes into making them. As I prepare each batch for my son, I infuse them with the warmth and affection that a mother’s hands can provide. And when he takes a bite of these savoury-sweet delights, I know that he’s not just tasting the flavours of Portugal – he’s tasting the love of home.

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Clementine blueberry jam

Nourishing Your Body: A Celebration of Simple and Wholesome Foods

In a world filled with processed snacks and convenience foods, there’s something truly special about preparing and enjoying simple, natural, and wholesome meals. Today, I want to share with you a delightful recipe that celebrates the beauty of whole ingredients: a simple and delicious clementine, blueberry chia seed jam. But before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the health benefits of each ingredient and why it’s important to prioritise plant-based foods in our diets.


These tiny, vibrant gems are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that offer a plethora of health benefits. Blueberries are renowned for their high levels of anthocyanins, which give them their rich blue colour and help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, they’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fibre, which support immune function, bone health, and digestive regularity. Incorporating blueberries into your diet can promote heart health, improve cognitive function, and even aid in weight management.

Clementine Juice:

Freshly squeezed clementine juice adds a burst of sweet, citrusy flavour to this recipe, along with a healthy dose of vitamin C. Clementines are a type of mandarin orange known for their juicy, easy-to-peel segments and bright, refreshing taste. Vitamin C is essential for immune function, collagen production, and wound healing. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. By including clementine juice in your diet, you can boost your immune system, support healthy skin, and enhance iron absorption.

Chia Seeds:

These tiny seeds may be small in size, but they’re mighty in nutritional value. Chia seeds are loaded with fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds swell and form a gel-like consistency, making them perfect for creating creamy puddings and smoothies. The fibre content in chia seeds promotes digestive health, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and contributes to a feeling of fullness and satiety. Meanwhile, the omega-3 fatty acids support heart health, brain function, and inflammation management. Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy and delicious way to boost your intake of essential nutrients.

The Importance of Eating Lots of Plants:
Now, let’s talk about why it’s crucial to prioritise plant-based foods in our diets. Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that nourish our bodies and support overall health. Research consistently shows that diets rich in plant foods are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable and promote animal welfare.

By incorporating more plant-based foods into your meals, you not only support your own health and well-being but also contribute to a more sustainable and compassionate food system. So, let’s celebrate the abundance of nourishing plant foods available to us and embrace the simple pleasure of preparing and enjoying wholesome meals.


Now, without further ado, here’s the recipe for our delicious clementine blueberry jam:


  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice
  • 4 teaspoons ground chia seeds


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a pan.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened
  3. Allow to cool.

Enjoy this simple and nourishing clementine blueberry jam as a wholesome breakfast on yoghurt, smothered on scones as a snack or for afternoon tea, or as a base for a dessert. May it fill you with joy, vitality, and a deep appreciation for the beauty of natural, plant-based foods. Here’s to nourishing your body and soul with every delicious bite!

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Need variety? Tired of toast?

If you’re looking for variety, there are over 20,000 edibles plants but most people only eat about 9. In a world filled with fad diets and conflicting nutrition advice, one thing remains clear: the importance of a varied diet rich in plants. Whether you’re a dedicated vegan, a flexitarian, or simply someone looking to improve their overall health, incorporating a diverse range of plant-based foods into your meals is key to thriving.

So, why is it so crucial to eat a variety of foods each day, and why should we focus on different food combinations? Let’s delve into the reasons behind the importance of embracing diversity on our plates.

  1. Nutritional Balance: Each plant-based food brings its own unique array of nutrients to the table. By consuming a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you ensure that your body receives a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. This diversity supports overall health and helps prevent nutrient deficiencies.
  2. Gut Health: Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and even mood regulation. A varied diet promotes a diverse microbiome, which is associated with better gut health. Different plant foods contain different types of fibre, which nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promote a healthy digestive system.
  3. Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease: Research consistently shows that a plant-based diet is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Eating a variety of plant foods provides a wide range of protective compounds that can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and support overall cardiovascular health.
  4. Enhanced Flavour and Enjoyment: Eating the same foods day in and day out can lead to flavour fatigue and boredom. Incorporating a variety of flavours, textures, and colours into your meals not only makes eating more enjoyable but also stimulates your senses and encourages mindful eating.
  5. Environmental Sustainability: Embracing a plant-based diet is not only beneficial for your health but also for the planet. Plant foods generally have a lower environmental footprint compared to animal products. By diversifying your diet with a variety of plant-based foods, you can help reduce the strain on natural resources and contribute to a more sustainable food system.

When it comes to food combinations, mixing and matching different plant-based ingredients can create meals that are not only delicious but also nutritionally balanced. For example, combining beans with whole grains creates a complete protein source, while pairing vitamin C-rich fruits with iron-rich leafy greens enhances iron absorption.

In conclusion, a varied plant-based diet is essential for optimal health and well-being. By embracing diversity on your plate and experimenting with different food combinations, you can nourish your body, support your health, and delight your taste buds. So, let’s celebrate the abundance of plant foods available to us and savour the vibrant flavours of nature’s bounty.

This morning’s breakfast kitchen creation took just a couple of minutes to assemble. I made the granola yesterday for the ‘peach crumble smoothie bowl’, so check that video out too.

I’m here to encourage you to eat more plants with every meal and to make little changes which add up to improved wellness and a healthier lifestyle. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for the vibe! It keeps me motivated to make more videos.

Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.