Apple Sauce

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Ever wonder how it would be to take a bunch of apples and make your own apple sauce with out all that added sugar and preservatives? Well it’s a good thing you found yourself to this recipe because you are in for a real treat. Not only will your taste buds be exploding from the flavor but your house will be filled with an apple cinnamon flavor. It may just have your neighbors knocking on your door so be careful, it is that good.

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Yields 16 oz

Ingredients

8 apples, peeled, decoded, and sliced

1 1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 cup Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar

1 tsp. Vitacost organic ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add chopped apples (peeled and de-cored), sugar, water, and cinnamon. Bring pot to high heat and boil for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a blender or using a hand held masher, smash apples.
  3. Pour into a mason jar and allow to cool before lidding and placing in the refrigerator.

 

Chef’s tip: Substitute 1/4 cup applesauce in place of (1) egg for any baking recipe.

Authentic Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce

Before I realized how easy it is to make my own mouthwatering pasta sauce, I opted for store-bought varieties. The downside to pre-made sauces is that they’re often tainted with preservatives to maintain longer shelf lives—no thanks! Now, I use homegrown tomatoes from my garden (or local farm when necessary!). With organic, fresh and local ingredients, it’s easier than ever to sneak in some added nutrients (think fresh herbs such as thyme and basil!). Italian lover? This sauce is the perfect addition to pizza, lasagna and beyond!

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Ingredients

10 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters 

3 cloves of garlic, smashed 

1 small white onion, chopped roughly

1 Tbsp. Simply Organic Oregano

1/4 cup  fresh basil leaves 

1 1/2 tsp. Simply Organic Thyme Leaf

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine

1 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns Tin

3 quarts water

 

Directions 

  1. In medium saucepan, heat tomatoes, garlic and onion. Fill with water 2-in. below brim of pot.
  2. Add oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil on high heat. Boil for 10 minutes until tomatoes and onions soften.
  3. With hand immersion or blender, combine until everything is broken up. Pour back into pot and bring back to a boil.
  4. After boiling, reduce to simmer for 3 hours. Once time has elapsed and you’ve reached desired thickness, remove from heat and let cool. Serve immediately or can sauce for longer shelf life.

To learn how to can the sauce you have just made, click here.

 

Chef’s tip: Great for Pizza, Spaghetti, and lasagna! Fresh and homemade is a much better choice than store bought.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

Savory sun-dried tomatoes are great to have on hand for making homemade sauces, dips and spreads. But in order to have them, you have to buy them. If you’re familiar with my blog, you know by now that I’m not a fan of store-bought, preservative-packed items. That said, I’ve come up with a fool-proof recipe to make them (and store them) at home! Plus, when stored in a pretty jar, the deep-red dried tomatoes you’re left with double as gifts you can share with family and friends for special occasions. I’m a huge fan of canning and after trying this recipe you will be too. This process naturally gives your food a longer shelf life as they marinade in organic spices and seasonings—yum! Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! Let’s get cooking.

Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

Yields 16 oz

Ingredients

10 plum tomatoes, dehydrated*

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 large sprig rosemary, cut into 4 pieces

10 basil leaves

16 oz. La Tourangelle 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics Thyme Whole Tin

1/4 tsp. Simply Organic Basil

1/4 tsp. Simply Organic Oregano

Pinch Vitacost Fine Himalayan Pink Salt

Pinch Spicely Organics Ground Pepper Black

Directions

  1. Wash and slice plum tomatoes into evenly cut 1/4-in. disks and place onto dehydrator tray or baking sheet. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and oregano (make sure to season each side).
  2. Set dehydrator to 95 degrees F. Insert tomatoes and cook 4-5 hours, depending on how thick you cut the tomatoes. Monitor tomatoes to ensure they do not get too hard–you want them to have a slight bend in them still.
    • *To dehydrate in oven, cook tomatoes on baking or roasting pan at lowest temperature for 10-15 minutes, watching closely to ensure they do not brown.
  3. Once tomatoes are finished, stack into a mason jar with garlic, rosemary, thyme and basil. Fill jar with olive oil. Set on counter for up to 4 days or place in refrigerator for up to a week.

 

Chef’s tip: Smash garlic before you slice it. This will help release more flavor into the sun-dried tomatoes.

Deli-inspired Dill Pickles

Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

Recreating your favorite sour pickles at home is easier than you think. Use the power of fermentation (like the pros do!) to turn regular cucumbers into crispy, flavorful pickles. Before you get started, gather a few mason jars (you’ll want to prep a big batch) with air-tight lids. The best part about pickling is that you can pickle pretty much anything. Feel free to toss a few bell pepper slices, onions, cauliflower florets or even cabbage into the jars. Serve these succulent dill pickles at your next picnic or barbecue—your guests will be thoroughly impressed! With these delicious dills sitting on your counter—or in your fridge—you’ll be saying good bye to store-bought varieties for good. Nothing beats the fresh flavors you get to create yourself!

Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

Yields 16 pickles

Ingredients

2 large cucumbers

1 bunch fresh dill

4-6 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tsp. Spicely Organics Mustard Seed Whole Yellow Jar

2 tsp. Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns Tin

2 tsp. Spicely Organics Coriander Seeds Whole Jar

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1-1/2 cup water

Brine

1 1/2 cup Spectrum Organic White Distilled Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Sea Salt- Coarse
1 cup water

 

Directions

  1. Wash cucumber and slice in half lengthwise. Take each half and cut into quarter slices.
  2. Fill two 16-oz. mason jars with 1 tsp. mustard seed, black peppercorn, coriander and 2-4 garlic cloves each.
  3. In each jar, add 5 sprigs dill and 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes. Place cucumber slices into jars so they fit evenly.
  4. Fill jars with brine mixture. Seal lids tightly and set on counter for 3 days, or until desired pickle preference is met.
  5. When ready, place jars in refrigerator (this stops the fermentation process). Store up to 3 months in refrigerator.

 

Chef’s tip: If you are looking to spice this up a bit, feel free to grab some small hot peppers of your choosing. Add 1 to each mason jar to reach desired heat.