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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!