Tag Archives: organic

Canned Tomatoes

My boyfriend’s “Nonna” – his Italian grandmother – grows and cans her own tomatoes and the resulting tomato sauce over fresh gnocchi is simply to die for.  This year, my friend and I wanted to start canning our own tomatoes.  I felt like I was preparing for the apocalypse, stocking my pantry with so many mason jars of canned goods!  We didn’t have time to go and pick our own tomatoes, so we ordered two crates from the West End Food Co-Op a grocery store where you can order large quantities of produce from local farms.

For nine hours we slaved over 50 pounds of perfectly ripened, shiny red tomatoes, making homemade ketchup and 15 liters of canned tomatoes!  I absolutely loved the homemade ketchup (featured below in the large jar).  Homemade ketchup is a thinner consistency than store bought ketchup, but much tastier! 

Homemade ketchup

Homemade ketchup

The canning process is very simple, we just had A LOT of tomatoes.  I can’t wait to make to make fresh pasta sauce this fall!  Now I just need to master making homemade gnocchi, and then I can recreate “Nonna’s” food at home.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 7 x 32oz (quart) mason jars

Canned Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 20 pounds of ripe tomatoes, washed throughly
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Prep the jars in a water canner. Set them on a rack and fill with water until jars are covered and boil for at least 10 minutes. Keep hot until ready for use.
  2. Place lids in hot water (not boiling) until ready for use.
  3. Blanch tomatoes in a another pot of boiling water for 45 - 60 seconds. Immediately place in an ice cold water bath.
  4. Remove skins (they should peel off easily - otherwise adjust blanching timing), remove stems and any bruised or discoloured areas.
  5. Pack whole tomatoes into the hot mason jar, pressing them close together. Try not too pack them too tightly or too loosely, they should be comfortably placed together so that they're aren't any big gaps . Use a wooden chopstick to help pack the tomatoes and remove air bubbles.
  6. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, leaving 1/2 inch headspace from the top rim.
  7. Wipe rim and carefully place down lid. Screw on the bands until they are just tight (do not overtighten).
  8. Place jars in canner, ensuring the top of the jars are covered with an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 85 minutes.
  9. Remove the jars without tilting and cool upright for one day.
  10. Check seals (they should be curved downward, and when the band is removed you should be able to hold the jar by the edge of the lid).
  11. Store in a dark, cool place.

Notes

Each mason jar holds 7-8 tomatoes each. I prefer canning whole tomatoes with no added salt so that I leave my options open for when I decide to use them.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/09/12/canned-tomatoes/

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

A few weeks ago I headed out to Winona for their annual Peach Festival and spent the afternoon immersed in all things peaches! From pies to jams to a very indulgent giant peach ice cream sundae, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I came home with ten pounds of peaches and my friend and I have since started to learn about canning and have been experimenting with jams (fair warning: everyone is getting peach jam for Christmas this year!). I had some leftover peaches and decided to make a peach crisp. I love cornmeal and felt as though the sweetness of the corn would be a nice compliment to my sweet, super ripe peaches.

I wanted to make this dessert on the healthy side, and was inspired to use the sample of coconut oil I had received from Cocozia as a substitute for butter. 100% organic, unrefined and cold-pressed, Cocozia’s extra-virgin coconut oil has a rich coconut scent, has a smooth, creamy texture and doesn’t melt at room temperature. I added some almonds for protein and replaced some of the brown sugar with maple syrup.

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

This peach crisp is the perfect comfort dessert for fall. The sweet, syrupy peaches & berries are nicely caramelized underneath a golden, cornmeal crust with hints of buttery coconut.

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp

Ingredients

    For the topping:
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup unbleached white flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup Cocozia extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Cocozia coconut water (or filtered water)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed almonds
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 4 large ripe peaches, core removed, finely sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries (preferably fresh)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the topping, except for the crushed almonds. Slowly incorporate the coconut oil. Drizzle the coconut water over top and mix well with your hands, the topping should stay together when you pinch some between your fingers. Add a bit more water if necessary.
  3. In a 3QT glass baking dish, mix together the peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and maple syrup. Sprinkle the cornstarch, cinnamon and salt over top and carefully stir the filling.
  4. With your hands, pick up small handfuls of the topping and place gently over of the filling, spreading each piece out evenly until the filling is covered.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds over top.
  6. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling along the edge.
  7. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/08/16/healthy-cornmeal-peach-crisp/

Just a side note: I actually bought a second jar of Cocozia coconut oil and have been using it as a body moisturizer, hair mask and makeup remover – it’s amazing! I love the smell and my skin is nice and soft. I love using an all-natural, multi-purpose ingredient for my beauty needs!

Feast of Fields review & photos

I went to check out the Organic Advocates Feast of Fields today – this is the festival that I won third place for in their appetizer competition for my Quinoa Chickpea and Spinach Latcakes.  The prize was a ticket to the festival and @ $75-$100/ticket, it was a great prize!.  I have to say – Feast of Fields was AMAZING and by far the best food festival I have ever attended.  A wonderful way for local farmers, wineries and breweries to promote themselves and broaden the awareness to buy locally, it was very inspiring.  A feast to say the least – every beautifully decorated stand had samples – and not dinky little samples – more like gourmet appetizers.  After the first hour I was stuffed, but I still continued on for a good hour and a half!  Lamb, pig and fish were roasting over open fires, soups simmering away, seasonal fruits and vegetables, homemade ice cream, fresh cheese and bread = heaven.  Not to mention the numerous local wine and beer stands who were more than willing to fill up your wine glass to the brim.  The festival was well run, not too crowded, very few long lines and no one ran out of food the entire time – I was so impressed – this will definitely be a yearly event for me!

Feast of Fields

Feast of Fields

Feast of Fields

Lailey Vineyard Niagara-On-The-Lake

Feast of Fields

Homemade brownies with canned raspberry jam

Feast of Fields

Fire roasted naturally raised Ontario leg of Lamb

Feast of Fields

Hockley chef preparing the lamb with ratatouille over soft mushroom polenta

Feast of Fields

Hockley wild boar over polenta spread on a baguette

Feast of Fields

Flat iron steak with some kind of yummy roasted vegetables on top

Feast of Fields

Magic Oven's mixed bean and grain salad in a curry lime vinegrette over a fresh beet with steamed kale

Feast of Fields

The City Bites' tart cherry, sweet maple, Berkshire pork and apple salsa

Feast of Fields

Darjeeling.net chai tea

Feast of Fields

Biomass Cook Stove used to make the chai tea - ceramic interior - no fuel needed!

Feast of Fields

Rainbow Trout

Feast of Fields

Pulled pork wrapped in kale

Feast of Fields

Ontario lamb shoulder, goat cheese, heirloom carrots over thyme and sundried tomato focaccia

Feast of Fields

Homemade corndogs with champagne mustard

Feast of Fields

The Belworth House spicy edamame and homemade eggrolls

Feast of Fields

Segar's Khool (Sri Lankan Fish Stew)

Feast of Fields

Southbrook's Raspberry Wine

Feast of Fields

Casabi gluten free stuffing

Feast of Fields

Mapleton's dandelion ice cream

Feast of Fields

Chocosol corn tortillas with brie and chocolate

Feast of Fields

Pulled wild boar

Feast of Fields

Black River Gatehouse herbs, teas, plants and remedies

Feast of Fields

ACE fresh breads

Feast of Fields

ACE roasted tomato, ricotta, proscuitto over balard with rosemary

Feast of Fields

Marben's creamy roasted pork & vegetarian

Feast of Fields

Nickel gluten free beer

Feast of Fields

Black Willow's elk sausage

Feast of Fields

Feast of Fields