Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Alternative to commercially canned foods

You've probably already heard of BPA, short for bisphenol A. It's used in the making of plastic bottles, lining metal cans, and until recently, even baby bottles. It's been in the news a lot lately because folks are concerned about the effects it may have on our health. Primarily that is mimics the hormone estrogen, and studies shows it affects the sexual development in animals. 

Being an animal myself, I don't drink out of plastic bottles, and I've cut way back on canned foods. But I had a hard time getting over canned tomatoes, sauces, and the like. I've come up with an alternative that's a tomato sauce that's super easy, low sodium, sugar free and tasty! 

Kristin's Chunky "Fire Roasted" Tomato Sauce 
Here's what I used:
2 pounds or so of tomatoes. I used romas.
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
salt and pepper to your preference
1 jalapeño (optional) chopped

Here's what I did:
I quartered the tomatoes and plopped them in one of my cast iron skillets. I added some garlic cloves, chopped onion and maybe a chopped jalapeño, salt and pepper. (What you decide to throw in would all depend on what flavor you want. Spicy? Italian? Just tomatoes? Use your best judgement.)

Place skillet under hot broiler for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. (I have a gas oven so this might vary a bit in an electric one.) Once the mixture is charred a bit and softened up I put it in a blender, whirl and add to my dish or choice. I know folks might think the tomatoes should be peeled but I don't have a problem with them. Plus the discarded peels and skins may contain cancer fighting benefits.

See?! Pretty easy, eh? I should do larger batches of this when I do it, but I usually only have so many tomatoes so it was a small run. 


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