There’s something about Easter egg waste and chemical dyes that makes me squirm. Of course there are store-bought non-toxic natural Easter Egg dyes out there, but we set out to discover our own from ingredients in the fridge. The result was muted and beautiful – almost what you would find if you happened upon a bird’s nest in nature.
Situated on the coolest corner in Gastown, Vancouver’s Chill Winston is a gem. With a menu full of shareables, veggies from the restaurant’s own farm plot in Tsawwassen, alternative proteins & wild meats that are organic, free run, antibiotic and hormone free, and ocean fare that is exclusively line caught and from sustainable stock, the only guilt you will have is from ordering more.
After my successful trip into British Columbia’s Okanagan region, I got the ‘bug’ to preserve and can all of the produce I possibly could. Because, well, zombie apocalypse. Or simple healthy organic food that doesn’t need refrigeration or freezing! The 90 pounds of roma tomatoes I purchased from Covert Farms yielded 16 1 litre jars of organic canned tomato sauce.
Organic Canned Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
35 to 46 lbs roma-style tomatoes
14 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
Prepare the jars and lids:
Wash all jars and lids thoroughly with soap and water and rinse well. Fill your canner with enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch and bring to a simmer. Using a pair of canning tongs, lower the jars, lids and rings in gently. Boil for 4 minutes and remove with the tongs, placing them on a wooden cutting board.
Peel and core the tomatoes:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large cooler of ice water at the ready. Gently lower the tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch them for 60 seconds. Remove with a strainer and transfer them to the ice water. Once cool, the skins should peel off easily. I reached into the cooler with sleeves rolled up and did this job with my hands, easily removing both the cores and skins.
Prepare the sauce:
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them to a large stockpot. Place stockpot over medium-high heat, crushing and stirring the tomatoes to keep from burning. Continue until all the tomatoes are added and crushed. Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce heat and keep at a low boil. Reduce to the desired thickness, by a third for a thin sauce, or by half for a thick sauce. For a fine, smooth sauce you can blend in a Vitamix in batches.
Fill and close the jars:
Add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt to each jar; add a teaspoon of sugar to offset the added acidity if desired. Use a ladle to pour the sauce into the jars through a canning funnel, leaving 1/2-inch headspace at the top. Run a clean chopstick around the inside of the jar to dislodge any trapped air. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel. Place the lids on, and screw on the rings until just finger-tight.
Seal the jars:
Using canning tongs, gently transfer the jars to the canner, taking care to keep them vertical. When all the jars are in the canner, there should be at least 1 inch water covering them; if you need more, add water from the kettle until the jars are sufficiently covered. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, and process for 40 minutes.
Remove and cool:
Using canning tongs, gently remove the jars from the canner and transfer them to a kitchen towel or cooling rack, again keeping them vertical. Do not set hot jars directly on to cool counter surfaces. Leave to cool, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. If any of the jars do not seal when cool, reprocess using the method above, or refrigerate and use immediately.
Label and store:
Add a label to the lid or side of your jar, noting the date it was canned. Remove the rings and store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Refrigerate after opening.
There’s nothing as soft as baby skin. Especially if you are washing your diapers, throwing a few wipes into the laundry isn’t a big deal. When my kids were small I would fill a thermos coffee dispenser daily with warm water and always have cloths as baby wipes. This Natural Homemade Baby Wipe Recipe would have made things even easier!
Natural Homemade Baby Wipe Recipe
Don’t you love saving? Money, coupons, trees…. Seventh Generation has a counter on their site indicating how many trees/barrels of petroleum they have saved by switching to plant-based ingredients in their baby products. Baby Personal Care and Baby Home Cleaning are the first USDA Certified Biobased baby lines on the market today (meaning they are derived more from plant-based ingredients, than petroleum-based). We’ve tested the baby hair and body wash, bubble bath, wipes and diaper cream and are thrilled with the result. (And let’s just say that the products can often be found in bathrooms other than the one the kids use…) Johnson & Johnson announcing it will begin to reformulate its products to get rid of all toxic ingredients in their baby care products by 2015. Now that’s a reason to hug a tree.
Did you know that what goes on your skin goes into your body? We were recently invited to try some great makeup available at Whole Foods. Zuii Organic and Gabriel Skincare offer amazing shades and are both fully natural. Zuii Organic has embraced the essence of nature and created a totally unique range of colour cosmetics, blending Certified Organic Flower Petals, essential oils, vitamins and minerals while offering a colour pallet previously only available from chemical based cosmetics. Both lines improve your skin’s health, look great and have good karma.
MMMMM. Banana Pear. Sweet Apple. Pumpkin Spice. And they’re organic. And super-yummy. Don’t you love a snack that pleases your kids and eliminates your guilt? They have no salt, dairy, additives or preservatives, and are made with 100% wholewheat flour. From Sweet Pea – the company that brought us frozen baby food cubes when you don’t have time to make it yourself. We like healthy innovations. Merci!
We’re all about hip and funky. And if you can save the environment and your own health in the mix, that’s a big bonus. (Kind of like getting a daily calf massage after a night in 4 inch heels). Did you know that 87% of Canadians believe that household cleaning products are safe even though only 10% of the chemicals used in the typical products have been tested? Or here’s a scary one.. apparently housewives face a 55% higher cancer risk due to their exposure to household cleaning products… Nice. Seventh Generation has come out with a super-cool app for the iphone or free download for your home computer. While you are shopping or surfing, you can search a directory of common cleaning products to see what ingredients are inside. Merci!