I’ve been kicking myself since last tomato season. Why, you ask? Because it never occurred to me to stock up my freezer with homemade tomato sauce! However, now that those delicious, juicy ruby fruits (yes, they are a fruit) are filling up every garden in sight, I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’m going on a tomato sauce-making bender until I can’t see straight….or my freezer door won’t close….whichever comes first.
I think for most families (unless they have issues with nightshades), tomato sauce is a household staple. Throw it on top of whole grain pasta or zoodles and you have an easy dinner in no time. And who doesn’t love pizza? You need tomato sauce for that, usually! However, have you ever looked at the ingredients listed on a jar of commercially made tomato sauce? Chances are that you will see “sugar” in that list….even in the organic tomato sauces. And its usually not the last item on the list, meaning there is probably a good amount of sugar being poured over that spaghetti squash you were planning on serving for dinner. Sugar is traditionally added to tomato sauce to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. However, tomatoes are so naturally sweet on their own that adding a bunch of refined sugar to a batch of sauce is quite unnecessary. In fact, buying commercially prepared tomato sauce at all is unnecessary! Not when you can easily make it in your crock pot on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This sauce takes just minutes to throw into the slow cooker and then simmers away for hours, blending all the natural flavors and ingredients into one wholesome sauce. At the end of the day, you have a nice little stockpile of tomato sauce to enjoy for weeks without the added sugar or preservatives.
Makes about 48 ounces of sauce
6 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 medium onion, chopped,
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional and omit if you are on Whole30)
1. Combine all of the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.
2.Once the sauce is done cooking, remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, add tapioca starch or arrowroot one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Allow the sauce to cool completely. Package into air tight containers and store in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for months!
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