Copy-Cat Campbell’s Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes!

My family gave up Campbell’s soup years ago because of the additives, and then we gave up canned soup altogether when we became more aware of the BPA in the lining of the cans. I make soup from scratch now, and I must admit my children still prefer the flavour of Campbell’s soup to my own soups. While this is disappointing, it must be said that kids LIKE Campbell’s soup. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t spicy and it tastes good. Why fight a losing battle my making soup they won’t eat in the first place? So my next step was to try and copy it, but with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

I started with pure tomatoes and no added water. This year I have had 100+ lbs of my own tomatoes so I am thrilled to use them any way I can. I seasoned with salt, then I added one of my own onions, some celery stocks, and handful of my own fresh basil. After letting simmer for a bit I put the whole lot through a food strainer, then threw in some organic cane sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and presto! I have a healthy version of Campbell’s tomato soup! I then pressure canned it and it is now shelf stable for many months. It can also be served fresh, or it can be frozen.  A quick, healthy lunch is just a jar away! And the best part is, the kids love it. Makes 16 pint sized jars (or 32 servings).

4.5 from 4 reviews
Copy Cat Campbell's Tomato Soup for kids with Fresh Tomatoes!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32
 
Ingredients
  • 20lb Fresh Tomatoes (Washed, stemmed and halved.)
  • 1 Onion (Peeled and halved.)
  • 6 stalks Celery (Whole.)
  • 5 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 12 leaves Fresh Basil (Including stocks.)
  • ½ cup Organic Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Add tomatoes to a large soup pot and mash with a potato masher to release juices.
  2. Add onion, celery, salt and basil. Bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Pour through a food mill or food strainer. Alternatively, you can use a fine, wire sieve, pushing the vegetables through the sieve until all that is left are the skins and seeds. Compost the skins and seeds.
  5. Pour soup back into a pot. Bring to almost a boil then turn heat off.
  6. Add sugar and stir well.
  7. Serve fresh or freeze or can the soup.
  8. For canning, pour into prepared jars, wipe rims clean with a clean cloth, add prepared lids and rings and pressure can according to your pressure canner's instructions. My Presto required 11 lb of pressure for 25 minutes for pint jars.
Notes
This recipe is made to be canned, but can also be served fresh, or can be frozen. If you want to make it a cream of tomato soup do not can it with milk in it. Add milk to taste when you are reheating. For cream of tomato soup do not bring to a boil: boiling milk will curdle the milk.

 

Amazing Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns With Maple Pecan Glaze!

Cinnamon buns are a family favorite around our house. We don’t have them on a regular basis, but when we need a warm, sweet treat I often whip up a batch. I used to make cinnamon buns with, at most, 50% whole wheat flour and 50% white flour. I couldn’t imagine a cinnamon bun tasting good with just whole wheat flour. Until now.  I have had the good fortune of being given a Wondermill Grain Mill. I have tasted the difference and I’ll never go back!

I finally have discovered the secrets to getting 100% whole wheat flour to rise as well as white flour, without any additives. I have been making my own 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for years now and have been employing secret number 1. It is quite simple, really: you soak half the flour in the liquid the recipe calls for, for half and hour (or more). This helps release the gluten from the whole wheat and enables it to rise beautifully. Secret number one is vital. Secret number two is the icing on the cake.

My children eat the bread dough raw from the bowl. I remember doing that when I was young, and loving it. Now, as an adult, I actually don’t enjoy the flavour of raw bread dough. There is a bitterness to it that I don’t remember being there when I was a kid. When I received my grain mill from Wondermill I expected a difference, for sure. How could there not be a difference between flour that was milled who knows how long ago, and flour that was milled minutes ago? What I didn’t expect was that the bitterness I was tasting in the raw dough would disappear completely. That bitterness, then, must have been a slight rancidity that is in previously milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour contained none of that bitterness. This could only make the bread taste better! And so, secret number two is the freshly milled flour.

When I received the Wondermill I decided I would attempt 100% whole wheat flour cinnamon buns. I began playing around with my recipe, and quite frankly, I have created THE perfect whole wheat cinnamon recipe for you. It is sweet, moist, tender and full of whole grain flavour without any bitterness. They rise like white flour, they have the nutty flavour of whole grains, and they are soft and incomparable. I am in love! And you will be too.

100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns
Makes 2 batches, or one can be made into a bread loaf.

Ingredients

  • 8 c. freshly milled whole wheat flour, divided into 3 cup and 5 cup portions.
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. honey, divided.
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon bun filling (per pan of buns):

  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. demerarra sugar or other dark cane sugar

Glaze (per pan of buns):

  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. toasted pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. To make sponge add yeast to 1/4 c. warm water with 1 tbsp. honey in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Add 3 cups flour to 2 cups water. Mix well and set aside.  This is your flour soaking, releasing the gluten.
  3. Melt butter and 1/3 c. honey together and set aside until room temperature.
  4. In half an hour, add yeast mixture to flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Add butter and honey mixture and mix well.
  6. Add salt, egg and remaining flour (one cup at a time) and mix well.
  7. Once dough is of the right consistency (neither wet nor dry but tacky) kneed dough for 10 minutes.
  8. Set dough aside in a large bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to double in size. (1-2 hours).
  9. When dough is doubled, kneed it briefly, divide into two, then roll out onto floured counter top.

For cinnamon bun filling:

  1. Spread butter over the dough with your fingers or a pastry brush.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar evenly over the dough.  Roll dough up and pinch closed.  Slice into evenly sized buns
  3. Place buns in greased baking dish with a small bit of space around each bun. Cover with a damp tea towel.
  4. Allow to rise until doubled in size: 1 hour or so.
  5. Once buns have doubled in size, bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

For glaze:

  1. Melt butter and maple syrup together.
  2. Toast pecans in oven on broil for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. WATCH CAREFULLY! It is really easy to burn them on broil!
  3. Add toasted pecans to butter and syrup.
  4. Drizzle liberally over the cinnamon buns.
  5. Serve warm!

Homemade Gluten-Free Yellow Mustard Recipe

Most people like mustard.  We love it in sandwiches, or mixed with honey to make a dip.  I have even added a shot of it to macaroni and cheese casseroles.  I love it but I refuse to buy it anymore for several reasons.  The first reason (which is why I finally got around to making it) is that it is generally sold in plastic bottles.  Even the organic mustard I have purchased is in plastic bottles.  As most of you know I avoid food stored in plastic or cans (lined with plastic) since the plastic has been proven to leach toxic chemicals into the food.  The second reason I won’t buy it anymore is because it is ridiculously easy to make.  It takes 15 minutes (and a few days to mellow), and uses simple, all natural ingredients.  This recipe has great flavour and tastes much like French’s mustard, an old favorite.  It is so simple I challenge you to get out of your chair and make it right now.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons dry ground mustard
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. arrowroot powder (optional, or replace with white flour, used as a thickener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of paprika

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Whisk to combine.
  2. Heat until boiling.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced to the thickness you would like it.  Stir frequently.
  3. Store in jar in fridge for up to a month.  For a more mellow mustard, allow to sit for a few days to become less hot.

Notes:

  • Mustard is hot when first made.  Let is sit for a few days and it will lose much of its heat.
  • Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe was adapted from Serious Eats: Sauced: Yellow Mustard.

This recipe has been shared on Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday blog hop.

Scorned by big business. Beloved of small gardeners. Food Waste Part 1.

To purposely misquote Emily Carr: “Scorned by big business, beloved of small gardeners“. 

Walk into any supermarket and have a good look at the produce.  All of it is perfectly colored, and uniformly shaped.  Those businesses providing the produce don’t grow all of their products that way though.  Those are only the cream of the crop.  Do you know what happens to produce that doesn’t fit the bill?  Vegetables and fruits that aren’t the right color, shape, texture, size and so on are often discarded.  Some of it goes to production (ie. is used in prepared foods etc) or reduction but some of it is thrown out.  In a world where 1 billion people are going hungry, we cannot afford to throw food out. 
When you grow your own food you can enjoy the same fantastic flavour and nutrients of the misshapen and lesser-colored.
Celebrate the beauty of imperfection from my organic food garden with me.  If you have your own odd-looking but great tasting produce, please share!  Follow me over the next few weeks as I dig deeper into food waste and find solutions that are actually possible in your own home!