Tomatoes can add depth and flavor to your meals, especially in bean soups and stews. It will be helpful to have the following tomato products on hand to use for some of the recipes in this book. Choose organic whenever possible as they will be lower in sodium and residual chemicals.
I like to buy fresh plum tomatoes in the summertime from my local organic farmers and freeze them whole. Then, in the wintertime when I am making soups and stews that call for diced tomatoes I will take a few out of the freezer and run them under hot water to remove their skins, then chop while still frozen —it’s the perfect replacement to canned diced tomatoes!
Fresh tomatoes can also be cut in half and dehydrated, and then stored in glass jars in your pantry. Strained Tomatoes Bionaturae makes a wonderful tomato purée that is sold in glass jars. You can use it in place of tomato sauce in any recipe. Tomato Paste Small amounts of tomato paste can be added to dull-tasting bean or vegetable stews and soups to enliven the flavors. Tomato paste can also be used to make savory sauces. We like to use the brand Bionaturae because it comes in glass jars. FROZEN FOODS Frozen foods offer variety to your diet when fresh foods are not in season. We like to buy from our local farmers’ market, or harvest our own fruits and vegetables when they are in season and freeze them. Please see here for freezing tips.
Organic Peas Frozen peas are nice to have on hand to cook up for a quick side dish, especially for hungry children. They are also delicious added to split pea and other soups, curries, grain salads, and more. Organic Spinach Frozen organic spinach can be added to many different soups and stews for color, texture, and a host of valuable nutrients, such as vitamin K1, beta-carotene, manganese, folates, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Organic Cherries Frozen cherries provide a delicious, quick frozen snack. They can also be added to smoothies, used to make dairy-free sorbets, or puréed to be used as a baby food. We like to harvest our own cherries in July or buy them from organic farms by the case, pit them, and stock our freezer full for the winter!