As a busy, working mum of three, I am always looking for quick and simple recipes to cook for the whole family.
I’d say that the food I cook is pretty healthy but my definition of “healthy home cooking” has changed quite drastically since becoming a mum! I must admit that pre-kids most meals would usually include a jar of ready-made tomato sauce added to the mix. However, on closer inspection of the nutritional guide, I was in complete shock at how much sugar and salt these sauces actually contain. They clearly weren’t very healthy at all!
Recommendations from the World Health Organisation for adults and children are that only 5% of daily calorie intake should consist of added sugars. This equates to approximately five teaspoons (25g) for women and seven teaspoons (35g) for men. Just one jar of tomato based pasta sauce can have more than this!
My home-made tomato sauce is a great staple that can be used as a base for so many dishes. It is slow roasted which enhances the wonderful flavours of the tomato and peppers. I always make a large batch using the quantities below so that I can divide it in to 3 or 4 portions and freeze until I want to use them. Each portion is enough to feed my family of five.
Ingredients – I use organic wherever possible
2kg ripe tomatoes
4 large red peppers (or use a mix of red, yellow and orange if you prefer)
1 large red chilli, chopped (optional)
5 large garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
1 tsp coconut sugar (or any soft brown sugar)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
A few sprigs of thyme
- Preheat oven to 180⁰C (160⁰C for fan assisted)
- De-seed the peppers and chop into eighths. Chop the tomatoes in to quarters, and place everything on a baking tray
- Add all the other ingredients, season and mix well
- Slow roast in the oven for around 1.5hrs, mixing halfway
- Once cool, use a blender to blitz in to a delicious sauce
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