Dips & Spreads

Dips & Spreads

Tomato Salsa with Cilantro and Lime 
My friend Laura and I made this awesome batch of salsa a couple years ago and since then this recipe has become a family favourite.  Salsa takes some time to make, so getting together with a friend and doubling the batch makes the work that much more fun.  You will eat this stuff by the jar!  
12 to 14 500ml jars
8 to 12 hours - 2 1/2 to 3 hours working
8 quarts plum tomatoes
pickling salt
6 large onions (red are good if you can get them)
2 to 3 heads of garlic
450 grams (1 pound) Jalapeño peppers
6 large yellow peppers
2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
1/4 cup cumin seed, ground
1 156ml (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
PER JAR 3 tablespoons lime juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. You will need to do them in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a sink or tub filled with cold water.
Peel the tomatoes, and chop them coarsely. Layer them in a large strainer - such as comes in a set for cooking spaghetti - with the salt. I try to use about 4 tablespoons, but a bit more is okay. Much of it will run out with the water. Let the tomatoes drain for several hours to overnight, in a cool spot (but not in the fridge.) Don't forget to keep them a little raised from the bottom of whatever pot you strain them into, so they are not sitting in their own water.
When you are ready to proceed, put the canning jars into a large canner with water to cover them by one inch at least, and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. If your water is very hard, add a shot of vinegar to the water to prevent lime build-up on the jars.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions, de-stem and deseed the Jalapeños (wear gloves!) and other green peppers, and peel and mince the garlic. Squeeze the juice from the limes and set it aside.
Take the strained tomatoes, and chop them to the texture you would like - a food processor is fine for this. Mix them with the chopped onions, garlic, and chiles in a large canning kettle or other large, deep pot. Chop the cilantro and mix it in, along with the ground cumin seed.
Mix the tomato paste with a cupful of the salsa, until it is lump-free. Mix it into the pot of salsa. Taste the salsa, and add some salt if you think it needs some more. Bring the salsa to a boil.
Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them. Half should be emptied into the sink, and half should be emptied back into the pot to keep the boiling water level up.
Add three tablespoons of lime juice to each jar. Fill each jar with salsa, to within 1 cm of the rims. Wipe the sides of the jars.

If you like apple butter then this is the simplest way you could make it.  I don't use a lot of it so I canned the leftovers since it won't likely last more than 3-4 weeks in the fridge.  I used small jars to keep it fresh.


8 large apples, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to taste

Peel and quarter the apples. You may want to chop them smaller to decrease cooking time. Place apples, sugar and spices in a crockpot and cover with the lid.

Cook on high for about 4 hours stirring occasionally, then remove lid and continue to cook on high till the water evaporates to desired consistency another hour or two. Blend till smooth, place in Mason's jars and process.




Avocados are a welcome addition to any diet, healthy and delicious, they are loaded with healthy fats and fibre, they will fill you up and give you an impressive amount of potassium which is beneficial for balancing sodium levels.

Not a fan of chickpeas? Why not try this Avocado Hummus. Rich and creamy and no beano.

2 avocados
1 tbsp tahini
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp paprika

In a food processor or blender, blend together all the ingredients until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed. Pour into small bowl and enjoy with veggies or a few crackers or chips.

No need to have a special seasoning package on hand, this is the real thing.
3 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely minced red onion
 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
 Combine all ingredients, except lime juice, in a medium bowl. Mash to desired consistency. Add lime juice to taste; mix well and serve.