Making your own Wholefoods, Preservative Free Condiments
By Jasmin Lim. Photo by Lottie Hedley from The Unbakery Book.
A good assortment of condiments is a staple in every household kitchen – turning any meal from mediocre to delicious with the squirt of a bottle. Some favourites include mustard, mayonnaise, jam and the good ol’ kiwi staple tomato sauce (who didn’t put tomato sauce on everything or eat it straight out of the bottle at age 5…).
So what makes tomato sauce so great? It comes from tomatoes, and they’re good for you right? It’s incredibly easy to use, just grab the bottle out of the fridge and voila! a 5-star meal in the making, and it makes everything taste better (debatable I guess - tomato sauce with cake? Hmm…).
So what’s the problem? Unfortunately, these golden pantry staples often come laden with refined sugars, salt, additives and preservatives – so even if you’re home-baking your own fries, if you’re having them with a good ol’ squirt of canned tomato sauce you’re unknowingly adding in a side of BPA, High Fructose Corn Syrup, additives and preservatives.
So does that mean you have to forgo these golden flavour enhancers and chow down on bland steamed veggies and plain home-baked chips? No, thank goodness! Thanks to some nifty little wholefoods tricks you can have your condiments and eat them too – you’ve just gotta give them a little makeover.
Get started with our homemade tomato sauce, cashew aioli, strawberry chia jam and go-to green tahini dressing (amazing on salads, roasted and steamed veggies, falafels, dipping, and well, basically everything…). Making your own raw, wholefoods condiments is incredibly easy, and a great way of steering clear of any nasty additives and preservatives, with the added bonus of incorporating more raw food and beneficial nutrients into your meals, without compromising on flavour – but in fact enhancing it! win-win-win right!?
1 cup fresh tomato, chopped (you can use cherry tomatoes)
1 red capsicum, deseeded
½ cup sundried tomatoes (soaked 2 hours)
1½ tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano
small handful fresh basil
½ red chilli
2 pitted dates
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
⅓ tsp sea salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
If you're using your own home-made sundried tomatoes, you don’t need to soak them. If you're using store bought ones, rinse your soaked sundried tomatoes well.
Place the tomatoes and capsicums in the blender first (they have a high water content and once they start to break down will provide the liquid for getting things blending) then top with the rest of tomato sauce recipe ingredients except the salt − blend until smooth.
Add the salt and pepper to taste – sundried tomatoes are often very salty already so the amount of salt with depend on how salty yours are.
Makes 1½ cups. Store in the refrigerator for 2−3 days.
1 cup cashews or avocado
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest
2 garlic cloves
½ medium shallot
½ cup filtered water (or more as needed)
5 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain organic mustard
Place all ingredients except the olive oil and mustard in a high power blender – blend until creamy and smooth. With the blender running slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the mustard, pulse until incorporated into the aioli.
If you want to make more of a mayonnaise add a little more water and olive oil, to create a more fluid mix.
Some flavour ideas – omit the mustard and add a pinch of saffron or 1 tablespoon of preserved lemon for a more Middle eastern touch or 1 teaspoon of wasabi to give it a Japanese touch.
We tend to favour using cashews a lot as a base for our raw creams, they are a great source of antioxidants, zinc, copper and iron and high in healthy fatty acids and are a palate saver for those of us that are intolerant to dairy products.
Strawberry chia jam
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup filtered water
1 cup strawberries (or any other berry of your preference)
1 tbsp freeze dried raspberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp vanilla
Place the chia seeds in the water, mixing well so there are no clumps. Put aside for approximately 10 minutes while the chia absorbs the liquid.
While you are waiting blend the strawberries, freeze dried raspberries, lemon juice, honey and vanilla in a high speed blender until smooth.
Add the berry mixture to the chia seeds and mix together by hand.
Will store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Green tahini dressing
1 cup flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped and packed in)
½ cup raw tahini
¼ cup cashews (soaked 2−4 hours)
¼ cup + 1 tbsp filtered water
¼ cup + 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped chives
1½ cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tsp sea salt
fresh pepper to taste
Place everything in blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick add 1 tablespoon of extra water at a time to thin. If you add too much water, add more tahini to thicken it.
Stores in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.