Organic Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Tomatoes

There is a common misconception that organic food doesn’t taste as good as processed foods. I’m not sure what makes people think that but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, there are some already made things that can taste bland or have a texture that isn’t ideal. But, the truth is that most organic foods taste better than the processed stuff you may be used to. A big part of the improved flavor is due to the freshness of the ingredients.

Organic Spaghetti Sauce

I wanted the first recipe I posted on Naturally Budgeted to be affordable and easy so you can see it is possible to eat well on a budget. In my opinion, it doesn’t get much more affordable or easy than spaghetti with a homemade sauce. Now, I know some of  you might be scoffing because homemade spaghetti sauce doesn’t sound easy but I promise you this one is.

Organic Spaghetti Sauce

The secret to a great spaghetti sauce is time. The longer you simmer it the better it is going to taste. This is a set it and forget it dish and I left my sauce simmering for 5 hours. I wish you could have smelled the house, OMG it smelled delicious. The garlic and basil really made my mouth water and it wasn’t just me. Everyone who ate it went back for seconds.

Since I’m a carnivore I used Italian Sausage and Ground Beef as the base of my sauce along with garlic, onions, and basil. I started the meats in a separate pan so I didn’t have to deal with grease in the sauce.

pureed tomatoes

I quartered my tomatoes and put them right in the food processor with some chopped oregano and basil. I went a little overboard and ended up with a puree, so if you prefer a chunkier sauce don’t process too much.

Enough of my rambling, here’s the recipe I always use for my organic spaghetti sauce, I hope you love it as much as we do.

Organic Spaghetti

Organic Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 medium to large tomatoes, Roma if possible
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
  • 1 pound organic Italian Sausage, no casings
  • 1/2 pound organic lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown meats in a large pan. Drain and set aside
  2. Swirl olive oil around a large pan twice and add onion, garlic, and basil. Sautee for 6 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Chop and peel the tomatoes and place them in the food processor. Process until you reach your desired consistency. Add to vegetables.
  4. Stir in oregano, sugar, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add in meats and simmer on low for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  5. The longer you let the sauce simmer the better it will taste.
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Organic Chemical Free Gardening

Each year there are thousands upon thousands of gallons of chemicals being poured into the environment. Why? Many gardeners and farmers are using toxic chemicals in their garden. The chemicals leech into the produce that we ingest. Rain washes the chemicals from the vegetables and into the ground. There are many ways these chemicals get there, but the point is it can be prevented.

organic garden

Use these ideas to make the switch from chemicals to chemical-free gardening and start doing your part to prevent these chemicals from destroying our Earth.

You don’t need pesticides if there are no pests.

Many plants have their own defense systems when it comes to warding off would-be predators. They naturally produce chemicals that ward off animals. Some of these plants include

  • basil – repels flies and mosquitos
  • garlic – repels rabbits
  • catnip – repels ants, cockroaches, beetles, and aphids
  • oregano – repels most pests
  • rosemary – repels slugs and snails

Plant any of these in and around your garden to cut back the need for pesticides. You can also use these in recipes and DIY projects.

crops

If you’d rather not have these crops growing in your garden you can use natural sprays of vanilla, lavender, and/or hot pepper on your plants.

Reach in and pull out the weeds.

Weedkiller is a temptation for many gardeners. It’s definitely much easier to spray it on than to pull each individual weed but easier is rarely better. If you do regular check and pulls then it wouldn’t take much time to keep your garden weed-free. Pull them when you see them and you’re done. The fresh air will help you in the long run.

garden in need of weeding

If you’re feeling particularly lazy you can make a DIY natural weedkiller using Borax powder and water. Mix 10 ounces of borax powder with 2.5 gallons of water and spray only on weeds and plants you want to kill. Avoid overspray as this can harm your wanted plants along with the weeds and you don’t want this stuff seeping into the soil.

Switch ’em, Change ’em, Rearrange ’em

Mass producing farmers and home gardeners alike are using crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. The concept is to change what crop you’re planting in a certain plot each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less.

You can use this concept by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. Here are a few ideas for starting your crop rotation.

sample crop rotation schedule

Natural DIY Beauty Products

As great as some of the beauty products on the market are they aren’t always eco-friendly or affordable. I like to think if it can’t be found in nature then we don’t necessarily need it. What did people do before when chemicals weren’t readily available and alchemists were few and far between? They sure didn’t run to Boscov’s to pick up a jar of face cream!

To help myself stay more environmentally conscious I like to make my own natural skin care products. This way I control the ingredients and there’s less chance my sensitive skin will have a bad reaction.

The following skin care ‘recipes‘ are inexpensive and natural, perfect for those on a budget.

Face Mask

face maskEating the right foods helps give you the right nutrients you need for healthy skin. You can get even more of these vitamins and minerals by putting the good stuff right on your skin.

Use this recipe to make a natural face mask.

  • 1 carrot, pureed
  • 1 avocado, pureed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup organic honey

Mix all ingredients together and apply generously to your face. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse with cool water.

Make an all-natural toner with 2 grated cucumbers and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

Hair Conditioner

diy conditioner

For a natural and affordable alternative to store-bought conditioners use this recipe. Your hair will be soft and shiny and this conditioner can be used regularly.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • 2 – 5 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients together and work through hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes then rinse with warm water. Experiment with fresh herbs, flowers, and oils as you like.

Hand and Foot Cream

diy skin careA quick face mask will help make you look great in not a lot of time, but hands and feet require extra care. Use this recipe to make a hand and foot cream that will make your skin thank you.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons natural sea salt
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients and massage onto hands and feet. Let sit on the skin for a few minutes then rinse with warm water.

When it comes to natural beauty products, these recipes are just the start. You can find hundreds of different combinations in natural beauty books, magazines, and on the internet. Or you can go to your kitchen cabinet and make your own special creations.

Organic Vegetable Gardening Supplies

Basic Garden Essentials for Organic Gardening

So you’re ready to start your organic garden but don’t know what supplies you need. Let’s take a look at the basic and important things you need to start your organic garden.

The first thing is soil. Much like a swimming pool, soil needs to have the right pH level for plants to thrive. In order to regulate the pH, you can use compost as a neutralizer. Compost will also make sure the soil has the appropriate range of nutrients for the soil to cultivate.

soil

You can make the compost yourself using dead leaves and weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps and rinds, as well as meat waste. These items are biodegradable and by turning them into compost you’re helping reduce the size of landfills.

After soil, seeds are the next most important thing you’ll need for your organic garden. If you choose to buy them you want to make sure you do so from a reputable dealer. Many places will sell seeds that are damaged or non-viable leading to no crops.

seeds

If you are worried about or just don’t want to grow from seeds you can buy already growing vegetable plants. Check the leaves and avoid the ones with discolored or wilted leaves.

Pest deterrents are vital for maintaining the integrity of your garden. Use helpful critters like ladybugs, praying mantis, and toads to keep the most damaging pests away. You can add a bird feeder and bird bath near the area to attract birds for even further protection.

You can use horticultural oils to control pests, but use caution since they can be toxic to humans and pets. Make your own using 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of NON-DEGREASING liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of water.

Garden Tools

Weeds are a garden’s worst enemy and therefore should be dealt with before they can wreak havoc. Use gardening gloves to pull the weeds from the ground, ensuring root removal. You can spray the area with horticultural vinegar or corn meal gluten granules to prevent weeds from germinating. These also release nitrogen into the soil.

Another of the non-toxic chemicals you can use to combat weeds are fish and seaweed based liquid based fertilizers. These also release nitrogen, phosphate, and potash which are good for your crops.

For people who don’t have a backyard, you can still do organic farming by buying pots. Ideally, you should use those made out of clay or wood. Keep in mind that container gardens need to be watered more frequently.

Easy Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly

Easy Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly

I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t choose to live more eco-consciously if the cost wasn’t a factor. You’d think natural products would be more affordable than the heavily processed stuff but they aren’t. Because of that a lot of people feel stuck and unable to make a difference. The good news is there are tons of things you can do/change that would make you more eco-conscious and most of them you’d never miss.

In fact, you can make a few changes and have your home more eco-friendly in no time. Here are a few things you can start doing now to have a more eco-friendly home.

Use less water

Use less water

It doesn’t take much effort to use less water but if it seems impossible to, use these water conserving ideas:

  • Shut off the water while you brush your teeth – even better brush your teeth in the shower.
  • Take showers that are a minute or two shorter – skip washing your hair a time or challenge yourself to see how quickly you can get clean.
  • Only run full loads of laundry and dishes – save them up in a hidden space if the clutter bothers you.
  • Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

Use less energy

Use less energy

Saving energy for some people means buying a Prius or making the switch from electric to solar power. Don’t stress those things, using less energy can be done on any budget.

  • Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills. You can definitely buy second hand, just be sure to check for the energy efficient label.
  • Unplug when you can. Did you know leaving your phone or laptop plugged in for too long will deplete the batteries power capacity? When your battery is full unplug it.
  • Get your charging done before bed so you don’t have to keep devices plugged in all night.
  • Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
  • Walk or ride your bike for short trips. Carpool when possible for longer trips.
  • Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.

Reuse

Reuse

Recycling is something we learn to do early on and hopefully becomes habitual. We just learned that reducing is possible regardless of budget. Now let’s talk about the lesser followed R, Reuse. Pinterest is chocked full of repurposing projects that take the most mundane, irrelevant things and turn them into amazing things. Here are a few things you can reuse instead of tossing out. For more ideas be sure to follow our Repurposed Pinterest Board.

  • glass jars
  • toilet paper and paper towel tubes
  • yogurt containers
  • food and coffee scraps for composting

There are many DIY household products that stand up against their commercial counterparts. Instead of spending more money on natural and eco-friendly products at the grocery store try your hand at making the products yourself. With a few key staples, you’ll be on your way to saying goodbye to chemical cleaning products.

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemons
  • Essential Oils
  • Borax

Using this post as a guide you should be able to take the first step to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. If you have a tip to share please let us know about it in the comment section.

natural living on any budget