Better Than Store Bought Ketchup

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I make my own ketchup.

It started when I was on the GAPS diet. I made a GAPS legal fermented ketchup and was thrilled to have a different flavor available on my plate. My (non GAPS eating) husband was less impressed. It wasn’t bad, he said, it just wasn’t anything like ketchup.

Then it was a challenge. Could I make my own healthy ketchup that my husband enjoyed eating?

I didn’t expect it to be so good and so easy that homemade ketchup would become a necessary item in my kitchen. In five minutes I can make a batch of ketchup that lasts the two of us a couple of weeks, tastes just as good as store bought, has no nasty chemicals, and is actively good for you. Plus, it’s a great trump card to pull out if I’m ever feeling threatened by super talented people or obsessively healthy eaters: “Well, yes, we did eat a frozen pizza last week, but that’s not normal for us, you know. Normally I even make my own ketchup!”

This ketchup can be eaten immediately or fermented for a couple of days to make it a good source of probiotics. (It will be noticeably thicker after fermenting, but both consistencies are within normal ketchup range.) I normally make my ketchup with whey (saved from draining yogurt to make Greek yogurt), but it can easily be made dairy free by substituting water for the whey. With the raw apple cider vinegar and salt in the ketchup it still ferments just fine.

(Edited to add: There are other options for substituting the whey including brine from vegetable ferments or thinned down yogurt or kefir. Brine will affect the flavor depending on the type of brine used, but that could be a good thing, especially if you like the fermented veggies you make in the first place. If none of these are a good option for you, the best flavor replica will be from replacing the whey with half apple cider vinegar and half water. As a last resort, replacing the way with only water will yield the proper consistency.)

If at all possible, don’t substitute any other sweeteners for the honey. In a pinch you could use agave, but only honey will give it that sheen we’re used to in store bought ketchup. (In the store bought ketchup it comes from corn syrup.)

Healthiness Rating: Healthy!

*Cooked tomatoes (as in tomato paste) are a better source of lycopene than raw tomatoes, as it’s more easily digested in the cooked form.

*Honey is classified as a superfood, being antibacterial and containing many enzymes and other nutrients.

*Whey provided probiotics essential for a healthy digestion (even better if it’s from organic yogurt and skips the extra hormones).

*Himalayan pink sea salt contains many minerals, some say containing every mineral our body needs.

*Apple cider vinegar is also antibacterial, high in potassium and seems to help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

Yumminess Rating: Husband approved

Not only does my husband willingly eat this ketchup, he prefers it to store bought ketchup and takes every opportunity to tell people they need to try this amazing homemade ketchup. Everyone who’s tried it has also approved, including his younger brothers and sisters.

Fermented Better Than Store Bought Ketchup

6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup yogurt whey (see notes above for substitutes)
1 tsp pink sea salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a pint jar. Cap loosely and ferment at room temperature for two days. After two days tighten the cap and transfer to the fridge.

A couple of notes:

Make sure your jar is completely clean before putting food to be fermented in it. A good environment for probiotics to grow is also a good environment for harmful bacteria to grow. I don’t personally go to the extent of sterilizing my jar before use, but if I’m at all unsure about the cleanliness of the jar I thoroughly rinse it in very hot tap water.

Also, make sure your different ferments (such as this ketchup, sourdough, sauerkraut, etc) stay about two feet away from each other while they’re fermenting. Any closer and the strains of bacteria will start to cross over between them, and different ferments work best with different kind of good bacteria.

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17 comments

  1. […] unlike my homemade ketchup, this is not a healthy recipe that I constantly use and keep on hand. This is a ‘fun for […]

  2. […] Potatoes with cheese and homemade ketchup (We finally got our Azure Standard order in and are really enjoying having organic potatoes on […]

  3. […] with dipping sauces. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard and ranch are all excellent […]

  4. […] unlike my homemade ketchup, this is not a healthy recipe that I constantly use and keep on hand. This is a ‘fun for […]

  5. […] Potatoes with cheese and homemade ketchup (We finally got our Azure Standard order in and are really enjoying having organic potatoes on […]

  6. […] any of those: with lots of butter, with butter and honey or syrup, with meat and gravy, or with ketchup. It can also be eaten as a breakfast food, or as a side at lunch or dinner. (Or as a snack for that […]

  7. […] I consider onion rings a full vegetable side in a meal or not, but especially when paired with homemade ketchup, and as part of a diet that includes raw vegetables at other times, I think they can reasonably be […]

  8. […] Dandelions can be eaten plain as a simple side dish, with savory sauces such as ketchup or ranch dressing (think anything you might dip onion rings in), or with sweet toppings such as […]

  9. […] use my homemade fermented ketchup as the base for this recipe, and generally use fermented garlic cloves, so it has a dose of […]

  10. […] healthy slips a little, and I think that’s okay.) Dinners: Nitrate free hot dogs (with homemade ketchup, of course), ramen noodles (I skip the MSG spice packet and season with my own spices) and […]

  11. […] organic tomato paste, $6/12pk (this is what I use for making my homemade ketchup) […]

  12. […] and for lunch we ate hot dogs with the last bit of leftover chili, (naturally there was also fermented ketchup involved) and broccoli and pepper strips with french onion […]

  13. […] For breakfast I took the diced potatoes that were leftover from the #10 can of potatoes I used in the shepherd’s pie, fried them in the bacon grease I’d saved from cooking bacon earlier in the week and sprinkled the last bit of leftover bacon across the top with some cheddar cheese. (Naturally, we ate them with homemade fermented ketchup.) […]

  14. […] was still a couple weeks away), and they seemed perfectly fine on smell and taste. We ate them with ketchup and sauerkraut and mayo (we’re getting very close to being out of mayo) and Ezekiel […]

  15. […] or our normal week days. I fried up a couple of potatoes in olive oil for our breakfast (eaten with fermented ketchup, of course), then we went out to help with a moving day, which went surprisingly quickly. When we […]

  16. Debbie Blick says:

    Finally doing this. Is it just one can of tomato paste 6 oz? Sally’s recipe calls for 3 cups for the same amount of added liquids. Seems a little thin. Thanks so much for doing this. Debbie

    • Yes, just one 6 oz can of tomato paste for one pint. When I make it using whey drained from yogurt and then ferment it, it’s always very thick when it’s done. If you’re not using yogurt whey, or not fermenting it you might need to cut back on the liquid by a couple of TBSP.

      As thick as mine turns out, I can’t imagine how thick it would be with 3 cups of tomato paste!

      Let me know how it turns out, or if you have any other questions!

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