Call me a control freak but I want to know what I’m eating and if you’re following my guidance, I also want to know that you’re eating the best too. When packaged food just gets too complicated, well, that’s when I stop with packaged food and just do it from scratch.
The typical Heinz ketchup you buy in stores is made from tomato concentrate, white vinegar and not one but two kinds of corn sweetener- the high fructose variety and the regular corn syrup variety. They do also have an organic variety but as we know, organic doesn’t always mean healthy and in this version, they simply swap the GMO corn sweeteners for organic sugar.
Heinz also has a reduced sugar option, that throws the sugar right out the door and replaces it with artificial sweetener in the form of sucralose. Yep. Or my personal favourite, the no salt ketchup that instead contains something they call “ALSOSALT®” which is a salt substitute made of stuff you are better off scrubbing your floor with- potassium chloride and L-lysine monohydrochloride.
A homemade ketchup recipe, without the sugar and agave that’s often added to ketchup you might find on a grocery store shelf.
10 cups tomatoes (Roma preferred), chopped and seeded
2 large onions, chopped
3 large tart apples, cored and chopped
5 whole cloves
5 whole black peppercorns
5 pieces of whole or pinches of ground all spice
1 Tbs sea salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs Sucanat (raw unprocessed sugar- if you don’t have any, I suppose you could use regular sugar)
2 sprigs fresh sage (or 1 Tbs dry)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1/2 Tbs dry)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Measure out all the spices (except sage and rosemary) and tie them up in a little square of gauze, cheesecloth, or light cotton fabric (good use for an old but clean t-shirt) with a thread to form a little bag.
Process tomatoes, onions and apples in a food processor or blender. As this is a large recipe, you have to do this in batches.
Pour processed ingredients along with the spice bag into a pot. Simmer until volume is reduced into one half
Chop the sage and rosemary and add to the pot.
Add salt, vinegar, sucanat and cayenne powder and bring to a boil again.
Turn off the heat and pour hot ketchup into jars. If using sterilized jars, seal immediately. Otherwise let cool and then cover and store in fridge or freezer.
Yes, this ketchup is great and all, but recently I took my love for things made with tomatoes to the next level, and also wanted to woo my husband at the same time. I took on the discerning challenge of barbecue sauce. It was to be slathered across the top of a beautiful veggie loaf and so I got mixing, matching, simmering and sizzling.
And wowza is this what making love in the kitchen is truly all about.
The final product was amazing. Just enough zip, though you could always add more, and this made up two 250ml jars full. The first one vanished in the first weekend.