I think I’ve been working on a homemade ketchup recipe for about forty years. (I have actually not reached the age of forty yet, but I am rather fond of exaggerating and I feel like I’ve been experimenting with ketchup for like totally forever.)
It’s taken quite a bit of trial and error to find a recipe that we think tastes good. So many recipes just don’t quite taste ketchupy enough for me. This recipe I’ve finally settled on is one I found and adapted from Happy in Dole Valley. I’m happy to say that this is a very easy recipe to make. Tastes good…healthy…and easy. Yes, this is the kind of recipe I like to share with you.
During my experiments, one of the toughest challenges was to sweeten the ketchup in a way we liked. I didn’t want it too sweet, but it did need to be a little bit sweet – and not too tomato-ee. (I’d like to see the words ketchupy and tomato-ee become a part of the dictionary someday, wouldn’t you?)
I tried making ketchup with raw honey to sweeten it, and found that the taste was too strong. Regular ol’ sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar juice) is a little crunchy in this recipe, so I finally figured out a great way to sweeten our homemade ketchup: Grind the sucanat in the blender like you’re making this healthier, unprocessed powdered sugar…then add it to your ketchup ingredients. Easy and perfect!
Healthy Homemade Ketchup
7 ounces of tomato paste
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons vinegar (I used distilled coconut vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of allspice
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup sucanat (ground in the blender to make it less “crunchy”)
Whisk ingredients together until mixed well and smooth. Make french fries, get them nice and crunchy, salt them well with sea salt and give me a call.
Defining “a pinch”: When a recipe calls for “a pinch” of something, I usually put in about 1/8 teaspoon – an amount you could “pinch” between your fingers if you were to reach into the spice jar and pull some out. I don’t really like putting my fingers in to pinch my spices. But you go right ahead if you want to.
The true test with our Homemade Ketchup Experiment: Did the kids like it?
All of my kids love ketchup, but one particular son of mine eats ketchup on everything: eggs, green beans, broccoli… He’s also my pickiest kid (which is why he eats ketchup to get his veggies down). I hesitantly put this homemade ketchup on his plate with a nice helping of homemade fries. He ate it. He loved it. He said, “Is this the homemade ketchup?” and I said, “Yep” and he said, “Wow it’s really good!”
Score! We have a winner!
Now that I’ve conquered ketchup, I’ll move on to some of the other recipes on the Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Challenge list. I’ve gotta say, I’ve been working on mayonnaise and it is about to kill me. I can not get a homemade mayonnaise to thicken even a little bit and it’s beginning to make me mad. Those of you who make mayo…what in the world is the secret to getting the ingredients to actually thicken into mayo? Ketchup took me forever to figure out, and now the mayo. I apparently have condiment issues.
Well anyway, what’s your favorite use for ketchup? Please tell me it isn’t green beans, like my son.