Store bought ketchup inevitably contains lots of high-fructose corn syrup and sometimes other questionable ingredients. This simple recipe has less sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, and LOTS of gut-calming, brain-building probiotics.
Here’s what you need to make a pint (2 cups):
‣ 12 ounces organic tomato paste (no salt added)
‣ 1/8 - 1/4 cup water
‣ 2 tablespoons of whey*
‣ 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
‣ 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (or substitute a prepared dijon mustard)
‣ 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
‣ 1/8 teaspoon cloves
‣ 1/8 teaspoon allspice
‣ 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
‣ 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
‣ 1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
‣ (you can even add a bit of molasses for extra flavor & minerals.)
Here’s what you do…
1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
2. Pour this mixture into a glass jar, large enough to leave 1" of space at the top of the jar.
3. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for two days. The salt & vinegar will protect unwanted bacteria from growing until the friendly lactobacillus from the whey has a chance to multiply and preserve your ketchup.
4. After two days at room temperature, move your ketchup into the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for a couple of months – if you don’t eat it first!
Tips for Working with Picky Eaters
- Get your picky eater to help you make the ketchup. This gives them an opportunity to see exactly what is in it – NO SURPRISES!
- Taste it often while mixing in the spices and sugar. Add half of the amount, then taste and see if you want to add some more.
- Get your picky eater to help you choose the coolest, squeeze container you can find. After the ketchup sits in a glass jar on the counter for two days, you can put it into it’s special container.
- Bring the homemade ketchup to the table at mealtimes, picnics & barbecues with fanfare & kudos to those who helped to make it.
- Use the ketchup and experiment with the recipe until you get it to taste exactly the way you like best. It helps to have adventurous family members try it, like it, and prefer it to the familiar store bought version. You may have to make the store bought available for a while, but leave it in the refrigerator until someone asks for it. Let them do the legwork to get it, too!
- NEVER ask your picky eater to taste this ketchup – either during preparation or later when it’s on the table. Bite your tongue, and look the other way if they do taste it. Then break out some champagne or do the victory dance in the privacy of your bedroom!
You can use this ketchup to make Thousand Island Dressing by mixing it with an equal amount of mayonnaise. Make some Steak Sauce by mixing it with an equal amount of sour cream. Store both of these in the refrigerator.
This recipe comes from a wonderful course on Lacto-Fermentation at the Traditional Cooking School. If you want to learn more about making other traditional foods I recommend Wardeh's courses – they are fantastic.
Want to learn more about the power of probiotics for health?
The New York Times ran an article by Peter Andrey Smith on June 23, 2015, “Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?”.
Neurologist, David Perlmutter, covers the topic in depth in his excellent book, Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life.