I love ketchup. Like, really love ketchup. I don't put it on absolutely everything, but I do put it on a lot of things. I am that girl in the diner that slathers ketchup over both my scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. I like to dip my grilled cheese sandwich in ketchup. (Don't judge! Particularly since there is typically also a serving of fries on my plate.) And don't get me started on those "fancy" restaurants that give you one tiny metal cupful of ketchup to go along with a serving of fries. I like to be able to control my ketchup-to-fry ratio, thankyouverymuch. As to ketchup preferences, I am a Heinz girl, through and through. For the most part, we buy Simply Heinz; this product lacks high fructose corn syrup and instead lists its ingredients as "tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, spice, and natural flavoring." Though this ingredient list seems to vibe well with my month of unprocessed eating (aside from the nebulous "natural flavoring"), I thought I might as well try making my own ketchup from scratch. The resulting ketchup definitely doesn't taste exactly like my favorite Heinz, but I think it does make a good unprocessed substitute.
Ketchup (adapted from this recipe)
makes about two pints
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can organic tomato purée
1/2 cup raw (unbleached and unrefined) sugar
1 tablespoon organic blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup raw cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute until soft and lightly golden brown, about five minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and saute until fragrant -- around 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 45-60 minutes.
5. Use a hand blender to puree the ketchup until smooth. (Alternately, blend in small batches in a blender.)
6. Pour the ketchup into two quart jars and seal. Store in the fridge; ketchup should last 3-5 weeks.