Why Make Homemade Ketchup
Homemade condiments are surprisingly easy to make, easily customizable and healthier than store bought versions. Years ago, when I started reading more food labels, I found out how much sugar is in a a leading brand’s ketchup. Four grams of sugar! I couldn’t really understand why four grams of sugar was included, I mean, eat a cookie already.
Do you remember 10 years ago when it was all the rage to put ketchup on baked potatoes instead of butter to avoid “unhealthy fat”? Thinking of it now makes me cringe, just like I do when any overly processed product is used over a more natural one. We turned our potatoes into sugar bombs, feeding a sugar addiction that ketchup likes to hook us with from a very young age.
A tablespoon-serving of a leading ketchup brand contains four grams of sugar. To put that into perspective, that’s more sugar than a standard chocolate chip cookie.
But I love ketchup. And my kids love ketchup. So there’s no way we are having burger night with just a tablespoon of it each. And that’s why I developed this recipe that’s low in sugar and super flavorful, so we can still enjoy our favorite condiment.
BEST DIY Ketchup Recipe
After you make this one time, you will never go back to store-bought ketchup. There’s a hint of sweetness from maple syrup, vibrant flavor from fresh celery and tomatoes and perfect acidity from white wine vinegar. The concentration of flavor is unlike any processed version, adding real tastiness to your food.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 celery ribs/stalks
- 6 ounces organic tomato paste
- 3 pounds tomatoes, stems removed
- 2 Tablespoons 100% maple syrup
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup water, used as needed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Heat olive oil in a 5 quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste to coat onions.
- Add tomatoes, maple syrup, white wine vinegar, and spices.
- Bring to a boil. Add fresh tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
- Strain liquid into a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer for 15 minutes until ketchup starts to thicken.
- Reduce heat and continue to simmer until the liquid coats the back of a spoon without dripping off.
- Let cool then transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to a month.