Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in the US, and for good reason.
It’s the perfect dip for french fries, it tastes great squirted on burgers, and it’s even tasty with scrambled eggs.
Plus, if you like to cook, it’s a key ingredient in many recipes: homemade barbecue sauce, baked beans, and anything else that needs a tangy zip.
Americans may not agree on much, but one thing most of us agree on is that a bottle of ketchup is a must-have accompaniment at just about any meal.
The problem with ketchup, though, is that almost all of the ketchup we use is made by companies like Heinz, Hunts, and other big food manufacturers.
Unfortunately, these companies are usually more interested in turning a profit than producing a healthy and tasty product. If you’ve taken the time to read the ingredient list on a bottle of store-bought ketchup, you know that there are a few unexpected additions to your favorite condiment.
Discouraging as it may be, most commercially available ketchup is full of sugars (or worse, high fructose corn syrup), pesticide-laden tomatoes, and chemical preservatives.
It’s got fillers that are most likely derived from crops that are genetically modified, and it often contains MSG to mask the lack of flavor from the tomatoes that they use. Plus, the sodium content of bottled ketchup can be unnecessarily high.
Heinz and Hunts
Ultimately, the ketchup offered up by brands like Heinz and Hunts tastes more like a chemistry experiment than a true, homemade, tomato-based condiment.
The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make your own ketchup.
By doing so, you can ensure that your favorite condiment is made from organic ingredients and is not full of strange ingredients. You can also avoid things like high fructose corn syrup and GMOs, the health implications of which are still pretty unclear.
You can control the amount of sugar and salt in your ketchup, and if you want to experiment with new flavors (like some cayenne pepper for an extra kick or some seasonal herbs), it’s easy enough to do so. You also avoid buying another bottle that you’ll just throw away (or, hopefully, recycle), and making your own ketchup is usually cheaper than buying prepared ketchup as well.
Alternative “Make Your Own” Tomato Ketchup Recipe
Ready to take the plunge and spread something better on your burger tonight? Try this easy and delicious recipe for your very own homemade ketchup. You will need:
6 ounces of organic tomato paste (either from a BPA-free can or a tube)
- ¼ to ½ cup of organic apple cider vinegar (depending on how sweet the tomato paste is and how tart you like your ketchup; if you use less than ½ cup, add water to make up the rest of the measurement)
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt (or a bit more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon of ground black pepper (or more to taste)
Combine all of the ingredients well in a bowl, then let it sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors mingle and mellow.
Then serve it up with some homemade fries, some meatloaf, or anything else you love to eat with ketchup.
You’ll marvel at the flavor and wonder why you didn’t make your own ketchup sooner.
This recipe will keep well in a covered container in the refrigerator for a few weeks, if it actually lasts that long.