Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home Made Ketchup

It's grilling season! No one wants to cook indoors now. It's all about barbecues and making the most of this gorgeous weather.

This is also the time we whip out all those condiments to pile on our burgers! Of course, for me it's veggie burgers and I love to add as many extras as I can- ketchup, mustard, salsa, relish, chutney....the more the better!

Ketchup seems to be the most popular of summertime condiments. What would a burger be without the ketchup?

What's in your favorite bottle of ketchup? I found a bottle of regular Heinz (the brand considered to be the best) in my mom's fridge. Here's what inside:

tomato concentrate made from vine ripened tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring.

Do see you see what I see? Corn Syrup X 2! YUCK! If you are not aware of how bad corn syrup is for you, read this:

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup is Bad for You

Now Heinz does make Simply Heinz without HFC, but it is only available in a big 32oz. size. Hunts also has a line of ketchup without all that HFC but neither of these products are made with organic tomatoes. Organic ketchup is available, but it can be quite costly compared to conventional brands.

Why not make your own ketchup? It's fun, it's easy and the best part? You put it all in a crock pot, set it and forget it. That way, you can do other things! This recipe is slightly sweet (it calls for brown rice syrup instead of sugar) and you can add whatever you wish to it. How about adding some chili powder or a diced jalapeno pepper for a nice spicy ketchup? Or you can cut back on the sweetener and add fresh cut organic peaches at the final stage of cooking?  Get creative and have fun with it! You can even give jars of your homemade ketchup as gifts. The possibilities are endless.

Homemade Crock Pot Ketchup
yields about 4 cups
1 (28 oz) can organic tomato puree or make your own puree using fresh garden tomatoes
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except kosher salt and black pepper into a medium Crock Pot (3 - 4 1/2 quarts). Stir well. Cover and turn on high for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and puree with an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular blender or food processer and puree until smooth. Return to crock (if you used a blender or food processor) and cook on high uncovered for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until ketchup has reached desired consistency. You want it to be nice and thick.
Place into clean pint mason jars. Refrigerate or freeze. This will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 months.

This homemade ketchup is so Cynfully Good--you'll want to pour it on everything all year long!

Recipe and photo from : Simply Gluten and Sugar Free.

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