Friday, March 23, 2012

Condimentally Speaking: Natural Homemade Ketchup No Added Sugar

Delicious, Addicting, Homemade Ketchup!
The spices smell wonderful as they steep!

I’ve been trying to cut as much of the “hidden” sugar from my daily meals as much as possible. So I can eat UN-hidden sugar, like those wonderful little buttercream filled Belgian chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s. I’m trying to at least be conscious of it, and so many condiments are loaded with it. Honey mustard, salad dressing, even some commercial soups are a significant source. I’m not even talking about the evil High Fructose Corn Syrup, just plain old sugar.

The biggest offender, in my fridge, is ketchup, and while I don’t use it on many things, when I do use it, I slather it on. If I could limit myself to the serving size on the bottle, it would be all well and good. But I use a lot when I do. There IS commercial ketchup that’s no-sugar-added from the company that makes America’s favorite ketchup, but that’s sweetened with artificial sweetener. The bottled natural versions without sugar are so expensive that I’d need to take out a mortgage to get enough for a couple of meals of burgers and fries. 

This is a fairly straightforward recipe for homemade ketchup. It doesn't taste like the one you find in bottles at  most burger joints. It tastes fresh, and both sweet and spicy. If you want it closer in flavor, add more sweetener, and use something other than stevia. I have used stevia, since I have quite a bit of it, and so far have found no health issues associated with it,  but you can use other sweeteners, like sugar, honey or even Splenda® equal to 3 Tablespoons. I like to use whole spices and strain them out as the powdered products make a muddy looking ketchup. 

This ketchup is really good, and while I can't wean my husband off his old, familiar bottled stuff, I'd rather have this any day. It's really addicting.

Natural No Added Sugar  Homemade Ketchup

1T whole coriander seed
1 broken cinnamon stick
10 whole black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 T kosher salt
Stevia equivalent to 3 T+ of sugar
2 T dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2T rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
water as needed

In a small covered sauce pan, place all the ingredients up to and including the white wine. Bring to a simmer and cook until it's reduced to about 1 cup of liquid. Cover and remove from the heat and let steep for 15 to 30 minutes.

Carefully strain the liquid into a bowl,stir in the tomato paste, then whisk in the vinegar and hot sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more stevia (sweetener,  vinegar  or salt as needed to get a good balanced product. Place the mixture back in the saucepan, and add as much water as needed to get a ketchup that will mound on your spoon. This will depend on how thick your tomato paste was, as brands vary. Bring to a quick boil, remove from the heat and let cool. Store in a covered jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. If it lasts that long.

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