Why did we like ketchup so much growing up? How did the manufacturers manage to take an acidic tomato and cook it into sweetness? It was a mainstay on french fries, burgers, hot dogs, and so much more. The answer was simple – sugar! More specifically – today – high fructose corn syrup! Processed ketchup is loaded with corn syrup. Even the vinegar is made from genetically modified corn. On top of the toxic nature of traditional processed ketchup, it is high in carbs. It is also lacking in protein and fiber. Processed ketchup is just not very healthy. We have a wonderful Homemade Sugar Free Ketchup recipe!
There are many recipes for healthy ketchup in the low-carb world. We, of course, do not use sugar in our version. We also like to stress healthy organic ingredients. Organic is a better option.
Making homemade ketchup with fresh ingredients, as many organics as possible, and no corn syrup will allow you to control what you are eating. It is simple and within a half-hour you will have a large bottle of this delicious condiment that will taste better than the processed variety.
Muir Glen makes wonderful organic tomato puree and tomato paste products. We also feel comfortable with Cento puree. These two tomato based products form the center piece of our homemade sugar free ketchup. For a truly fresh alternative you can boil fresh tomatoes for 10 minutes and make your own puree in a bender.
Our vinegar of choice is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Some recipes call for red wine vinegar and that is also acceptable. We find the apple cider vinegars deliver the truer ketchup flavor that we remember from our youth.
We buy our organic spices from Frontier Co-op or Simply Organic (owned by the co-op). They have been importing and selling products that are friendly to people and the planet since 1976. They are member owned and each year they set aside a percentage of their profits for social giving. Their motto is “Nourish people and planet. Always be Fair.” You can find out more about their products on their website. Their cinnamon is the best in the world – definitely try it. We also use organic Dijon mustard made by Annies. You can purchase these products from Amazon.
Instead of powdered sweeteners, we have been switching our recipes to use EZ Sweetz natural Sucralose drops for our sweeteners. Twenty-four drops are equal to 1/2 cup of sugar, but you can add a few more or less drops to adjust the sweetness of your ketchup. We like this sweetener since it has no fillers and leaves no after taste.
Many recipes call for a simple process of blending the ingredients in a bowl or a blender and serving right away. We still prefer melding the flavors (especially with tomato products) by cooking the sauce down on the stove top. This also will maintain the integrity of the ketchup. Without a cooking process the ketchup will tend to separate. We still use our blender to smooth out the finished cooked product.
The three key components in cooking homemade sugar free ketchup are texture, sweetness, and saltiness. The texture should mirror a processed ketchup. The texture will become thicker the more the recipe is cooked. We have already mentioned increasing or decreasing the amount of EZ Sweetz drops to achieve the sweetness you prefer and the amount of sea salt is also at your discretion. Experiment with different amount until it is just right for your taste.
You can also use an emersion blender to smooth out your ketchup. We let our version cool a bit as that will also mean more thickening and then we smooth it in our Vitamix blender. It comes out perfect ever time.
We store our finished ketchup in a sealed canning jar to preserve the freshness. Transferring a good amount to a squeeze bottle for cookouts and guest parties is also a great idea.
Although technically a sauce, we also consider our homemade sugar free ketchup a “Low Carb Essential.” It is full of healthy ingredients. Certainly low in carbs without the sugars, and a tasty addition to your low-carb burger or zucchini fries. Try using it as a base for a low-carb barbecue sauce and even mixed with mayonnaise for a delicious shrimp dip or salad dressing. In 30 minutes you will have a healthy alternative to processed ketchup – stay low carb – stay organic – and stay healthy. Enjoy!
- 28 ounces Tomato puree (Cento or Muir Glen)
- 12 ounces Tomato paste (Muir Glen organic)
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
- 4 ounces Apple cider vinegar (Bragg organic)
- 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (organic)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 24 drops EZ Sweetz drops (equals 1/2 cup sugar)
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and add onion. Cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic for another minute until fragrant.
- Pour in the vinegar, sweetener and sea salt and bring to a boil.
- Add tomato puree and tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Add the mustard, cloves, and cinnamon and cook the sauce on low simmer for 10 minutes until it thickens to ketchup consistency. Taste for salt and sweetness - adjust as needed.
- Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate before using.