Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup and Roasted Carrots

Homemade Ketchup and Roasted Carrots

Something I’ve been mulling over this past week is the difference between “made at home” and “homemade.”  It seems as though a lot of the food “made at home” these days is food that has already been prepared in one way or another and then we fix it up at home to be a part of our meal.

For me, I have come to realize my dependence upon certain products (even “health food products”) lately that I simply can’t have now that I’m following a much more limited diet.  I like to believe that I made all my food at home and that nothing was pre-prepared.  But I now see how dependent I was on things like:  almond milk, canned coconut milk, canned organic tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire Roasted is my favorite), breads, tortillas, yogurt, kefir, crackers, snacks, ketchup, mayo and canned beans when I was in a hurry.

Now, I’m grateful for these changes to our diet and that I am preparing much more of our food at home.  If you want to know more about why I’m beginning to make these foods myself, check out the GAPS diet.  There are a lot of limitations on what kinds of food you can eat and how it is made.  Canned food (except fish) is out as is commercial yogurt.  Ketchup doesn’t work because it has sugar in it, etc.

So, this weekend my project was to make homemade ketchup and mayo.  I didn’t get to the mayo yet but I did do the ketchup.  My son loves it and calls it “cheppy” so I’ve been wanting to make it for the past few weeks.  We also can’t have potatoes or sweet potatoes any longer, so I roasted some sliced carrots to go with it.

I could almost believe (with my eyes closed) that I was eating a sweet potato fry with real ketchup.  It really was quite yummy and satisfying.  My son gobbled them up both times I made them this week!

I used the recipe for homemade ketchup in The Gut and Psychology Syndrome and then changed it a bit as I went.  This recipe is approximate because I ended up adding more tomato juice because the cloves and vinegar tasted too strong to me.

Homemade Ketchup, sugar-free
2 cups organic tomato juice (I added about 1 more cup)
1-3 Tbsp. vinegar (the recipe calls for white but I used apple cider and I used about 2 Tbsp.)
bay leave (I put in about 3 small ones)
salt and pepper to taste
honey to taste – I think I used about 2-3 Tbsp.
I added:  a pinch of cloves
1 tsp onion powder (not sure this is actually GAPS legal but mine is organic)


1.  Mix all the ingredients together except for the honey and simmer on the stove until thick, stirring often to prevent sticking.  When almost the desired thickness, add honey to taste and complete cooking.  Ladle into sterilized jars and seal immediately or place in small containers and freeze.

I didn’t measure it but it didn’t make a huge amount.  Probably a cup and a half or so at the most.  I put mine in a jar and put it in the fridge.  tuesdaytwister

It took quite a long time to completely cook down.  I wasn’t watching the clock but it was between 45 minutes to an hour.

If you try out this recipe, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.  Or, if you have another favorite recipe, I’d love to hear about it.

I am submitting this post for the weekly Tuesday Twister Carnival at GNOWFLINS.com.  Please check out the other wonderful real food blog posts!

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  1. I love the idea of homemade vs made at home. I too have been striving toward more homemade items. Ketchup has been on my list (I was going to try a fermented version) and I would love to make mayo but to be honest that scares me. I hope you will post your mayo results.
    Very smart to sub the carrots for the potatoes.

  2. Hi Millie,
    I would like to try the fermented version as well. I thought I’d start with this one and then try the one in Nourishing Traditions. I am sure it is healthier for you and I love the idea of getting probiotics from ketchup. What a concept, eh?

  3. Great clarification you made about “made at home” v. “homemade” – that’s quotable! I’m really happy that closing your eyes, you thought you were eating those sweet potatoes. That means you succeeded! I also love what your son is calling the ketchup – very sweet. It is fun to have kids around all our kitchen experiments. Thanks for sharing this in the Twister. Love, Wardeh

  4. wow, homemade kethcup, i am super impressed! if you are looking for a healthy mayo without soy/canola I love the Wilderness Family Naturals Mayo,it’s made with coconut oiland sesame oil, yum!

  5. Hi Emily,
    That is great to know! I think you must have an awesome coop because I have never seen that brand. I have looked good and hard at the mayos available in the coop and haven’t seen that one! But I LOVE coconut oil and that sounds great. I’ll check it out online!

  6. well the mayoI cannot get at the co-op but we have a membership based “store” called Traditional Foods Minnesota which carries it and other goodies. but yes, our co-ops are really good. we have the Wedge coop which is the biggest (as in how much they sell) consumer ownded co-op in the nation, and we have a good sized co-op in almost every neighborhood of Mpls. It’s what I grew up with, so I always assume everywhere has it so good!

  7. This looks really good! I have been meaning to get to ketchup, since my daughter loves anything tomatoish. What a neat website you have too, I’m bookmarking!

  8. Hi Cara,
    I enjoyed your website too! I hope you like the ketchup. We’ve been enjoying it a lot!

  9. Glad to have stumbled on your site, and recipe, especially after my own ketchup kitchen disaster.

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