This easy, homemade ketchup is sweet and tangy just like store-bought ketchup, but with the added benefits of lacto fermentation, a touch of immunity boosting turmeric, and being naturally sweetened. The fries are just a vessel for the tangy, robust condiment.
I am a ferment freak. Yes, those trendy foods like kombucha and kimchi are my jam! So when I realized that my daughter was eating a ton of sugar every day with the gobs of store-bought ketchup she puts on everything, it is no wonder I decided to make a fermented homemade ketchup recipe with a little less sugar.
Criteria: a recipe that is easy to make, that anyone (child and adult alike) will love.
And I did it folks. I made a ketchup that is similar in consistency to store bought ketchup but with a little more flavor. I added turmeric to it because it’s oh-so-healthy and immune boosting but only the most refined pallet could taste it. This homemade ketchup doesn’t taste ferment-y or overly sour. If you have picky eaters who might not like a little extra flavor in their ketchup, just cut the spice and half. When you make your own ketchup you have full control of what goes in it.
SORRY, FERMENT A WHAT?
You may have seen the words “lacto fermented” at the very top of this post. Your initial reaction may have been WTF or IYWD (“what-the-fudge” or “in-your-wildest-dreams”, for us old folk). But there are many benefits to eating fermented foods, so I wrote a post about why I eat more fermented foods and less sugar. You can read it here!
In this post, I explain in a little more detail about what lacto fermentation is and why it’s beneficial. I also discuss my qualms with sugar and why I have been hesitant if not resistant to let my daughter have unwavering amounts of it, especially in it’s most processed forms. To summarize: fermented foods have probiotics, probiotics are good for your gut, if your gut is healthy then your body (maybe even your mind) is doing well, and if your gut is unhealthy then your body is not doing as well.
HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE KETCHUP PROBIOTIC?
There are many forms of fermentation. With this homemade ketchup recipe, you simply add a culture, either whey (I’ll show you how to get it) or kombucha (for you vegans), and let it sit at room temperature for a few days. The good bacteria in your culture live off the sugars in the ketchup. The bi product of this feeding phenomenon is lactic acid. Lactic acid serves as a natural preservative, keeping the food fresh while aiding tanginess and depth of flavor (think of yogurt vs milk). The good bacteria flourish and when you eat it you may be aiding to the health of your gut and microbiome.
EASY, EASY, EASY
I say this a lot, that things are easy. But this is one of the core values of POP KITCHEN. Food that is fun doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or complicated to make. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that makes food really great. This ketchup recipe is no exception. For reals. I can explain how to make this ketchup in 3 easy steps.
- (Skip if vegan) Get some cheesecloth (or use a coffee filter or handkerchief if you can’t find some). Put some plain yogurt in the cheese cloth and strain the liquid out of it.
- Mix all ketchup ingredients, including whey or kombucha, together and place in a class jar.
- Cover the jar with a kitchen towel or more cheesecloth and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 days. Put in the fridge.
but also, there’s fries!
Like that’s it. You have organic ketchup, not stored in a plastic container (hell no, no BPA here), naturally sweetened, and probiotic for super cheap. Seriously! I bought this ketchup jar above at the grocery store to use for this post. It was just a more natural ketchup (did not fit all the qualifiers above). It was over $5!!! FIVE DOLLARS! For ketchup. Geesh! The injustice.
TRY IT TRY IT
I hope that I didn’t scare you off with all the “lacto”, the “gut health” and the crunchy, hippie talk. I hope you give this a try. Because it’s easy, it’s delicious, and I want everyone to try fermenting some things. Because fermented things are my favorite (i.e. chocolate, coffee, cheese, kombucha). It’s tasty and it’s good for your health.
Would you rather have sweet potato fries? Try this baked sweet potato fry recipe out!
When you make your probiotic, homemade ketchup, let me know how it goes! Tell your friends about it. Rate the recipe and share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Your voice helps develop how POP KITCHEN moves forward, and your recommendation helps POP KITCHEN grow. Use the hashtag #popkitchen when you post photos of recipes you’ve made to your Instagram and tag @pop_kitch. I’ll share my favorite photos on POP KITCHEN’s account.
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter/handkerchief
- 2 5.5 oz/155 mL cans tomato paste, preferably organic and in glass or BPA free cans
- 2 Tbsp whey or unflavored kombucha for vegans
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (totally adjustable, use less if you want it less sweet or more if you're Canadian 😉 )
- ⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (has the "mother" in it)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- pinch of cloves
- 2 large russet potatoes, washed and each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 Tbsp refined oil (pure olive oil, canola oil, or grape seed oil)
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- sea salt and pepper
- italian parsely for garnish (optional)
- This recipe won't take you long, so try out a short podcast. Try "SCIENCE VS", a show that holds up popular fads to science. They are all under 20 minutes. I just listened to one, surprisingly, about the health of sugar.
- FOR THE WHEY: First, place the cheesecloth in a small bowl so that the center dips down into the bowl and the edges drape over the sides of the bowl. Place the yogurt in the middle of the cheesecloth, gather all the edges together, and twist so that the liquid that pours off the cheesecloth lands in the bowl. If you start to see the yogurt press through the cloth, stop. You should have 2 tablespoons of whey. If you don't have enough, repeat the process until you have 2 tbsp.
- FOR THE KETCHUP: In a medium size bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the ketchup, including the whey or kombucha. If you want a blander ketchup, only use a pinch of each of the spices. Taste the ketchup and see if you want to adjust anything. Do you want it sweeter? Add a little more maple. Want more tanginess? Add more vinegar. Keep in mind that while the ketchup ferments, the culture will eat some of the sugar and get a little more tangy. Place the ketchup into a quart size mason jar, or some other glass vessel (not metal or ceramic), and cover with more cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, securing with a rubber band. Let the ketchup sit at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- Once the ketchup is done, stir it very well and either cover the jar with a tight fitting lid or put the ketchup into a reused, glass ketchup bottle (my daughter will only eat ketchup if it in a ketchup bottle). Store in the fridge. This will stop the fermentation process and keep your ketchup fresh for a long time.
- PARMESAN GARLIC STEAK FRIES: Heat your oven to 425 F. On a sheet pan, toss together all the ingredients for the parmesan fries with the exception of the parsley. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the fries over after 15 minutes of cooking. Garnish with chopped parsley and eat with your new ketchup!