I absolutely hate buying my food from the supermarket. Every month I go through the grocery shopping receipts looking for something I can make myself at home. Firstly, I do this because store bought processed foods are expensive. To continue enjoying our relaxed homestead lifestyle we need to keep our annual budget under €8,000. A months supply of supermarket ketchup would cost us about €8. I can easily make six months supply of homemade ketchup for less than that. Considerably less in summer when I have an abundance of tomatoes.
Secondly, processed foods are full of really unhealthy preservatives, chemicals, and flavours. What’s in your food? Where did it come from? Who made it and why? Homemade ketchup has no hidden nasties because you know exactly what’s in there, plus you can customize it to suit your tastes. I like to use lemon juice in mine, with a little dash of chilli powder.
Thirdly, plastic packaging. We all end up having to use plastic in our lives, whether we like it or not. However, some plastic is avoidable, for example: all the single use plastic packaging you bring home from the supermarket. I have been using the same four glass bottles for ketchup for over a year. That’s 48 squeezy plastic ketchup bottles that didn’t go to landfill.
Lastly but certainly not least: it’s cool and it tastes amazing! When people come over to dinner at our house they are always pleasantly surprised by the homemade condiments “This ketchup actually tastes like tomatoes!” is a common reaction.
So, without further delay. Here’s how I make my homemade tomato ketchup.
I usually quadruple this recipe for a 1litre bottle/
- 1 cup roughly chopped tomatoes.
- 2 (or less) teaspoons brown sugar.
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 1 teaspoon paprika (optional).
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional).
- Combine all the ingredients and cook slowly for 20-30 mins. Keep the lid on and use a low heat.
- Once everything is soft and well cooked use a stick blender to turn your chunky sauce into a fine purée.
Storing and Packaging your homemade ketchup
I have these lovely glass bottles left over from when I buy store bought apple cider vinegar. I’ve been using them over and over again for months and have even successfully used them in a water bath for canning and preserving the sauce without needing to refrigerate it. If you’re not a home canner then you can keep your sauce in the fridge for up to a month.