Saturday, November 2, 2013

Red all over....

So a while back I started making my own ketchup. I had had enough of searching tirelessly for ketchup that didn't contain ridiculous amounts of sodium, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), red dye (WTH? it is made from this REALLY necessary), insane amount of sugar and various other "natural" and unnatural ingredients.  Even Heinz's "Simply Ketchup" contains the ingredient "natural flavoring". What is that? What other flavor do you need besides tomato, onion, garlic and a little salt and sugar!? What the hell is "natural flavoring" KETCHUP!?

Anyway...I digress....I discovered, in my search for the perfect recipe (specifically one that I could make on the sly that the kids would never know it wasn't Heinz) that many of the homemade recipes value the "homemade" taste. my house...homemade taste means it won't be eaten. I needed to come up with something that tasted like the real thing...but made with real ingredients.  I finally took to the kitchen with a "Top Secret Heinz" recipe and modified it...cuz that's what I do...I modify other people's perfectly good recipes into something I feel good about giving my family. So here it is...the super secret (not really) Faux Heinz Ketchup recipe. Super easy...super yummy...and is as close to the real deal flavor as I have been able to get it.

"Heinz" Ketchup

  • (4) 6 oz cans of organic tomato paste
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 2 C distilled vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 2-4 Tbsp sugar (I use 4, but start with 2 and modify to your tastes. I also use an organic cane sugar)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium/large sauce pan. Make sure to whisk all ingredients until smooth. At this point, it will seem thick enough and like you are done. this point...the seasonings will still be grainy and the texture will be all wrong.
  2. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a "boil".  Because of the will merely splatter (make sure you have a splatter guard or a lid that you can set mostly over (do not cover completely) so your kitchen isn't covered in ketchup - learned the hard way). Reduce the heat to a simmer (low) and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes...stirring frequently so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Pour into a clean Heinz bottle so your kids have no idea they are eating a healthier version.
  4. Enjoy frequently...giggle quietly to yourself as you watch your kids enjoy burgers and sandwiches and fries...with homemade ketchup. :)
This makes about 2 quarts. It is easily halved or quartered. Unless you are a HARD CORE ketchup eater you will not want to attempt doubling as it generally doesn't last long enough. That being said, if you need to make more, or you would like to make a bunch and then jar it and process it properly to keep longer...make batches at the amount listed above OR double the recipe except for the will want to only increase the honey by half each time you double. IF it is not sweet enough, add 1/4 C of honey at a time to increase the sweetness to your desired flavor.

For a fun alternative:  Heinz has recently come out with a balsamic version of their ketchup...YUM! Sounds awesome! I can honestly say I have no idea what it tastes like but I have heard it is delicious AND I have been dying to try it...sooooo...yes, I made my own. Simply make the above recipe but add 1/4 C of your favorite balsamic vinegar to the mi before the cooking process. IF it is not vinegary enough, add another 1/4 C and allow it to simmer another 5 minutes before cooling.


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