Sunday, April 21, 2013
Goodbye HFCS! How To Make A Small Batch of Homemade Tomato Ketchup in a Crockpot
We are not unduly careful about what we eat: we prefer fresh, real foods but do not insist on organic; we trust our bodies to balance our diets, rather than following elaborate prescriptive eating plans; we don't buy food processed in China, but are ok with Mexican tomatoes during the winter months (from a locavore perspective, Mexico is closer to us than California LOL!)...
Still, my husband Paul has had a growing concern about the pervasiveness of High Fructose Corn Syrup in processed foods. We've started avoiding those things that have this ingredient. Ketchup is a bit of a problem, since most brands contain HFCS and we like our ketchup!
I'd never made it myself since most recipes are for huge batches, calling for bushels of fresh tomatoes. Not only the investment, but what if we didn't like that particular recipe? DIY is foolish if it is wasteful! So I was pretty excited to find this simple, small batch version on Instructables.com.
The original recipe is from Instructables member Scoochmaroo. Her basic recipe is very good as it stands. I made a few adjustments - mostly, to allow it to be cooked in a crockpot, so that I wouldn't need to stand over the stove and watch it. My recipe is below.
Easy Small Batch Crockpot Tomato Ketchup
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste (total of 12 ounces tomato paste)
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 teaspoons molasses
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together in a small crockpot* and cook on low for 4 hours. To cook on top of the stove, add one cup of water to the recipe, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, on very low heat for an hour or two, stirring every 15 minutes, until thickened. Cool, pour into a clean, sterile container, and refrigerate.
*I have a small "Crockette" that I used for this. If using a larger crockpot, I would probably double the recipe, just to give it enough bulk to cook properly.
This recipe makes about 3 cups of ketchup (depending on how much water you add). It can be used immediately. The vinegar will preserve it, refrigerated, for a couple of weeks. I will just keep the ingredients on hand, and once a month or so will pop a batch into the slow cooker while we go about our business for the day.
We had this with our burgers tonight, and Paul said "That is some good ketchup!" YAY! I won't even have to fiddle with the spice mix.
It doesn't taste like "homemade ketchup", it tastes like plain old ordinary ketchup - which is, after all, what we really want on our salty french fries!