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Homemade Lacto-Fermented Ketchup 

Compiled by Yolanda Bertaud (revised & updated on June 3, 2013)

I love using condiments, but I can do without all the processed/GMO ingredients! It seems we have to pay up the wazoo to stay healthy and  purchase clean foods free from GMOs and other unnatural ingredients! I am starting with purchasing or growing whole foods and making as much as possible from scratch…

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”! – Anna Lappe 

So what is in our ketchup?

Typical ingredients in ketchup are…



Tomatoes: If tomatoes are conventionally grown, you don’t know the levels  pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides that are used in the tomatoes in commercial ketchup production. They may be genetically modified, but unless it states “Non-GMO” / “Organic Ingredients” on the ketchup label, you are not sure what you’e getting!.

High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Syrup: Thanks to Monsanto, 95% of Soy
and 80% of Corn is Genetically Modified! HFCS causes insulin resistancediabeteshypertension, increased weight gain, and not to mention is manufactured from genetically modified corn.

Increased consumption of HFCS also results in depletion of chromium in the body, which is important is helping glucose pass from the bloodstream into the cells.

According to two recent U.S. studies, almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.

Consumers in Europe and Canada should also be aware that HFCS is often listed under different names under the auspices of regulatory bodies which define food labeling exemptions. For example, HFCS can be legally labeled as glucose/fructose and high fructose maize syrup in Canada. Although the EU restricts the amount that can be manufactured, it does allow the term isoglucose to be substituted for HFCS in food labels.

read more on HFCS… http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/05/25/high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-causing-addiction-similar-to-cocaine/

Processed Sugar: The truth is processed sugar does not contain any health benefit. It lacks fiber, minerals, proteins, enzymes, fats or anything that the body needs for healthy development. All it contributes to the body are empty calories. And with all the sweet products out there, it seems that people’s addiction to processed sugar increases and so are the dangers that come with it.

Because processed sugar does little good or none at all for the body, the human body then tends to borrow and use up stored nutrients for metabolization. Potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium are taken away from healthy cells from different parts of the body in an effort to counteract the effects of processed sugar. This is why it becomes more dangerous if there is nothing else on an individual’s diet but processed and sugary foods.

read more… http://www.naturalnews.com/039574_processed_sugar_health_dangers_consumption.html

Distilled White Vinegar, is made from cheap GMO corn, unless it’s labelled “Organic/Non-GMO, most all vinegar’s are GMO!

Natural Flavoring/Artificial Flavors :

We’ve all heard of products being labeled “artificially flavored” or “naturally flavored,” but I’m glad you are  curious as to what exactly “natural flavor” means, because even with all the regulations and new organic certifications it’s a confusing and misleading mess!

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is:

“the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

Certainly a mouthful!

In other words, it could include beef by-products, but not necessarily.

Any other added flavor therefore is artificial. (For the record, any monosodium glutamate, or MSG, used to flavor food must be declared on the label as such). Both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings.

Well no more wondering what’s in your ketchup when you can make your own homemade fast, easy, delicious &  full of beneficial, probiotic bacteria!

read more…  http://www.today.com/id/4676616/ns/today-food/t/food-qa-just-what-natural-flavoring/#.UaP-PNLMCSp


My Homemade Lacto-Fermented Ketchup


  • 12 ounces of organic tomato paste (from glass jar BPA free is best)
  • 16 ounces plain organic tomato sauce (” “)
  • 1/4 cup organic raw honey/maple syrup – grade B/or raw brown sugar (sweeteners are also optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic garlic/organic onion powder
  • 1/8 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8 – 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar, more if you like it thiner ketchup!
  • 1 tsp. Himalyan sea salt 
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup of whey from yogurt, kefir, or raw milk culture starter

If you like it a bit more spicy, I had added all the spices in my recipe! 


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and your choice of natural sweetener until smooth.
  2. Add your spices and stir well.  Taste and adjust seasonings as you see fit.
  3. Add the whey and mix thoroughly.
  4. Transfer ketchup to a clean sterile glass jar and cover with lid loosely.  Leave at room temperature on a kitchen counter for 2 to 5 days.
  5. After 2+ days, cap completely and transfer to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. This fermented ketchup will keep for several months.

For barbeque sauce – add molasses, raw honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar, paprika, chili powder, lemon juice, and a little pickle juice!

For cocktail sauce – add horseradish, more cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and a little chili sauce/hot sauce.

Enjoy! 😉

Lacto-fermented Ketchup

* All above resources are provided with links/permission.

Also check out “Homemade Paleo Condiments” for other great homemade recipes! 😉

A Great book on fermenting your food ~ 

real food fermentation

About the Author

Alex Lewin, a graduate of Harvard, the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, seeks to create a healthier and tastier world by spreading the word about fermentation and real food. He teaches fermentation classes and workshops and serves on the board of the Boston Public Market Association, working to create a year-round indoor market selling local food. He lives in Boston and San Francisco. To learn more about this book, visit RealFoodFermentation.com


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