This ketchup is our traditional family recipe, and it turns out a bit different every time. Depending on the type of tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar we use and also how many and what kind of chilies we use. However, the process of making it is always the same. It could take an entire day to make it, but we keep taking our turns in chopping and stirring.
I made this as a contribution to Christine Wong’s #plasticfreefoodie E-magazine (vol 2), which is a compilation of recipes and tips on how to cook and live plastic-free. The aim of the magazine is to raise money to preserve and clean our oceans for the Plastic Oceans and Lonely Whale initiatives (100% of the proceeds will be donated to them). I encourage everyone to purchase both volumes, not only will you get great recipes and tips, you will also support great causes with each purchase.
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All of the ingredients used for my ketchup were either packed in a glass jar or a paper bag and most came from our garden and this recipe is therefore fully plastic-free. I used sweet potatoes from Riverdale Organic Farm for my sweet potato chips, Abel and Cole purple carrots for my crispy carrot sticks, and the potatoes were from my own garden. I cut out bits of the potatoes with sprouts and planted them in flower pots in my little urban garden.
3kg (106 oz) tomatoes
6 pc red or mixed peppers
2 handfuls of celeriac stalks with leaves (or leafy parts of celery sticks)
1-3 chili peppers (this depends on how spicy you want your ketchup to be)
½ kg (18 oz) onions
2 ½ Tbs unrefined sea salt
½ – 1 cup unrefined brown sugar (this depends on how sweet your tomatoes are and how sweet you want your ketchup to be)
2 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar (Biona)
2 muscat nuts (ground)
2 tsp ground cinnamon (Steenbergs)
1 ½ tsp paprika
5 pc cloves
2 large carrots
1 generous handful of parsley
Clean and chop all of the fruit and vegetables (grate the carrots and leave the celeriac and parsley whole) and place them in a large pot. Stir frequently and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, until everything is soft.
Take out the leaves and blend everything together with a hand held plunge blender. Strain the blended mixture with a manual stainless steel strainer or push it through a stainless steel sieve. To not waste anything, you can make patties from the pulp or freeze them for later.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the sugar, and cook while stirring regularly for about 2 hours. Next, taste it see how sweet you want your ketchup to be and add the sugar accordingly. Cook for a further 2 hours or until the ketchup becomes thick to your liking. The more you cook, thicker it gets.
Pour into clean glass jars while still hot and tighten lids immediately.
Making your own ketchup is rather time consuming, but to me, it is a lovely family affair, when everyone takes their turn to stir.