Homemade Tomato Ketchup

As I realized this summer by my 5 and a half foot tomato cherry plant - apparently I have a  knack for tomato gardening. Which is awesome right?

Well, that's the thing, when your plants are doing so well and have entered into a love affair with the neighbourhood bees and monarchs the resulting tomato offspring are numerous.

Which leaves the dilemma of how to go about using all the tomatoes before they go bad. I mean, lets face it- there is only so much spaghetti sauce one can make (especially on limited time). One obvious use for tomatoes is ketchup. J and E absolutely love ketchup, however the high fructose corn syrup and high salt content in the commercialized brands can cause many health problems down the road. Some include: high blood pressure, stroke, stomach cancer yadda yadda. Many of us have heard of the risks associated with consuming products containing high fructose corn syrup.

But does this mean that if we allow our kids to eat ketchup they will all grow up to be overweight, cancer ridden, ADHD monsters with high blood pressure? No, not necessarily. The key is really just moderation.

Although ketchup is high on the list of things containing both too much salt and high fructose corn syrup (ingredients that are lurking in many other products), there are some good things about it. For example Lycopene. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their colour - and is a crazy powerful anti-oxident whose secret concentrated superfood power can only be unleashed through the processing of the tomato.

So the question becomes - how can we harness the anti-oxident power of the tomato while ridding our ketchup of all the excess crap?

Otherwise known as the whole reason behind this post.

Well, answer is simple - HOMEMADE KETCHUP! Yes, that's right. I decided to make my own. The recipe is actually very simple.

10 Tomatoes (I used Roma Tomatoes but you can use other kinds)
                             2 Yellow Onions     
                             3 gloves minced garlic
                      1 small can tomato paste (or homemade from  a ridiculous abundance of garden tomatoes....)
                             1/4 cup molasses
                             1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
                             1/2 tsp fennel seeds
                             2-3 tsp nutmeg
                             1/2 tsp allspice
                             1 Tbsp agave (you can find this in the organic section at most grocery stores)

***If you want to make a spicy version of this you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Process tomatoes and onions in food processor. 
2. Add all other ingredients and blends together until desired consistency.

3. Put everything in a pot on the stove. Simmer on medium-low until mixture reduces by 1/4.

4. Cool and jar contents. 

And Voila! Homemade ketchup - easy peezie lemon squeezie! Erm. Tomato squeezie? This recipe will thicken a bit more once its refrigerated but it remains a nice consistency. It has the triple stamped seal of approval from my three food critics - and I don't mind J and E slathering their food with it. So it's win win!