Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lacto-fermented Ketchup!

Over the past year I have been slowly adding to my list of food items that I make at home instead of buy at the store. With rare exceptions, I now make my own pizza dough, pesto sauce, bread, corn and flour tortillas, biscuits, salad dressing, sauerkraut, salsa, water kefir, and enchilada sauce. This has been a long slow process and one I will continue for years to come. For me, I have found a lot of success in tackling one thing at a time, mastering a technique or recipe, and adopting it into my kitchen routine before I try something new. It has allowed me to stay consistent and keep my time in the kitchen manageable. 

This brings me to ketchup. I have been wanting to make my own ketchup for years, and just never got around to it. I am more of a mustard girl and I don't eat Heinz ketchup so it wasn't a big deal. Around the same time that we ran out of ketchup, I opened one of the big cans of tomato paste from Costco. It seems fate would have it that I make ketchup. So I did :). 

Here is the recipe I used for Lacto-fermented ketchup from the Food Renegade blog. I made a few changes. I substituted garlic and onion powder for the cloves or allspice, and I used water kefir instead of whey. 

I mixed all the ingredients together (using my home brewed water kefir ), and poured 2 tablespoons of water kefir over the top to inhibit any unfriendly bacteria while it fermented. I covered it with a coffee filter and a rubber band and let it sit. 

4 days later I mixed it all up and put it in the fridge. 

Today we decided to do a taste test with our dinner of scrambled eggs, green beans, and oven baked fries. The other sauce next to my ketchup is Sriracha sauce. A spicy asian condiment that is great mixed with ketchup for dipping fries.

The verdict: I loved it! I enjoyed the sweet/sour/tangy taste of the fermented ketchup and it was great by itself or mixed with sriracha. The only thing I would want differently is a smoother texture. I might try adding more water kefir or apple cider vinegar to thin it out a little more. Chris' review is that it doesn't taste exactly like ketchup but it is a good alternative condiment for dipping fries or putting on burgers :).

I am so happy to have another kitchen item made from scratch where I can control the ingredients. 

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