Healthy Tomato ketchup

Healthy Tomato ketchup

Tomato ketchup

We always have tomato ketchup in the fridge. It is just so handy to make a super simple dish a little bit more interesting and colourful. It is also one of those easy dips for when you are serving your kids a quick snack of raw vegetable sticks. It does really help mine to eat more of them, ketchup and humous are their favourite dips. Ketchup even gets to be abused sometimes to cover up the taste of something they are not completely keen on, yes, I do frown when I see that happen…

Super handy it is, but not totally healthy if you buy a normal one in the shop.  The list of ingredients can be quite scary, although sometimes it is not too bad as far as preservatives is concerned I have noticed, but then there is still the sugar and salt content I don’t like. I do think it is worth to make our own, just because it is so versatile and we wouldn’t need to limit ourselves using it. The tomatoes are absolutely great for us, so we wouldn’t want to waste this easy opportunity to eat lots of those!

Tomato ketchup

I have tried making my own tomato ketchup before but my kids, just didn’t like it. They disapproved quickly just based on the colour. ‘You need to get the colour right, mummy, it is too orange’, that was the verdict several times. I have tried to add more red peppers, I have considered adding red food colouring (but decided against it…), I have roasted the tomatoes beforehand, I have tried using passata, but it didn’t help. It only changed when I was appointed to cook something from a blog Bijna Net Zo Lekker als Thuis for the Foodblog Swap I join every month.

This blog had an impressive list of preserved food: jams, chutneys and sauces and also one for tomato ketchup. I thought she should know how to do it, so I tried her recipe and tatata… it worked, they like it now! I am not sure whether it is because I have made it several times now and they are just getting used to it, or maybe because of the much more interesting palette of spices I have used, the rest of the ingredients has remained more or less the same and I used fresh tomatoes. The colour is still more orange than the ketchup from the shop, so that hasn’t changed. But I did get the thumbs up this time and so this recipe if now 100% worth to share! 




Good luck with your ketchup and enjoy! I hope you get the thumbs up as well!

Healthy Tomato ketchup

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 750 mlTotal:

You'll Need...

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 2 stalks of white celery
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1.5 cm of fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 white pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove
  • 1/8 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar
  • 75 grams of honey (about 4 tbsp)


  1. Cut the shallots, the celery, the red pepper and the tomatoes into pieces.
  2. Crush the garlic cloves with the side of the blade of your knife and peel.
  3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil in your cooking pot and warm it up on a medium to low heat.
  4. Fry the shallots with the pepper, the celery and the garlic until the shallots become translucent and the celery and pepper start to soften. Keep stirring to prevent the shallots from burning because that would give a bitter taste to your ketchup.
  5. Now add the tomatoes and leave to simmer for 45 minutes up to an hour. Stir every so often to make sure the sauce doesn't start sticking to your pot.
  6. Use your blender (I use a hand blender for this as I do for soups) to blend the sauce really finely.
  7. Now add all the spices, the vinegar and the honey and leave to simmer for another 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the thickness of your sauce. If you want it thicker, leave the lid off, if it is fine as it is, put the lid back on. Remember it will thicken a bit when it cools down and you need it to be runny enough if you want to pour it as a real ketchup. (Just thinking what my critical kids would come up with...)
  8. Try to dish out the clove and the bay leaves.
  9. You can blend again at this point if you think it is necessary.
  10. If you want to preserve it. You need to sterilise your pots or bottles beforehand. I found an article I trust about it right here. Maybe you have a steriliser for baby bottles still, that would be great too.

Additional Notes

from More Than Just Carrots

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