I have a confession that’s been a long time coming, I am a recovered ketchup addict… seriously. My memories from being a toddler through to being in my early teens consist of most meals and parties all of which somehow included ketchup. When I lived away from home at boarding school around the age of 12 I can remember for Lunch & Dinner solely munching on ketchup generously sandwiched inside a white baguette – bon apetit sugar levels. It was the one ‘vegetable’ based flavour my taste buds always craved, and in my opinion, at the time, a pretty awesome way to have 1 of my 5 a day (Seriously Sassy?!). To me ketchup was the perfect way to add flavour to a dish; Pasta, Salad, Risotto, Toast, Baked Beans – everything and anything… well, except breakfast and dessert, I don’t think I ever went there!
So hold up. What in healths name was I eating? Sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, an array of E numbers and of course some Tomato Puree. How delectable…
Once I realised how terrible ketchup was when I embarked on a healthier diet I decided I would quit it altogether. I had severe energy lows and pretty bad headaches all the symptoms of ridding off something pretty acidic and altogether terrible for your body. The first week of eating no refined sugars was a pretty miserable experience, but after a few weeks, it was really life-changing. I had energy, without sugar!! Hoorah! Anybody who tells you this transition is effortless is lying its hard work, maybe not physically but mentally, you’re wired up to love sugar and let’s face it, untangling wires is difficult for anyone.
So once I had rid of refined sugars and said goodbye to my not so beloved E-numbers I decided that I would set out on a mission to make all the condiments and desserts I loved, healthily. Naturally, ketchup was in my top 10! The recipe I’m sharing for healthy tomato ketchup is a version I’ve been working on for a while. Whilst it’s by no means Heinz it has a deliciously sweet tomato flavour and acts as a wonderful addition to my Sweet Potato & Black bean burgers. I love the fact I can eat it as much as I want knowing it will do my body nothing but good.
I have one last confession, I’m a proud healthy, sugar-free, E-number free tomato ketchup addict!
½ cup or 27g sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour before making
1 medium sized Roma tomato
¼ cup agave/raw honey/ pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water (from soaking sun-dried tomatoes)
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
Cover sun-dried tomatoes with water and soak for 1 hour. Drain sun-dried tomatoes, and add all ingredients to the blender, blend until smooth.