Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Version of lacto-fermented Ketchup

Originally my quest was to simply find a good ketchup recipe that I could make. In Canada, there was one ketchup made with agave that we could have (and BBQ sauce too) by Organic Ville, and so we just bought it. But here resources are limited so if I want ketchup, I'm going to have to come up with something.

I had recently purchased Nourishing Traditions and started getting into making some recipes, but the Ketchup recipe called for fish sauce, but my husband is allergic to fish. So I did some researching on the Internet to find if people have tried it without the fish sauce, and found some alterations of the NT recipe. I then altered it a bit further, and made it more complete by including the making of the tomato paste as part of the recipe. I wanted to make it as fresh as possible, especially since we have many tomatoes all over. These are mainly cherry tomatoes as they literally grew on their own - our own pig manure in the garden. You can easily use the bigger tomatoes in their place.

First I prepared as many cherry tomatoes as I could fit on a pan. I removed the stem and cut them in half. If using large tomatoes cut into a few slices approx as thick as the sliced cherry tomatoes. You really don't have to be too picky on this, it's okay if some get more dried out then others. Sprinkle liberally with Herbamare and dried basil. Dehydrate on a low setting in the oven. I try to keep it under 100 F so that most of the nutrients are preserved. If you have a dehydrator that really is the best way to go. My oven has a fan on it, so I can set the oven pretty low and the fan goes along way in helping things to dehydrate nicely.

Dehydrate until they are about halfway dried. This will also depend on your preference. The more dry the tomatoes are, the thicker the ketchup will be (unless you water it down). The more moist the tomatoes, the more liquidy the ketchup will be and this is harder to thicken up. I make mine pretty thick.

Once they are done place in a bowl if you you have a stick blender or a blender if you have one. Add half a cup of olive oil and 5 cloves garlic. Blend well. This is your tomato paste.

I have worked it out so that I know how many pans of tomatoes I need to make the amount of paste I need. So you will have to experiment with this. This tomato paste is great on it's own too, so don't worry if you have too much. You will want three cups of the tomato paste.

Here's where we make the ketchup part.

3 cups tomato paste
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup molasses, maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup whey (raw, real from a cow or goat - no store bought powder stuff)
1/4 cup Braggs

Hint: the molasses/sweetener slides out great if you use the same measuring cup you used above for the olive oil. Blend well.

Feel free to add other spices as you desire. (Cayenne, oregano, extra garlic...this can really become any tomato sauce you prefer).

After it is well blended (since I make mine thick, it is often kind-of chunky), scoop the ketchup into a clean mason jar. Place the lid on fairly securely. Let sit for 2 - 3 days on your counter (or wherever is room). This allows for the ketchup to ferment. After a few days transfer to your refrigerator for long term storage. It really doesn't need to be in the fridge, just somewhere cool (approx 4 C), so if you have a place like that, great. The fridge is just the easiest way for me. It is also not so picky as other refrigerated things. It would fair well for camping and picnics.

The fermenting process not only adds extra goodness (extra vitamins, easier digestion, and beneficial bacteria) but it is also the thing that preserves what you ferment. No boiling to keep these veggies fresh. I'm not sure of the expiration date on this ketchup, but it is in the way of months. I hoping to make my ketchup (of numerous batches) last a year - till we get fresh tomatoes again - but there's a good chance it will be consumed well before then.

No comments:

Post a Comment