This sophisticated and flavor-packed Cinnamon and Red Chile Healthy Ketchup Recipe bears little resemblance to the bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup you may have in the fridge... Free of preservatives, sugar, and fillers, the flavors shine!
Heinz Ketchup is grown, not made...
~~ Heinz marketing slogan.
As with so many commercially produced and marketed foods, the company wants to persuade consumers that their product is actually healthy, when it fact, the product is full of everything but healthy ingredients. Specifically, the label on the back of the ketchup lists tomato juice concentrate and distilled (cheap) vinegar as the #1 and #2 ingredients respectively. They break sugars into two types: high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. This allows them to list sugars lower on the list of ingredients, when if combined sugar would rank much higher. Both are added sugars, and they ought to be very limited in a healthy diet.
So, what is the answer to this conundrum? Why DIY of course! Ketchup is easy to make, and stores well. You can store the homemade ketchup in the refrigerator for up to a month, and much longer in zip bags in your freezer. What are you waiting for? You really ought to give this condiment recipe a try! I started with the Homemade Ketchup recipe from Epicurious.com. I've made this recipe many times, and modify its flavor profile to suit my needs at the time...
The "hands on" portion of this recipe takes only about 10 minutes. Yes, that's it! The onion will need to be chopped, then sautéed with the garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. The remaining ingredients get added to the sauce pan (or slow cooker), and simmered for 45-60 minutes (or 4 hours in the slow cooker with no stirring necessary). Once the mixture is cooked, simply use an immersion blender to purée it, and scoop every delicious drop into a glass jar or two. It really is that easy, healthy, and delicious! 😀
Of course you can play with the spices to achieve a different flavor profile if desired. We love the cinnamon and red chile with roasted sweet potato wedges. Try it on a vegetarian black bean patty (photo below). Ketchup is such a versatile condiment... It'd be a shame to limit its use to french fries and hamburgers. I would love to hear your ideas on variations and/or uses for this DIY Cinnamon and Red Chile Healthy Ketchup Recipe.
Cinnamon and Red Chile Healthy Ketchup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon New Mexico ground red chile powder see notes
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- a few grinds pepper
If using a slow cooker, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan on medium-high heat. If cooking on the stove, use a medium sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic, then saute until the onion is translucent (3 to 5 minutes). Add the red chile powder, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and cumin. Saute until fragrant (another 2 to 3 minutes).
If using a slow cooker, scrape the ingredients from the saute pan into the slow cooker, then add the remaining ingredients. If using the stove top, add the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan you started with.
Cook covered on low heat 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Allow mixture to cool. Using an immersion blender puree until smooth. See notes.
Cook 4 hours on high with the cover on. Unplug the cooker, and allow it to cool slightly.
Using an immersion blender puree until smooth. See notes.
Store the finished ketchup in glass jars or other container, and use as desired. It will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator, and in the freezer much longer.
I use New Mexico Dixon red chile. The area of northern NM between Santa Fe and Taos is renowned for its red chile. Chimayo and Dixon (2 small villages in the area) argue over who's chile is best... They're both amazing! Use New Mexico red if you can, and substitute if you must.
I have not poured hot liquids into a blender to puree in years. Immersion blenders are much safer and less messy. If you don't have one, cool the mixture prior to adding it to the blender.