(NaturalNews) Most commercial varieties of ketchup contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup and vague, chemical-disguising ingredients such as "spices" and "natural flavor." Often the organic brands also contain these health-depleting ingredients, so making your own homemade ketchup is usually the most nutritious option. Try the quick and simple recipe included here. It's made with healthful ingredients like raw honey and unfiltered apple cider vinegar!
Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw & Unfiltered) Typical commercial ketchup contains white vinegar that is distilled from corn. This type of vinegar is inflammatory and offers no real health benefit. Apple cider vinegar that is raw, organic and unfiltered is a much better choice because it actually contributes to health in many ways - eases heartburn, joint pain and joint stiffness; improves skin complexion and bowel function; breaks down fat to aid in weight loss; etc. You may need to shop at a natural food store to find this type of vinegar because it is usually not sold in the regular vinegar aisle at most grocers. Be sure to carefully scrutinize the ingredients label before making your purchase because many products on the market are labeled as "apple cider flavored vinegar," and this is not the same thing! Such varieties are actually made from white vinegar (which is made from corn, not apples), and artificial flavors and colors are added to make them look and taste similar to apple cider vinegar!
Raw Honey Unlike the refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup in most store-bought ketchup, raw honey is a sweetener that actually contributes to your health. Raw honey is full of vitamins and minerals, and it contains high levels of antioxidants. Refined sweeteners are inflammatory and should be strictly avoided (especially when you are ill). Raw honey actually reduces the inflammation associated with many conditions (e.g., allergies, infections). Raw honey is also antibacterial, so it's great to have around the house for dressing wounds, as well. Make sure you purchase honey that is truly raw because heating (i.e., pasteurizing) honey destroys its natural health benefits! Raw honey is most likely found at your local farmers market, natural food store or health section of your regular grocer. Most honey you find in the baking aisle of your regular grocer is heated (i.e., pasteurized) and pourable. In contrast, raw honey has not been heated and is generally thicker, less clear; it must be scooped out of the container rather than squeezed or poured.
Allspice Allspice is a dried spice that helps control appetite, offers mild pain relief, aids digestion, regulates blood sugar and increases relaxation. It is also loaded with antioxidants, and it has antimicrobial properties that may protect foods from harmful bacteria.
Cloves Cloves are another healthful spice. They can reduce heartburn, relieve nausea, aid in digestion and ease joint and toothache pain. Cloves are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and they also contain high levels of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals!
HOMEMADE KETCHUP RECIPE:
6 ounces tomato paste (choose a brand that contains only "tomatoes") 3/4 cup water 2 TBSP raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar 2 TBSP raw honey 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp onion granules (or 1/8 tsp onion powder) 2 pinches ground allspice 2 pinches ground cloves
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl, and enjoy!
At GroceryGeek.com, Christy Pooschke teaches consumers how to reduce their reliance on processed food. Christy is also the author of an "Additive-Free" Cookbook & Grocery Shopping Guide, and she offers personalized consultations, as well! Check out her blog to learn how to shop for and prepare additive-free, natural foods. You'll love the free recipes, shopping tips and videos! Subscribe to "Grocery Geek" via email on the site's main page or follow Grocery Geek on Facebook! Christy's passion for eating REAL food was sparked in 2007 when she eliminated her Fibromyalgia symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Until this time, she had been ingesting a Standard American Diet of boxed dinners, soda pop, candy and fast food; and she was very ill. Since regaining her health with an additive-free diet, Christy has been on a mission to educate others about the dangers lurking in their cabinets and to help them achieve maximum health by reducing their reliance on processed foods. In her free time, Christy operates Completely Nourished, Inc., a non-profit organization she founded to educate folks about natural foods, natural health and natural living. Check out the resources, recipes and online community available at www.CompletelyNourished.org. It's free!