Most conventional ketchup brands contain high-fructose corn syrup, which wreaks havoc on your blood sugar and is also toxic to your liver. In addition, a lot of processed salt is added, which contributes to high blood pressure.  And there may also be a variety of preservatives added that
can lead to allergies and more toxins for your body.  Poor tomatoes! 
Well, here's a healthy, delicious, and probiotic-filled version to save the day for your next burger, fries, Bloody Mary, and other fares.

 

Lacto-Fermented Spicy Ketchup

This recipe has two steps. The first is the fermentation process, and the second is adding in flavoring ingredients. 

Step One

Ingredients:
3 cups filtered water
2 Tablespoons sea salt
1 pound cherry tomatoes
2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 of a small onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon whey, optional

1. Make the brine by bringing water to boil. Pour into a bowl and dissolve sea salt in the water.  Allow to cool completely.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a one quart, wide-mouth mason jar.
3. Pour brine over ingredients.
4. Secure your Kraut Source onto the jar according to directions.
5. Allow the tomatoes to ferment at room temperature (away from sunlight) for 7 - 8 days.

(The beautiful, organic tomatoes came from the garden of my friend and fellow foodie, Karen Pavone.  She has a great blog which features seasonal dishes: Farmisnista's Feast. Thanks, Karen!)

Step Two

Ingredients:
2-1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
(I like to used a barrel-aged one from www.winecountrykitchens.com)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1. Strain the fermented tomatoes, onions, and garlic.  Save the brine*.  Discard the bay leaf.
2. Place the ingredients into a blender with 2 Tablespoons of brine.
3. Add in the Step Two ingredients and blend well.

If you don't like the seeds, you can strain the ketchup through a mesh strainer, although doing so will make your ketchup less thick.
I actually like it un-strained for extra fiber and flavor.
* The rest of the brine can be used to make a salad dressing, or use it to marinade chicken overnight before cooking.

Happy Fermented Ketchupping,
Karen