I visited my sister a little while ago and had an eye opening experience. One of her children has problems with digesting anything that contains high fructose corn syrup and consequently she has become a bit of an expert on what contains it and what doesn’t. The eye opening part came when we were out shopping and I offered to buy some frozen waffles for the kids to eat in the morning. It seemed like it was the least I could do since me and my swarm of locus had descended on her house. I said that I thought I’d get the generic one and she told me not to because it had high fructose corn syrup in it. I checked it and sure enough it did! Why do waffles need high fructose corn syrup? This got me checking labels better and the next week I made an even more alarming discovery. The brand name applesauce that I’d been buying for my kids school lunches had high fructose corn syrup. Are you freaking kidding me?!?! If I’m trying to give my children a healthy snack in their lunch, I probably want it to be healthy. Is that too much to ask?
So the question is, has this experience made it so I never buy anything with high fructose corn syrup and we now eat everything organic and unprocessed. Umm, no. But it has made me decide to start to make little changes in our lives. One of the things that I decided to start with was our ketchup. I found that companies charge a lot to buy the kind that they make that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it and it doesn’t come in large quantities, which is kind of a requirement for me considering how quickly ketchup disappears around here. I found this recipe on topsecretrecipes.com for a homemade “Heinz Ketchup” and after reading the good reviews that it got, I decided to give it and try and see if I could convert my family and it worked!
This recipe makes a thick ketchup that is very, very close to Heinz. We loved it and really couldn’t tell a difference.
You will notice that the ingredient list has corn syrup. There is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Regular corn syrup does not contain fructose. (surprise!) Do be careful when you buy your corn syrup though because some companies add high fructose corn syrup to their corn syrup. It’s everywhere people, everywhere.
If you don’t want to use corn syrup, honey is a good alternative, but it will change the flavor.
I would suggest doing what I did and make a small batch (the regular recipe size) and see how you like it. If you do like it and go through lots of ketchup too, multiply the recipe to make a bigger batch. When making a bigger batch, a slow cooker works great. Just set it on low and let it go for a few hours.
I was amazed at how easy it is to make my own ketchup and I love that I feel better when my kids ask for ketchup with their corn dogs. Yes, I know that corn dogs aren’t a healthy food, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!