These days I’m on a hunt to make healthier versions of supermarket products. Following the success of the home made mustard and chocolate hazelnut spread (my alternative to Nutella), I’m now presenting you with my healthier version of ketchup.
I’m not terribly proud to say that in our pantry, behind the olive oil and the apple cider vinegar, you’ll find a Sriracha hot sauce. And on one of our fridge shelves, a half empty bottle of ketchup. They contain so many alien ingredients, it’s not even funny. And while I don’t fancy, B. sure does dig them. He likes them on his pizza, in sandwiches, at a BBQ. So I’m quite happy I finally got around to making a healthier substitute that tickles his taste buds. This home made concoction is a cross between a hot chili sauce and plain ol’ ketchup. It’s mildly hot (you can definitely adjust the hotness to your taste), faintly sweet and you can definitely taste the richness of the dried tomatoes and the flavor of the dried herbs. While I’m not a fan of regular ketchup, I could eat this by the spoonful, it’s that rich and delicious! Although I probably could not get away with more than 1/2 tsp at a time. I did mention it has chili, right?
Because this fruit that acts like a veggie is superloaded with health benefits.
- They contain all four major carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene), each great on its own and all great together – their synergy provides benefits as well. Of all, lycopene is thought to have the highest antioxidant activity.
- They also contain vitamins E and C.
- They’re rich in potassium, a mineral most of us don’t get enough of.
Tips & tricks to maximize their health properties*:
- Eaten with healthy fats like avocados or olive oil can increase the absorption of carotenoid phytochemicals by 2 to 15 times!
- Don’t peel them! The peel has a high concentration of the carotenoids found in tomatoes and may enhance the absorption in the body. The peel also contains most of the flavonols.
Sooo good to know*!
- Studies have shown that lycopene may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Studies have also shown that the synergy between tomatoes and broccoli may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- The lycopene found in tomatoes has been found to lower the risk for stroke in men.
- ½ cup tightly packed semi dried tomatoes (about 60 grams)
- 2 regular tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 medjool dates
- 1 small garlic clove
- 5 TBSP good olive oil
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- ½ tsp dry oregano
- ½ tsp dry basil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until you get a silky smooth, thin, ketchup-like sauce.
Health info sources: