By Kresha, Contributing Writer
The summer holidays are just about to be upon us in North America and with them come summer barbecues. Oh, goodness, I love summer…. ::sigh::
With Memorial Day in the U.S. and Victoria Day in Canada just around the corner, summer picnics, pool parties, and backyard barbecues will soon be in full swing.
But as conscientious mothers and homemakers, there is a niggling question:
You may have the most delicious grass-fed steak burger on a sprouted or sourdough bun, but what about the ketchup and mustard? And what about the barbecue sauce for your grilled chicken or the relish on your child’s hot dog?
Often, the store-bought versions of these condiments are laden with high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, and preservatives. Even the organic ones sometimes have hidden ingredients, not to mention being expensive.
Thus, today, I offer a whole-food take on four of the classics: ketchup, mustard, sweet pickle relish, and barbecue sauce. (If you’d like a mayonnaise as well, Stacy posted a lovely one a few days ago.)
I created these versions to be as similar to the store-bought versions as possible, specifically keeping in mind kids who may be picky about foods they don’t recognize. Serve them in restaurant-style squeeze bottles or in empty condiment containers (like the mustard you just finished), and the kids won’t even know they’re healthy.
These recipes were originally published in Restocking the Pantry: Easy-to-Make Condiments to Help You Save Money and Nourish Your Family. See the deal we have on this month specifically for Keeper of the Home readers at the end of this post!
Easy Peasy Ketchup
Yield 3 cups
- Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir together with a whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. You may serve the ketchup immediately or store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
Yield 1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup dry mustard powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely grated
- 1 pinch smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Whisk everything except the cornstarch together in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
- About 1 minute before you want to remove the mustard from the heat, stir the cornstarch together with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Then, while whisking, pour the cornstarch into the simmering mustard. Let cook for 1 minute to thicken.
- Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute to set. Pour into the serving container to cool.
Sweet Pickle Relish
Yield 1 quart
- 1 1/4 lbs fresh pickling cucumbers, scrubbed
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoons pickling salt or coarse Kosher salt (do not use regular salt, as the additives will change the color of the relish)
- Ice cubes or ice chips
- 2/3 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, or honey
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1/3 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Coarsely chop the cucumbers and onion in a food processor or food grinder and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the pickling salt and stir so that the salt is well distributed. Place a tea towel directly on the surface of the cucumber and onions, then cover the towel with ice and let sit for 2-3 hours. Discard the ice and rinse the cucumber and onion mixture thoroughly.
- In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly, then stir in the cucumber-onion mixture. Stir well, spoon into jars, and let cool. The relish can be served immediately, but it achieves the best flavor after 2-3 days. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
Bold and Smoky Barbecue Sauce
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil, melted
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the onion in a blender with the water and blend until slushy. An immersible blender makes this especially easy. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth, squeezing it until you obtain 1/2 cup juice.
- Whisk ketchup, onion juice, and other wet ingredients in a medium bowl, omitting oil. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic and spices and cook until fragrant. Whisk in wet ingredient mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture thickens, about 20-30 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Let’s Celebrate Summer with a Deal Just for Keeper of the Home Readers!
To celebrate the coming of summer, get “Restocking the Pantry” for half-price! That’s just $4.99 for 57 recipes that will nourish your family. Click here to get the book and use coupon code “KOTHSUMMER”. Good through May 31.