Homemade Fermented Tomato Ketchup

a jar of ketchup
Homemade Fermented Tomato Ketchup


1 can (28 oz.) organic diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) organic tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. onion flakes or onion powder (or 1 T grated fresh onion)
½ tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup raw organic honey
¼ cup homemade sauerkraut or Kimchi juice (with live bacteria)
1 small pinch hot red pepper flakes (opt)
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar

You can adjust the sweetness, tartness or spicy hotness of this recipe to your liking. You will know what you prefer after you make it a few times. This version is good to get you started.

Use a food processor to blend together all the ingredients except the vinegar. This recipe usually fits a liter container leaving some head room. Leave out at room temperature for 3 to 5 days until you see air bubbles forming along the sides against the glass. Sometimes they look like wide cracks in the ketchup depending on how thick it is. Keep a bowl under this, once it starts, it can swell to fill the jar, build pressure, and seep out.

After it has fermented a day or two and you think it is done (taste it) then add the vinegar, stir well and refrigerate. Use as you would any ketchup.

Note: If you want a thicker ketchup, reserve a cup of the diced tomato juice at the beginning and see if you get the consistency you want. You can always add it back.


Fermented Chow-Chow Relish

a jar of chow chow and a half jar of sauerkraut juice
Fermented Chow-Chow alongside some sauerkraut juice

3 cups roughly chopped green tomatoes
1 cup sweet red peppers, roughly chopped
1 cup green bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 cup roughly chopped onions
1 or 2 habanero peppers, seeded and quartered
2 T salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups naturally fermented sauerkraut, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp celery seeds

Chop and mix green tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, onion and hot peppers. Add salt and sugar. Combine and let sit for 3 hours until juices make your brine. (I keep the veggies in chunks so they will be easier to keep below the brine while fermenting.) Then add chopped sauerkraut (homemade or fresh only), mustard seeds, turmeric and celery seeds. Sauerkraut jump-starts the ferment.

Pack into a 2 quart jars and cover with a cabbage leaf if you have one and use your favorite method to weigh it all down and keep veggies below brine. Cover with tight lid and let sit at room temperature for about a week to ferment.

Remove the weight and covering and taste to be sure it is becoming sour. At this point, you can transfer to a food processor (in batches) and pulse until you get the chop and texture you prefer for chow chow. (Yes, you can leave it big and chunky if you want.)

Return to jar and refrigerate. Flavors develop over time and this tastes best when refrigerator-aged a month or longer. Very good served with hot dogs and brats, but also with chicken and pork (spoon over meats and bake or cook in a slow-cooker). Keeps for months.

Note: You can vary your vegetables depending on what you have on hand, but keep proportions the same with about 3 cups vegetables to each tablespoon of salt. If you do, uses moderately firm textured vegetables. Example: Cauliflower would be a good substitute if you don’t have enough peppers.