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Author Notes: Every great ketchup has a long list of ingredients, and this one is no exception. What this ketchup does NOT have, however, is added sugar. The sweetness comes from all-natural sources like tomato paste, orange juice and dates. What's more, the combination of these sweeteners mimics the particular sweet-and-sour taste of store-bought ketchup, so it works wonders with the kiddos! —First We Eat
Makes 2 cups
- 1 inch of stem ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 star anise
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (or 3 lbs of fresh tomatoes, grilled, peeled and chopped))
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 3-5 dates, pitted and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Put the ginger and star anise in a cheesecloth bag (or tea ball or disposable loose tea bag) and tie closed with twine.
- Add the spice bag and all of the remaining ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to the lowest setting possible, and simmer for 45 minutes. (Add water ¼ c at a time if the mixture begins to dry out.)
- Remove from the heat. Discard the spice bag. Puree in a blender until totally smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to get to the consistency you prefer.