The Red Folder


How to make healthy Tomato Sauce

There are just some things that beg for a good tomato ketchup. Popular brands contain lots of sugar, so when tomatoes are cheap, I make my own, working with the vinegar makes my eyes water and the children complain but it is easy to make.  I use Heinz ketchup at home and this sauce is very close to this flavor.  I pour my sauce into the brand bottle and do not tell the children, as they would reject it on principle.  They have not caught me  yet!  Gary Rhodes put this together.

P1110821A healthier alternative to anything I have found to buy.  For example the brand I have just picked up contains 25.5g of sugar per 100ml, if you use all the sugar in this recipe then you reduce that to 16g and 8g per 100ml if you half sugar, half honey, as I do.


  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon of 5mm stick
  • 250ml good quality cider vinegar
  • 8 tbsp demerara sugar – caster if you do not have- you can swap out half for the same of honey as I do
  • 1.5kg ripe tomatoes (16 big ones) after quartering and seeding
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp English mustard powder
  • A dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree.

My children would rather have the sweeter stuff as that is what their palette is used to, they complained at first but have got used to it. Start the kids on this when they are young and you will not have my problem.  I think it much more flavorsome and so would choose this over the bought ketchup every time.

Tie the clove, bay leaf, coriander and cinnamon (or 5mm stick) in a piece of muslin – I can never be bothered and just pick the bits out later!  Place the vinegar and sugar/honey in a heavy based pan and bring to a simmer.  Add the tomatoes and all the other ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring to stop any sticking.  Once up to boil, reduce temperature and simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes.  Discharge the muslin bag, or pick the bits out, and blitz in a food processor or stick blender, then push through a sieve.  Done.  Let it cool.

tomato ketchup crowdedmind

If you find the sauce is too thin on cooling, simply reboil and thicken with a little cornflour or arrowroot mixed to a thin paste with a little water.  A little at a time please, do do not want a starchy lump. NOTE  I do this every time as it also stops the tomato water separating from the solids.  You can sweeten it more too now if you wish.

Is anybody out there listening to me??

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