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Feb 7, 2005 07:09 AM

Store-bought Catsup Alternative

  • c

I've been waging a private war against products that contain High Fructose Corn Sweetener (HFCS) because it is one of the causes of the high rate of US obesity plus other detriments. You may think I'm insane but HFCS is not metabolized like normal food. It goes directly to the liver and causes havoc. Using a search engine, check out websites that are not trying to sell you something.

We no long use what was our favorite tomato sauce because HFCS has been added to the ingredient list. We switched to another brand that does not have an Italian name because it contains no HFCS.

All the popular catsup/ketchup brands contain that poison. I now make my own catsup using a recipe that is a version of the one published in 'Legends of Texas Barbecue Cook Book' by Robb Walsh, page 88.

If you wish to have the recipe, send an email to me. I find that it is well worth the time to make it for general use as well as for chili. The recipe calls for tomato paste which is pure tomato.

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  1. I know that corn syrup isn't a good thing and I have begun checking labels and its everywhere. Is this different then HFCS?

    2 Replies
    1. re: pluziam

      If you look on the label of corn syrup it contains mostly HFCS. Nasty stuff. (I, too, have waged a war! Bravo!)

      I found a recipe to make my own corn syrup at I also learned on there that most of the rest of the world has no idea what 'corn syrup' is and doesn't use HFCS in anything. It's mainly used in this country because it is super sweet and super cheap - even if it's horrible for you.

      You can get catsup with no HFCS also at whole foods markets. Although I'm still looking for Worchestershire sauce with none in it. Seems impossible to find.

      If anyone is interested - caramel coloring is just as bad for you, and it's in many mass-produced foodstuffs.

      1. re: pluziam

        I'm not sure of the difference. HFCS is cheaper to produce than sugar. I think it is a byproduct produced from the corn cobs. Sugar is not as bad for the body as HFCS.

        The FDA doesn't give a rat's a** about our wellbeing. I know about the FDA from personal experience. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years and have been to the FDA in Rockville, MD many times.

      2. Hi ChiliDude, We hope you'll post your catsup recipe so everyone can enjoy it, so long as you've adapted the recipe by Robb Walsh. Otherwise, please paraphrase.

        The issue of HFCS belongs on the Not about Food board, though, where conerns about health and diet are discussed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowhound Team

 asked for it! Don't expect it to taste exactly like commercial catsup because of the chiles. The product has a slight pungency, but not to the point of being incendiary. If one cannot tolerate the pungency of the chiles, roasted red bell peppers may possibly be substituted. If there is no Latino store that carries the chiles in your area, they can be obtained by mail-order.

          Chipotle Ketchup – made 25Jan05

          3 dried chipotle chiles
          2 dried ancho chiles
          2 each dried guajillo & pasilla chiles
          1 small onion, sliced
          4 cloves garlic
          2 Tbs. packed brown sugar
          4 tsp. ground cumin
          2 cups of reserved cooking liquid
          1/3 cup white vinegar
          2 (6-oz.) cans of tomato paste*
          2 tsp. Kosher salt or to taste

          Remove the seeds and stems from all the chiles. Place the chiles, garlic and onion in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

          Remove the chiles, garlic and onion from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender. Add the brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste and a cup of the liquid in which the chiles were cooked. Puree, adding more liquid until you reach the desired thickness. Adjust the seasonings with salt, and add more brown sugar if desired.

          Spoon the ketchup into a clean glass container and store in the refrigerator until ready for use. It keeps for several months.

          Makes about 5 cups

          * Add one can of tomato paste and some cooking water to blender a little at a time and blend to prevent blender from binding and stressing blender motor. Add vinegar to the emptied blender bowl to mix with residual ketchup, and then stir into ketchup.

        2. For those unwilling to make their own, I highly highly recommend Muir Glen's ketchup. It's the best stuff on the market (yes, even better than Heinz in my opinion), is made from mostly organic ingredients, and contains no high fructose corn syrup nor plain corn syrup.



          2 Replies
          1. re: nja

            yes, agreed, i love it too.

            1. re: nja

              I learn something new everyday. I have not seen this catsup, but will look for it. I've heard of the brand and have seen the canned tomatoes.

              As my name implies, my palate tends toward pungency. The recipe that I have modified from the one originally published is a little pungent, but is tempered by the tomato paste.