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When people talk about their nutritional habits, they only think about the food they consume. Often left out is the use of condiments and beverages, which also happen to usually be packed with things that aren’t that great for us.
So, yes, you had chicken and broccoli for lunch… but every bite of your chicken was drenched in ketchup. And you washed it down with a nice big 32 ounce Mountain Dew. Suddenly, your chicken and broccoli lunch doesn’t sound all that healthy.
The problem is that condiments sneak up on you, nutritionally speaking. Sounds incredibly obsessive and over-the-top – and it kind of is – but sometimes that is what you need to get incredible results.
What’s the Big Deal?
At first, you may be thinking this is not a big deal at all. And, it’s not. Yet. It could easily become one though.
Everything we consume has calories, nutrients and ingredients. Some things are better than others. I’m not here to say you should never use condiments or splurge on awesome tasting food that may not be great for you. Do that, sometimes. Moderation is your friend.
I’m just trying to shed light on an extremely overlooked aspect of nutrition – which is the accumulation of tiny habits that aren’t a big deal stacking up over time to become kind of a big deal.
For instance, ketchup is a very popular condiment. It goes great on everything. It’s usually packed full of crap like one or many of the following:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Natural Flavors
Again, a little bit of those things every now and then surely won’t kill you… but let’s be 100% realistic with how ketchup (and most other condiments) is used.
The typical bottle of ketchup has 50+ servings. Each serving has 4 grams of added sugar. A serving is a tablespoon. Do you measure out a tablespoon of ketchup and call it a day? Absolutely not. You squeeze the living hell out of the bottle and squirt a small pond of ketchup onto your plate for maximal dippage*.
*Dippage = The art of dipping food items into a condiment to save your taste buds from the torture of reheated chicken breasts and microwaved broccoli.
I have literally never met a person who can squirt one serving onto their plate. We can even be conservative and say that, on average, it’s about 5 servings that you actually use. There’s 20 extra grams of sugar in one sitting. Oh, you eat ketchup with every meal? We’ll call it 60 grams of added sugar in one day. Do that 7 days a week and you’ve added 420 grams of excess sugar to your life. And that’s not even counting any other food you eat.
Obviously, this is purely based on assumptions and trends that I see in people’s eating habits. Everyone is different, trust me, I get it. This is just an example of how easily you can add unnecessary sugars, calories and chemicals to your diet without realizing it. This situation happens. Every day. And it accumulates and becomes a part of someones inability to lose fat or control their blood sugar – or worse.
But… I have a solution for you.
In the video above, you’ll see a very quick and easy recipe you can use to make ketchup. Personally, I am not a huge ketchup fan. I’m more of a hot-sauce-on-everything type of dude but this ketchup is actually really good. That being said… I have family, I have guests over, etc., so keeping some of this homemade ketchup around the house definitely comes in handy even if you aren’t a big fan of ketchup.
Here’s what you need…
100% Natural Tomato Paste
Apple Cider Vinegar
How To Make It
- Using a spoon, put 6 ounces of tomato paste into a mason jar. About half of the can should go in the jar.
- Add 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to the jar.
- Add 1/4 tablespoon of Ground Mustard to the jar.
- Add 1/4 tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper to the jar. (spicy level = 7.5)
- Add 1/4 tablespoon of Paprika to the jar.
- Add a pinch of Cumin to the jar.
- Add a pinch of Allspice to the jar.
- Add a pinch of Cloves to the jar.
- Add about 1/4 cup of water to the jar.
- Place the lids on the jar and shake for 30-60 seconds to mix the ingredients.
- IMPORTANT: Taste and adjust.
- Add water to adjust consistency
- Add additional spices or adjust the current spices to enhance flavor.
- Store in your refrigerator in mason jars for up to 7-10 days.
To put this into perspective and show that you can enjoy this ketchup guilt-free, let’s take a quick look at the nutritional facts. The entire recipe above has 6 total grams of sugar in it. Obviously, they’re all naturally occurring from the tomatoes because there is no added sweetener or sugar of any kind in the entire recipe.
I would say this makes 20-30 servings of 1 tablespoon each. 20 on the low end, if you choose a thicker consistency, so for this example we’ll call it 20. That means one serving has 0.3 grams of sugar in it, compared to the 4 grams per serving in your store-bought version.
- 20 servings of homemade ketchup = 6g sugar
- 20 servings of store-bought ketchup = 80g sugar
SIX … to … EIGHTY
That’s all I need to know right there. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: People have been making their own homemade ketchup for literally longer than I’ve been alive. In no way am I trying to lay claim to some magical proprietary way of making healthier homemade ketchup. Simply sharing helpful tips!