Sunday, May 18, 2014

Look Ma, I'm Making Ketchup and Mustard!

A couple of weeks ago I got my first Homegrown Collective box (you can read about the unboxing here). The theme was about lacto-fermentation and the box came with two DIY projects: homemade mustard and ketchup.

I love ketchup. I put it on everything. Even my boyfriend thinks my love affair with ketchup is kinda gross. Oh well, he's still with me so it must not be a deal breaker. Obviously I went with the ketchup first. Chipotle, here I come!


Okay, so they provided me with almost everything I needed to make ketchup. I needed to provide my own maple syrup. Really? In ketchup?? I had no idea.

All set to make ketchup!
I threw everything together (except the chipotle) and blended. I only have a single speed hand blender with a processor attachment and this setup seemed to work fine for ketchup.

The instructions said to add 3/4 to 1 cup of water, and it came out a lot thicker than I expected. I guess I'm just used to seeing the heavily preserved thin stuff you see in stores.

You can kinda see how thick it is in the picture below. It's almost like the consistency of bottled spaghetti sauce. But it smelled delish!

I transferred everything to the mason jar and added a chipotle...

...and capped it tightly with the airlock in place. I filled it to the max line and waited (impatiently!) for 3 days as instructed.

At the end of 3 days I removed the chipotle and admired my homemade condiment. :) It really didn't look any different at the end of the fermentation period. Supposedly during this time the lactic bacteria, probably from the whey powder, converted the sugars (I guess that's where the syrup came into play) into lactic acid, a natural preservative. In the end you get completely organic, safe and edible ketchup! All that ketchup didn't fit in the jar they provided so I ended up storing it in an old salsa jar.

The real test came today when C put it on some hamburger steak. The verdict: HE LOVES IT!!! That's saying a lot because he's usually wary about eating anything that didn't go through some intensive QC (more so if I made it. haha), but he got seconds of it. And thirds. The chipotle left a smoky aftertaste. It's actually not spicy at all. Feeling invincible, I decided to carry on with the mustard.


Again, Homegrown provided me with almost everything I needed. I needed to provide fresh lemon juice and raw honey. I don't have any lemons on hand at the moment so I went completely against the organic thing and used the store-bought-probably-processed stuff (it said fresh lemon juice on the label, but that was a couple of months ago so even if it was fresh it ain't anymore). I also don't have raw honey so I used the Walmart stuff I had. In hindsight, now I'm thinking using these things may have pissed off the gods of all things organic.

Mustard, prepare to meet your maker!
I forgot to take a photo of the pre-blended stuff, but I don't think it really matters because the whole thing flopped. I HIGHLY SUGGEST USING AN ACTUAL MULTI-SPEED BLENDER to make this mustard because my cheapo single-speed hand blender couldn't even grind the seeds! Hence, the lack of yellow in the post-blended picture.

I tried crushing the seeds with a masher but it did absolutely nothing. The seeds were softened, but alas unmashable. I put together the fermentation setup anyway even though I'm pretty sure I'll end up throwing this batch out. It was also really runny, almost like ranch dressing. Good thing I decided to make only a half recipe in order to avoid mustard overload (thanks for the tip, Sarah!).

Here's my pitiful mustard-turned-mustard-aioli-looking concoction
Once my pride recovers from my non-mustard mustard, I'll consider giving this another go with a real blender.


  1. Oh my goodness!! That's too bad about the mustard but I'm glad you saved some! Maybe you could borrow your mom's (or someones!) for the next batch:( At least your favorite thing turned out well!! I still need to make my ketchup, I've been lazy. The mustard is almost gone bec my husband ate some of it plain (mine was pretty thick). Plain! Gross! I hate mustard. Do you suggest the chipotle or not? I can't decide if I should make half with or without.

    1. Typo alert! That was supposed to say that you should borrow a BLENDER :D

    2. I'm so sad about my pathetic mustard! After just one day all the liquid bubbled away and I was left with whey-soaked seeds. WHOLE seeds. I think it's a compliment if he ate the mustard alone! That just shows how awesome it was ;) I would suggest using the pepper if you want it to taste smoky. Otherwise it tastes just fine without it.