According to the Smithsonian Magazine, 97% of American families have a bottle of ketchup on hand right now. That is a lot of ketchup! Obviously some of us love ketchup a bit more than others do. Some kids love to dip all kinds of foods into ketchup and many of us would not consider eating a burger or veggie burger without it.
Does ketchup count as a vegetable?
The answer is “NO”. Nutritionists do NOT count ketchup as a vegetable. It would take a LOT of ketchup to provide the same amount of vitamin C and potassium that comes from eating a fresh tomato or a small dish of fresh salsa. Unlike the tomato, ketchup is loaded with sugar and sodium (salt). Also high fructose corn syrup is an unhealthy addition to many brands of ketchup.
Making your own ketchup is really quite simple. This way YOU get to control the amount of added sugar and salt.
Try this simple no-cooking- required recipe for making homemade ketchup.
6 ounce can tomato paste
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey OR brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano OR Italian seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Dash of ground allspice
Add tomato paste to medium bowl.
Mix in the vinegar.
Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
For a thinner ketchup, add water (one tablespoon at a time).
Adjust flavors as needed.
Jenny Favret, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program