May 27, 2011

Tomato Free Ketchup

There are some rules that I strictly adhere to:

1) White pants are always appropriate, even for dudes.

2) When it is raining, flip flops are a fine choice.

3) And ketchup is good on anything. Even pancakes. I’ll understand, though, if you use syrup.

Now ketchup can cost you a few hundred mg of sodium depending on how much you squeeze. The brand I looked at today had 190mg of sodium in it. Per tablespoon. And I’m pretty sure neither you nor I are only going to use a tablespoon. That’s plain ridiculousness.

Which is why I am so, so, so very thrilled to be including a homemade ketchup in my cookbook. It is crazy easy to make and if you beg and plead enough, I’ll probably break down and give you the recipe.

But what if you can’t eat tomatoes?

While I was recently speaking at the Bay Area Association for Kidney Patients this past weekend, I asked the room of my new friends if there was anything they missed eating. And one darling woman raised her hand and said red sauce and all the wonderful foods that go with it.

I excitedly told her (whose name I never got, so we’ll call her Margaret) that this sodium challenge was easily overcome. That salt-free tomato sauce is easy to make at home and that there are many salt-free tomato products already on the market.

But Margaret answered back that because of her kidneys, she had been advised to cut out vegetables that were high in potassium. It wasn’t just the salt that was a problem. Things like phosphorous, protein, and potassium had to be watched too. And so tomatoes were out.

Putting on my salt-free thinking cap though, I started throwing out ideas for a thick, easily creamed substitute.

Pumpkin? No, too much potassium. Cauliflower? Potassium. Sqaush? Potassium. Bell peppers? Finally, a winner. And if you ask me, the perfect low sodium and low potassium swap out.

So Margaret and everyone that loves ketchup and red sauce as much as I do, here is a salt-free, low potassium ketchup (spread over a quinoa “meat” loaf) that I made just for you.

Happy long weekend and chow on.

3 cups pureed red bell peppers (about 3 large bell peppers + food processor or blender)

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small pot, bring all the ingredients to a rolling simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 15 minutes. If using right away, keep the ketchup warm on low flame with pot covered. Or, if it is being saved for later use, place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Ketchup will stay good for one week.

lizthechef May 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm


Paulissa May 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Interesting indeed. . .I’m going to have to give that a try. Thanks!!

katrina May 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

what an amazing recipe!! what a fun challenge, you are so innovatie and inspiring! can’t wait to try this.

Molly Sokolowski June 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Can’t wait to try this…I, too, have to watch my potassium and can’t wait to add this to my meatloaf!

magnoliasouth March 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I am also on a low potassium diet. I reserve tomatoes for only every now and then. One thing worth noting is that cauliflower is actually low in potassium. The kidney foundation recommends using it as a low potassium food. That link is here:

I am SO looking forward to making this ketchup! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It sounds wonderful! Hmmm. I’m now thinking I could smoke those peppers and use them that way. Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 😛

Rachael Klock July 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

I’m so happy to find this recipe. I’m allergic to tomatoes, so this is going to be a real treat for me. Thank you! I hope to try it very soon!

patricia February 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I need your low-salt ketchup recipe! I’ve been blogging about salt stuff all week but last night I made a meatloaf and even though I only had one slice, it comes in at about 1100 mgs of salt.
Holy ocean…that’s over the top. I’m going to include your site as a link on my blog tomorrow but having this recipe would be great.

You up for that? Pretty please, it’s for the good of all!

PS>Glad I found you. The red pepper recipe…I’m going to make that tonight.


jessg23 February 27, 2014 at 5:26 am

I would be honored!

Jean Hoffmann May 11, 2016 at 6:33 am

What kind of sauce can I put on pasta? It seems there there is nothing I can eat. Please heip.

Kristi Gaudreau September 27, 2016 at 12:41 am

Uhm……the bell pepper sauce is nice & thick and I’m just bought bell,peppers to try this. Will also try another batch thinned to make a sauce for pasta, using organic low or no sodium vegetable broth.

However, quinoa is 300 mg potassium in a one-cup serving. Sorry! Better to put this on real protein for a hemo dialysis patient; perfect high potassium for a peritoneal dialysis patient.

This pepper sauce is a most welcome recipe! Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: