Fermented Ketchup

Another fermented recipe so soon, eh Denby? 

Well, yeah. Why? Because I want you to start taking your shit seriously.

I am a firm believer that the addition of fermented foods to your diet is one of the easiest and quickest ways you can start hacking your biology and nutrition. Do a simple online search and you can find a plethora of resources preaching the importance of probiotics for energy levels, stress reduction, immunity, sleep, the list goes on. Where the majority of your search will eventually lead you is down the road to a health food store, down the aisle, and into the towering canyons of gleaming (plastic) bottles and packages that make up the supplement section. The probiotic supplement industry, specifically, is projected to reach a market value of USD $46.55 billion by 2020. DAMN. That's a lot of bacteria. And, more significantly, a lot of money spent by the health-conscious consumer to outsource their gut health to the labs of multi-national corporations and out of their own kitchens.  My anarchistic sensibilities have always been triggered by the monopolization of the wealthy few to produce goods for me that I am capable of concocting myself. As able and adept humans we need to hone our focus on the naturally occurring probiotics in our own food.  The way our grandmas, great-grandmas, and ancestors used to do it. 


We have the power to take back our bodies from corporations and cultivate our own well-being. 


I understand and appreciate the requirements that probiotic supplements have on the power to repopulate extensively damaged microbiomes (one can also argue that the manufacturing of prepackaged 'food-like' products by these corporations is at the core of why our guts are in such distress in the first place).  But there is a sort of magic that is invoked; an internal strength that bubbles up from this actualization of self-sustainability.  A sense of autonomy that comes when you start fermenting your own food and fostering the growth of billions of microscopic lifeforms by your own ingenuity that cannot be replicated by popping a couple of pills. The growth of billions of wee little critters that you are more than just a host for, but who live in harmony with you and your fleshy skin suit.  

There is also something to be said about taste. The act of tasting and experiencing what you put into your body that is extremely powerful. There is a very specific taste that is felt when you eat something fermented. A tangy smack of flavour on your taste buds that when consciously consumed reaches deep down into the literal and figurative bowels the energy and life-force of the beings that are now your being. 

Without further ado, here's a recipe for some ketchup.



1 clean + dry air tight jar

1 300ml jar of organic tomato paste

1 tbsp raw honey

2 tbsp starter- I used some reserved pickle juice that I save for fermenting projects. The spices are great in ketchup

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar with "Mother"

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cumin

Pour the tomato and raw honey into a medium-sized bowl and mix until completely combined. Set aside. In the jar that the tomato paste came in, pour in the started (pickle juice) and the apple cider vinegar. Put the lid on and give it a shake. This is an easy way to maximize all the tomato-y goodness left on the inside of the jar. Pour the contents into the bowl. Add the salt and cumin. Give it a whisk until well blended. Once combined, pour the mixture into the clean air-tight jar. Seal and store the jar, undisturbed, on a dark and cool place on your counter out of direct sunlight for 3-5 days. After day-3 open the jar and give it a taste. If it's not tangy enough for your liking, give it a couple more days. Trust me, the tangier the better! One fermented, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Served best with crispy plantain fries.

Served best with crispy plantain fries.

Denby Royal