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4 Homemade Condiment Recipes

4 Homemade Condiment Recipes

One of my favorite things about delicious, real food is the myriad ways I can dress up any dish with a rainbow of condiments. Now, we are all familiar with the electric yellow of store-bought mustard and deep, consistently brick red of bottled ketchup. But the daydreams that really get my mouth watering involve delicately flavored ground mustard seed, homemade mayo from farm-fresh eggs and zingy ketchups spiced just the way I like them.

Additionally, store-bought condiments are often loaded with sugars and chemicals that I’m so careful to avoid putting into my main dishes. Why not extend this reverence to condiments as well? I take special care to avoid high-fructose corn syrup (found in most big-brand condiments). Princeton University released a startling study involving rats. The rats who consumed high-fructose corn syrup had increased fat deposits in their bodies (read more about this study). Much of the fat accumulated around the stomach.

In other words, these fat rats got their pudge from eating the same substance forming the basis of mass-produced condiments. So, as a way to protect yourself (deliciously), here’s the skinny on homemade ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and sour cream.

Keep-On-Hand Sweet Ketchup

Just as you can taste the difference between garden-fresh tomatoes and pale, tasteless tomatoes at the supermarket, homemade ketchup delivers heaps of flavor compared with its packet-filling alter-ego. The recipe below is for sweet ketchup, but try this one for spicy ketchup.

Ingredients:

2 quarts homemade tomato sauce
2 sweet red peppers, finely chopped
1 sweet green pepper, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cups sugar or honey
3 tablespoons salt
3 cups cider vinegar
Tie in a cheesecloth bag:
1-1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon, broken in several pieces

Simmer all ingredients except vinegar in a large pot, stirring often, until thick (2 to 4 hours). Add vinegar, and cook for 15 minutes more. Remove spices, and ladle sauce into clean, hot pint jars. Adjust lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes about 5 pints.

Healthier Homemade Mayo

Homemade mayo is more luscious than store-bought versions that contain stabilizers, but it will also tend to separate, or “break,” in the refrigerator. If necessary, re-emulsify the mayo by stirring in a few droplets of water until it’s nice and creamy again.

Ingredients:

1 fresh egg yolk from a pastured hen
Pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp lemon juice and/or vinegar
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh herbs, chopped garlic, hot sauce and/or white pepper, to taste (optional)

Whisk the salt and about a tablespoon of the oil into the egg yolk. When the emulsion begins to stiffen, add all of the remaining ingredients except the remaining oil. Then begin adding oil a little at a time, whisking until it reaches the creamy mayo consistency you love. Want fries with that? Try a healthier version than what the fast food chains offer in Homemade, Better-Than-French Fries.

Make-It-Yourself Mustard

The real joy with mustard is found in the endless flavorings and combinations. The recipe below is a more traditional favorite. Alternatively, try this honey stout mustard or sweeter cranberry honey mustard. Then try some combinations of your own. Bottle them up for a perfect side business.

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups white mustard seeds, ground
2 tbsp mustard powder
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
Grated zest (rind) of 1 lime
2 1/4 tbsp lime juice

In a bowl, combine the ground mustard seeds and mustard powder with the water. Allow to marinate for 3 hours. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, and gradually add the other ingredients except the lime juice when processing. Sample the mixture, adding enough of lime juice to make it smooth. Spoon into small jars. Store in the refrigerator for several months. Yields 2 cups.

Superbly Simple Sour Cream

Bring on the tacos! Homemade sour cream is a cinch since all you need is a little “starter” sour cream from a past batch.

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream

Combine your starter sour cream with the heavy cream in a screw-top mason jar with a lid. Shake the jar a bit, and then let it sit, covered, at room temperature for about 24 hours until the mixture becomes thick.

This process always gets me in the mood to experiment with homemade dairy products. If you also become inclined, follow up by making homemade cream cheese and homemade ricotta cheese.

This is not an exhaustive list, of course. What about condiment all-stars like salsa, pesto and horseradish? Try these great recipes, using ingredients straight from the garden or farmers market.

Related Care2 articles:

Photo by Fotolia

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

310 comments

+ add your own
3:25PM PDT on May 17, 2014

thank you

9:23AM PDT on May 14, 2014

Thanks! I had no idea you could make your own sour cream! And I can't wait to try making my own mustard!!

4:55AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Thanks

11:23AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

I can't wait for outdoor BBQ season to begin. It is snowing out there again so I will have to make these for indoor eating since the picnic table is buried under snow.

Joseph E F, perhaps that was the only stock photo on hand, lol! Yes, a lot of sugar, some people often use Stevia instead.

Nick S, you could at least make a different comment for each time instead of putting the same comment in one thread. You now have to stay after school.

9:07AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

I haven't read every comment of the 300+, but I notice that the illustration for "4 Homemade Condiment Recipes" has FIVE Chinese soup spoons of finished sauces! Gadzooks, what is going on here? Doth not the writer edit even once? If not, then what about the recipes?

Next, the first recipe --after the author condemns other "store-bought condiments... often loaded with sugars"-- calls for TWO CUPS of sugar! Wait, it gets better!

Moving right along, the mustard recipe yields only 2 cups, BUT calls for .25 cup EACH of honey & sugar, for a total of .5 cup out of 2.0 cups, 25% SUGARS! Gadzooks, did not the author complain about "store-bought condiments... often loaded with sugars"!

WHO is vetting these articles? Maybe Care2 needs to turn off the robot editor functions.... My habits from fifty years of writing and teaching do not allow me to miss such egregious errors.

5:58PM PST on Jan 17, 2014

Hmmm. I used to make and can my own ketchup. And make my own mayo! Now I have my backyard hens and their fantastic eggs. Condiments, here I come.

1:18PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

Thanks for the recipes. I can't help being a little worried about the 'pasteurized hen'.... (ingredients, home made mayo) LOL

9:27AM PST on Nov 3, 2013

Wonderful! Will have to do that home made thing for sure. Thanks!

5:54PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

thanks

9:32PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

So many more new ideas to add to my arsenal of cooking cleverness!

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