Corn & Sugar-Free Homemade Ketchup

corn-sugar-free-homemade-ketchup-cradlerockingmama.comA while back I posted my homemade ketchup recipe. It’s delicious, it’s perfect, it’s wonderful…and we can no longer use it!

When I first started making it, I only made it for Jed. I knew that vinegar was made from corn, but that was okay. This wasn’t for Zac. Later I learned that dextrose is also made out of corn, but again, this wasn’t for Zac, and Jed didn’t have a problem with corn.


We learned earlier this year that Jed does, in fact, have a problem with corn. Corn is no longer allowed in our home in any shape or form. Furthermore, I have decided sugar has no place in our home except on very rare, very special occasions, and in incredibly small doses.

Jed was devastated. No ketchup? Oh, the agony! The betrayal! Whatever shall a ketchup loving kiddo do??

Nag Mom, of course! Nag her until her ears want to bleed, and she finally gets around to tweaking the recipe to be safe.

I’ve made some interesting substitutions, but I assure you, this is still an excellent ketchup. It no longer tastes exactly like store-bought ketchup, but in many ways, that’s a plus.

Now it tastes like gourmet ketchup.

(We’re gettin’ fancy up in here, y’all.)

Oh, one little thing. The substitution for dextrose I made requires another recipe of mine: homemade stevia extract. If you haven’t already, go make some. I’ll wait.




Just kidding! That recipe is no longer an option for many of you due to the fact that the growing season is coming to a close and stevia plants aren’t really around any more. (Although, if you have some stevia plants, not only can you still make this, but you can actually dig that plant up, transplant it to a container, and keep it alive through the winter in your house! We did that last year, and it was awesome!)

If you have some homemade stevia extract laying around, you’re golden. If you don’t, you can still make this; you’ll just need to choose a substitution that works for you. (And next spring? Plant some stevia to make your own extract! It’s divine!)

  • Option #1 – powdered stevia; choose which one you like and experiment to see how much you want to add.
  • Option #2 – sugar, but in INCREDIBLY reduced amounts!

The other change I made was to the vinegar. I switched that out for lemon juice. 

As far as lemon juice goes, fresh is best! Even at my health food co-op, where the goal is organic/real food, there is citric acid in the bottled lemon juice. Citric acid=CORN, so go buy a ton of lemons, squeeze those puppies, and freeze the extra in ice cube trays. Then you can have ketchup year round.

Unfortunately, this version is no longer the same price as store-bought ketchup. The lemons make it a bit pricier. Boo.

Fortunately, Zac can now have this recipe! (He won’t eat it, because he apparently doesn’t like ketchup, but he could if he wanted to! Sigh…)

I’ve recently gotten into lacto-fermenting, and I understand you can make ketchup that way, so I imagine that one day I’ll be presenting a third ketchup recipe. Well, I suppose one can never have too many methods of preparing something as awesome as ketchup, right?

You’ll notice the quantities of lemon juice and water are much higher than in the previous recipe. Without all that sugar adding volume, it needed a lot more liquid to make it work. Don’t worry; it isn’t a misprint!

For best results, let the flavors marry and meld in the fridge for a day before using. It’s good straightaway, but the lemon is a lot stronger at first. It mellows and becomes almost undetectable after a night hanging out on the door of your fridge.

So here it is: how to make a homemade ketchup that is completely corn free and sugar free!

Corn & Sugar-Free Homemade Ketchup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This delicious ketchup recipe is completely free of corn and sugar. It's easy, it's healthier than other ketchup, and it is yummy! Enjoy!
Recipe type: sauce, condiment, corn-free, sugar-free
Serves: 1.5 c
  • one 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • ½ c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
  • ½ c filtered or spring water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground celery
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 2-3 tsp. homemade stevia extract OR 2-3 scoops of powdered stevia OR 2-3 T. sugar
  1. Roll your lemons on the counter, cut in half, and squeeze ½ c. of juice.
  2. Put tomato paste, lemon juice, water, salt, ground celery, and cloves into a saucepan and whisk together until smooth. (If using sugar as a sweetener, add it now as well.)
  3. Heat on medium heat until just boiling; immediately reduce heat and simmer for 20 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool on the counter for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the stevia extract and whisk together until well blended.
  6. Let cool completely before adding to a bottle or jar.
  7. Store in a covered container in the fridge.
  8. For best results, let the flavors meld for a day in the fridge before eating.
  9. Enjoy your healthier, delicious ketchup!

 Happy Dipping!

What’s your favorite unusual ketchup flavor?

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One Response to Corn & Sugar-Free Homemade Ketchup

  1. dkaj says:

    Carrie, I am not sure if you are familiar with the Corn Allergy Girl facebook group, but many have successfully used Whole Foods 365 brand of white vinegar. It is corn free last time I checked. Not sure if there is a whole foods near you, but if you are ever near one, stop by and pick up a couple jugs. It’s also great for making your own buttermilk or just cleaning around the house. Corn allergy girl has alot of great info on which products are best tolerated. Corn allergy girl is anaphlaxic to corn, but many on the site are not ANA to corn or the derivatives of corn, but have the histamine reactions to it. My best educated guess would be that for some of those individuals it’s the corn derived ingredients that go through the wet milling process they have an issue with due to the sulpharic acid that is used to extract the corn starch from the corn kernals. Personally, my dd can eat corn chips, but citric acid causes her GI issues and reflux and it’s the amount in the food product that causes the issue. If it’s in a bread, cracker, or something like this, it’s less offensive. My guess is because the flour and breads soak up some of the acid and act as a buffer in her stomach/intestines. If it’s in a drink though, look out especially if it’s the second or third ingredient. Also, the baking soda used in some of these food items may neutralizes the acid some. Also, manmade citric acid is made from growing mold on cornstarch. So, if it’s not the mold causing the issue, it’s the cornstarch and the sulpharic acid used to extract it.

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