Beet Ketchup

I wrote this recipe over three years ago for a cooking class. I had recently been spending time with a child who would eat anything as long as I put ketchup on it. I am sure some of you know one or two of these!

Sometimes you can use a food a child already loves to help them try a new food. This child would eat any whole grain, and a fair amount of vegetables, as long as it had ketchup. However, ketchup is usually loaded with sugar. I developed this recipe at the last minute for the class both to introduce a new vegetable and to reduce the added sugar, but had never tested it on an actual child. Just on myself.

IMG_20130101_103856Well, New Year’s morning, my friend Max offered to make breakfast. He was making a potato yam dish and I decided to unearth this recipe. I happen to LOVE potatoes with tomato ketchup, but I try to minimize tomatoes. Then yesterday I introduced beet ketchup to a 2-year-old friend of mine and she loves it! So…now it is also kid tested. Maybe not all kids, but at least one so far! Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the color is absolutely gorgeous.

Try a spoonful on any of these soups:  Spring Vegetable, Miso, and Creamy Puréed Squash. Or eat with Brown Rice and Pinto Bean Patties.

Beet Ketchup

3 medium beets, scrubbed, halve or quarter
2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
1/2 medium onion, peeled and quartered
sea salt
2 tsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (I like Eden’s)
2 tsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp ume paste
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1.  Put the beets, carrots and onion in the steamer basket of a pressure cooker. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the vegetables. Place the lid on, place cooker over medium heat and bring to pressure. Lower the heat and cook at pressure for 5 minutes.

2.  Remove from heat and carefully run cold water gently down the side to bring pressure down quickly. Open lid and set vegetables aside to cool before proceeding. Reserve the cooking liquid.

3.  When vegetables are room temperature, add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the other ingredients. Purée. Add some of the cooking liquid as needed to get desired texture. Adjust the flavorings as desired.

4.  Serve warm or at room temperature.IMG_20130101_084819

Notes
You can boil the vegetables instead of pressure cooking. Use this technique here, cooking just until the beets are soft.
Other nice additions might be winter squash, miso and sautéed onions or leeks.
Serve with grain patties, corn cakes, sweet potato fries and polenta or millet squares.
You can also put a scoop of this on brothy lentil or vegetable soup or a yummy puréed soup.

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