Thursday, August 14, 2014

Autumn Olive Ketchup - A Great Recipe!

Autumn Olive Ketchup
We love ketchup in our house, and I mean L-O-V-E! So being able to make ketchup out of a wild edible is a real treat.  It's hard to believe that a berry can taste like a tomato once cooked, but it does! Autumn Olives have 17 times the lycopene, an antioxidant, than tomatoes which I suspect adds to that tomato flavor. The berry is a disease fighting powerhouse.

You might wonder how the flavor compares to common ketchup? We (my thirteen year old son and I) did a taste test. Autumn Olive ketchup has more flavor, a little tarter, and a little sweeter.  However, it definitely tastes and looks like ketchup.  Autumn Olive Ketchup on the left and regular ketchup on the right:

Autumn Olive Ketchup


3 quarts Autumn Olives, rinsed but you do not have to take the little stem off
1/2 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1 head garlic, crushed


Add ingredients to a large pot.  Simmer for half an hour, berries should be releasing their juices.

Use an immersion blender and blend. Seeds will separate.

Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a smaller sauce pan to remove seeds and skin.  Straining will significantly reduce volume.

Return to stove and simmer for half an hour, stirring frequently.  Ketchup will darken and thicken.

Prepare three half pint jars and ladle ketchup into them, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Water bath 15 minutes.

Makes three half pints.


  1. What do you think would happen if I used a half cup of sugar instead of a whole cup?

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  3. I think that would be okay. It's the vinegar that is important in preserving it by providing an acidic environment.

  4. after I finished processing my ketchup, it settled and there is white milky stuff at the bottom of my jars? is this normal?

  5. It's been a while since I made this and our jars disappeared fast. However, I do remember that Autumn olives were unusual when it came to separating. At least for jelly, sometimes you will have a watery layer and a pulpy layer. Other foragers say if you boil it longer, this will not happen, but I have not experimented with it. This year our Autumn olives were a bust producing very few. I wanted to make this again but nature had other ideas!

  6. It is normal for the nectar (white milky liquid) to separate from the pulp

  7. It is normal for the nectar (white milky liquid) to separate from the pulp

  8. It is normal for the nectar (white milky liquid) to separate from the pulp