Recipe: Fermented Beet and Fruit Ketchup

Here’s a tasty ketchup for those who avoid nightshades. There’s no need for added sweeteners with the combination of dried plums and pears. Roasting the beets gives them extra sweetness as well. Use this on your favorite burger or as a sauce for meatballs. If you don’t tell, no one will guess this is made from beets.


  • 4 small roasted beets
  • 1 cup dried plums
  • 2 medium pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup whey, water kefir, or prepared vegetable starter culture


  1. Wrap beets in foil and roast in a 350ºF oven until tender, about 1 hour. Remove, unwrap, and cool enough to peel. Skins should slip off easily. Chop coarsely.
  2. Place dried plums in a medium saucepan. Add water just to cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add in pear. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes longer, or until plums are soft. Remove from heat and drain, reserving liquid.
  3. Place chopped beets, plums, pears, garlic, apple cider vinegar, spices, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding reserved liquid if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  4. Add in starter culture and blend briefly to mix.
  5. Pour into jars. Cover each jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  6. Ferment at room temperature for 2 days. Move to cold storage. Keeps for several months in the refrigerator.

At A Glance

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 2 hours, 10 minutes
TOTAL: 2 hours, 20 minutes
YIELD: Makes about 5-6 cups ketchup