Nightshade-Free Ketchup (Paleo, AIP)

Nightshade-Free Ketchup (Paleo, AIP)

UPDATE for the Instant Pot: A lovely reader recently asked about making this ketchup in the Instant Pot, and I thought, “Oh, goodness. YES!”

So I whipped up a batch, and it worked splendidly. The ingredients for this fantastic Nightshade-Free Ketchup will stay exactly the same as listed below in the recipe with the addition of one cup of water, which is necessary for pressure cooking the carrots and beets. Okay, here ya go, my friends. Ketchup is back on the table.

  1. Press the SAUTÉ button on the Instant Pot. Add a small amount of oil. Sauté the onion for about five minutes or until translucent.
  2. Turn off the SAUTÉ function, and remove the onion. Set aside.
  3. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot insert. Place the trivet inside the insert.
  4. Place the chopped carrots and sliced beets on the trivet. (TIP: Make sure the vegetable pieces are large enough so that they do not fall through the slots in the trivet.)
  5. Close and lock the lid. Press MANUAL for high pressure. Set cooking time for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for a couple of minutes. Then use the Quick Release method to release any remaining pressure.
  7. Uncover. Carefully remove the trivet containing the vegetables. Discard the water from the Instant Pot insert.
  8. Add back the carrots, beets, sautéed onions (previously set aside), lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, granulated garlic, and cloves and combine with an immersion blender. Or pour all ingredients into a food processor and puree. Process until smooth.

alternateKetchup is synonymous with tomatoes. And tomatoes are synonymous with ouch! Well, they are for me anyway, but I’d hazard a good guess that many an autoimmune warrior will express a similar sentiment. Because tomatoes are part of the nightshade* family, they are notorious for triggering autoimmune flare-ups. Hence, ouch. Hence, not friends to those battling autoimmunity.

Enough about the ouchity-ouch of nightshades, though. Here’s an intriguing little FYI. The original ketchup contained no tomatoes! Okay, so this may be old news to you culinary-history buffs, but this was a stop-the-presses kind of discovery for me. The English word ketchup is an anglicized derivative of Chinese and Indo-Malay words that sound very similar, and the original concoction was a mix of pickled fish and spices.

So when we take the tomatoes out of ketchup, we are more in keeping with the original condiment. Cool, huh?

This recipe for nightshade-free ketchup is special because while it uses the common beet-carrot combo as a replacement for the tomato base, it’s uniquely and lovingly inspired by a family-favourite BBQ sauce my mom makes.

So whip up a batch of this delicious nightshade-free ketchup for your burgers, parsnip chips, sweet potato fries, or what-have-you, and then annoy everyone at the dinner table with that little gem of a culinary-history factoid — the original ketchup had no tomatoes! Booyah.

*Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom unpacks the chemistry of nightshades, tomatoes specifically, and explains how they increase intestinal permeability. In fact, tomatoes are particularly problematic in contributing to a leaky gut and the least likely to be successfully reintroduced after an elimination diet. You can read this article here.

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Nightshade-Free Ketchup (Paleo, AIP)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Condiment
  • 2 c carrots, chopped
  • ½ c beets, chopped (or sliced ¼- to no more than ½-inch thick for the Instant Pot method above)
  • Oil for sauteeing the onion
  • ½ c onion, chopped
  • ½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • pinch of cloves
  1. Cook the carrots and beets in water until very soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Saute the chopped onion in a small amount of oil until translucent. This usually takes about 7-10 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Place carrots, beets, onion, and all other ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and mix until smooth. If you prefer a thinner ketchup, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until you have your desired consistency.
  4. This recipe makes about 2 cups.

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Martine Partridge, founder of Eat Heal Thrive, is an eater of whole, nourishing, real food. She is also a combatter of Crohn's Disease. Martine wholeheartedly believes that food is the fulcrum for good health and has had wonderful results in managing autoimmunity by eating to heal, and healing to thrive.