Frugal & Nutritious Barbecue Condiments

Guest post by Kresha Faber at Nourishing Joy

Summertime has arrived and with it comes outdoor meals. It is such a blessing to gather with friends and family on a warm summer evening to linger over good food and drink and be nourished by each others’ company!

Now, I don’t know about you, but in my family, these gatherings are standard grill fare only: hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixin’s. But the “fixin’s” tend to be rather expensive to keep in stock for our large extended family and I prefer to feed my kiddos whole, natural foods whenever possible, so I started tinkering with recipes to create homemade versions of all our staples that actually taste like the store-bought alternatives.

Thus, today, I offer our take on four of the classics: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle relish.

(As a side note, I had so much fun developing these recipes that I ended up writing an entire cookbook about condiments, which is due out sometime this month. Stay tuned at for details!)

Easy Peasy Ketchup

Makes approximately 3 cups

1 1/2 cups tomato paste
3/4 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (optional)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt (more to taste)

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir together with a whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. You may certainly serve the ketchup immediately, but the flavor improves after 2-3 days.

French’s-Style Mustard

Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup dry mustard powder
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 clove of garlic, finely grated
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Whisk everything except the cornstarch together in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.

About 1 minute before you want to remove the mustard from the heat, stir the cornstarch together with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Then, while whisking, pour the cornstarch into the simmering mustard. Let cook for 1 minute to thicken.

Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute to set. Pour into the serving container to cool. The mustard may definitely be served immediately, but the flavor will mellow after 3-4 days.

Everyday Mayonnaise

Makes approximately 1 ½ cups

The combination of olive, coconut, and sesame may sound strange, but the three blend unexpectedly well. This mayonnaise is scrumptious on burgers and sandwiches, although I prefer a blander mayo for making salad dressings and dips.

2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard (optional)
2/3 cup olive oil or sunflower oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Combine your oils in a measuring cup with a spout or in a squeeze bottle. Set aside.

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, sea salt, and mustard in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is combined. (Or follow Lindsay’s directions for 10-Second Mayonnaise.) Then, with the motor running, pour in the oils as slowly as possible, preferably taking 3-4 minutes to add the entire cup of oil.

Sweet Pickle Relish

Makes approximately 1 quart

1 1/4 lbs fresh pickling cucumbers, scrubbed
1 onion
3 tablespoons pickling salt or coarse Kosher salt (do not use regular salt, as the additives will change the color of the relish)
Ice cubes or ice chips
2/3 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/3 teaspoon celery seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Coarsely chop the cucumbers and onion in a food processor or food grinder and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the pickling salt and stir so that the salt is well distributed. Place a tea towel directly on the surface of the cucumber and onions, then cover the towel with ice and let sit for 2-3 hours. Discard the ice and rinse the cucumber and onion mixture thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly, then stir in the cucumber-onion mixture. Stir well, spoon into jars, and let cool. The relish can be served immediately, but it achieves the best flavor after 2-3 days. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.

Kresha Faber is the chief writer and blog editor at, a website dedicated to real food, sustainable living, natural homemaking, and joyful parenting. She is the mother of three young children, the wife of an incredibly good man, an opera singer, a cloth diapering instructor, and an avid researcher. She and her husband share a passion for living life thoughtfully and intentionally in response to God’s grace in their lives and she loves to share good meals around a very large table.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

5 Responses to Frugal & Nutritious Barbecue Condiments

  1. Nina Nelson July 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I may have squealed with delight when I saw all of these recipes. :) My husband has been making our mayo for a while now, but he likes to try different recipes. I’ve also been looking for a ketchup recipe as I’d much rather make it myself than buy it. Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Joanna July 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Thank you for the recipes! I just made the ketchup and my son, who is quite the ketchup eater, gave it a thumbs up! It tastes just wonderful! Next, I want to try the mustard!

    Thanks for sharing these recipes!

    Joanna :)

  3. Mandy Kistner July 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    I’m definitely going to have to try making the ketchup. My 3 year old eats ketchup on most everything including bananas. :) How long approximately will the ketchup last in the refrigerator for?

    • Kresha @ Nourishing Joy July 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm #


      The ketchup should keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

      If you need to keep it longer than that (although it sounds like your son will eat it before 2-3 weeks is up! :-) ), you can lacto-ferment it by stirring in 1/4 cup fresh whey or sauerkraut brine and covering it with a couple of tablespoons of mild salt water, then leaving it at room temperature for 3-5 days before putting it in the refrigerator. After lacto-fermentation, it will last for 4-6 months.