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 four, homemaker, and writer. 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.