Banana Ketchup: Is It a Healthier Alternative?

Banana ketchup, invented by María Orosa, offers an alternative to traditional tomato ketchup. While commercially refined banana ketchup may not be the healthiest choice due to additives, sodium, and added sugars, homemade ketchup with ripe bananas can create a sweet alternative to tomato ketchup and other sauces. In this article, you’ll learn all about banana ketchup: popular uses, recipes, healthier ways to consume it, and more.

What is banana ketchup?

María Orosa, a Filipino food chemist, invented banana ketchup. She realized that the Philippines relied on imported foods such as tomatoes. She had a goal of creating more sustainable alternatives so the Philippines use their native foods instead of heavily relying on imported ones.

She created banana sauce made with mashed bananas, vinegar, and spices as a replacement for tomato ketchup. Now, banana ketchup has a place in Filipino cuisine and is available in markets.

Refined banana ketchup is an ultra-processed product; therefore, it's not considered a healthy food option. However, home-made banana ketchup can be an alternative to traditional tomato ketchup. Let's learn how banana ketchup is made.

Nutritional analysis of banana ketchup

In the table, you can see the comparison of banana ketchup with traditional tomato ketchup.

Nutrition facts*Banana ketchup (1 tbsp)Tomato ketchup (1 tbsp)
Energy20 kcal18.5 kcal
Carbohydrates9 g4.6 g
Sugars8 g3.6 g
Sodium 150 mg158 mg

*Ingredients can change based on the brand. The nutrition facts are taken from the product "Jufran regular banana ketchup."

Sodium in banana ketchup

Packaged products are generally high in sodium. Both banana ketchup and tomato ketchup have high sodium content.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most Americans consume excess sodium.

Adults are recommended to limit daily sodium consumption to 2,300 mg. On average, Americans consume 3400 mg of sodium. Therefore, excess sodium intake from packaged products adds a lot to the daily sodium intake.

Paying attention to your portions can be helpful. Try not to consume more than one serving size. Lowering sodium intake can prevent high blood pressure and its potential consequences, such as heart attack and stroke.

Added sugars in banana ketchup

The Western diet contains high amounts of added sugars. Condiments, including banana ketchup, contain high amounts of sugar. Only 1 tbsp of banana ketchup has almost 20% of the daily added sugar limits recommended by The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (for a person who consumes 2,000 calories).

Added sugar intake should be limited to 10% of total daily calories. Excess sugar consumption is associated with weight gain, obesity, and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Additives and preservatives in banana ketchup

Packaged products can contain artificial ingredients such as additives, preservatives, sweeteners, and flavors.

Condiments are ultra-processed products. Many ingredients, including salt, sugar, and fat, are added to processed foods to make them tastier and more appealing to customers. That's why they should be consumed in moderation.

How to consume banana ketchup in a healthier way

No food should be strictly eliminated from a healthy person's diet if consumed in moderation alongside a healthy and balanced diet. You can enjoy banana ketchup by considering the following:

Moderation and portion control

While banana ketchup can be a delightful addition to various dishes, it is essential to use it in moderation due to its calorie and added sugar content.

You can manage portions by limiting the amount served or opting for a smaller dipping dish.

By being mindful of portion control, you can enjoy the taste of banana ketchup while controlling overall sugar and sodium intake for a healthy and balanced approach to nutrition.

Healthier home-made banana ketchup

You can make banana ketchup at home. It requires minimal ingredients, and it's fairly easy to make. This way, you can consume banana ketchup made with fresh and nutritious ingredients.

Home-made banana ketchup is really easy to make. The ingredients you need are:
2 pcs
Bananas (plantains are desirable, but you can use pakatan, saba, or any ripe banana)
1 tsp
Cloves, paprika, and cayenne
0.3 cup
White onions
0.3 cup
Tomato paste
0.3 cup
Brown sugar
1 cup
White vinegar
1 tsp
Salt
2 cloves
Garlic
-
Water

Instructions

Following these steps, create a delicious and smooth home-made banana ketchup that can elevate dishes.

  1. Chop garlic, onions, and bananas for blending.
  2. Blend garlic, onions, bananas, brown sugar, salt, cloves, paprika, and cayenne until it becomes smooth and creamy. These spices are just a suggestion. You can choose your preferred spices that match your taste buds. You can add water if needed.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and vinegar to the blended sauce, then mix it.
  4. Transfer the final sauce to a pot over medium heat until the sauce boils. Then let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Place the sauce in a bowl. Pour the ketchup through a filter to achieve a smooth texture, removing any lumps or solid bits.
  6. Allow the banana ketchup to cool before serving.

You can use banana ketchup to replace tomato ketchup. The taste of banana ketchup is fruitier and sweeter. Here are a few ways you can add banana ketchup to your foods:

  • Marinade. Add banana ketchup to marinate grilled chicken for a tasty twist.
  • Pizza. Make a tropical pizza with banana ketchup, ham, pineapple, and cheese.
  • Stir fry. Stir banana ketchup into stir-fry dishes for a Filipino-inspired flavor.
  • Sauce. Mix banana ketchup with mayo as a delicious dip for fries or nuggets.
  • Pasta. Create a unique pasta dish combining banana ketchup, shrimp, and veggies.
  • Eggs. Enjoy a sweet and tangy breakfast by adding banana ketchup to scrambled eggs.
  • Burger. Build a Hawaiian-style burger using banana ketchup, a patty, cheese, and grilled pineapple.
  • Dumpling sauce. Make a dipping sauce for spring rolls or dumplings with banana ketchup, ginger, garlic, and chili.
  • Cocktail. Prepare a tropical-themed cocktail with banana ketchup, vodka, lime juice, and soda.

Home-made banana ketchup presents a unique and flavorful option. You should be mindful of your added sugars and sodium consumption if you choose refined banana ketchup.

Overall, limiting portions, choosing home-made alternatives, and being aware of added sugars and sodium can help make banana ketchup a healthier choice in moderation.

Key takeaways:
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