Homemade Ketchup (No Refined Sugar)

I found this recipe at detoxinista.com. I didn’t change much, but I didn’t follow the boiling water technique for soaking the dates since my dates were already very soft and I used a Vitamix to blend the ingredients.

Here are the changes I made to the recipe because I didn’t want it as sweet or salty.

  1. I only used half as many dates
  2. I used apple cider vinegar
  3. I used diced tomatoes in place of water

Yet, here is the recipe as I prepared it. As always, feel free to make adjustments – start with a little change such as less garlic powder or salt and add more if desired.


  • 3-4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup of boiling water (or broth, or diced tomatoes with the juice, or tomato sauce)
  • 5 TBS white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (I used only 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (or 1/2 tsp ground mustard)
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • any additional spices such as chili powder or hot sauceĀ  – if you like it spicy!


  1. If your dates are not already soft or if you do not have a high-speed blender, soak dates in boiling water for a few minutes.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the blender. You can use the soaking water or substitute diced tomatoes with the juice or tomato sauce. You may need to add up to 1/4 cup of additional liquid.
  3. Blend until smooth. You may have to stop the blender and scrape the sides to get it all mixed.
  4. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings. (The original recipe says that the cloves and the acidity of the vinegar will mellow when it chills.)
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. It should last at least 2 weeks in the fridge. You can also freeze for up to 6 months. (I freeze tomato products often.)

Chocolate Shake (or Frappuccino)

Chocolate Shake (Frappe)

Here is a treat that’s good for your health. A real food, chocolate shake that’s made using whole, plant-based ingredients, and no refined sugars. Just last week in Podcast Episode 27, Patryce and I were talking about ways to create a healthy relationship with food, and during the podcast, I started the discussion about how to create a healthy shake.

Here is what I came up with after looking around online a bit. I found that many recipes use Dandy Blend Herbal Tea mix in many frappuccino-like drinks that usually contain coffee. And guess what? I just happen to have some on-hand.

I used to make an icecream/coffee drink way before I ever became aware of Star Bucks. Yet, by the time I because aware, I was no longer consuming what they put into their drinks. I have to admit, that I’ve never been a Star Bucks fan (too much dairy and sugar and coffee – coffee makes me very nervous/shaky).

But hey, here is one “shake” that I can handle. Since I couldn’t decide between the flavor of coffee or chocolate, I decided to have them both. But, of course, you can make this your own by choosing one or the other if you prefer.


  • 1 cup of plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (Added this particular ingredient because of Chef AJ)
  • 1/2 tsp of flax seeds & 1/2 tsp of chia seeds (or 1 tsp of either)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-5 drops of Stevia (vanilla flavor) or 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 TBS Dandy Blend Herbal Tea
  • 1 TBS Cacao Powder (or 100% Cocoa Powder)
  • 2 – 3 Mejool dates (or 5/6 Deglet dates)
  • 2 frozen, ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of ice (optional, makes more like a frappuccino)


  1. First, I like to blend everything together except for the bananas and ice.
  2. Then once thoroughly blended and smooth, I add the frozen bananas and ice.


  1. Using coconut milk/cream will add more calories and fat to this recipe and create a very “rich” shake
  2. The flax seeds and chia seeds add fiber and omega 3s
  3. You can also simply use 2 TB Dandy Blend Herbal Tea or 2 TBS Cacao Powder
  4. Medjool dates have a caramel flavor which I don’t think the deglet date has, but usually, they are a bit smaller so I suggest using a bit extra Deglet dates if those are what you have on-hand.
  5. Instead of using ice, you can freeze some of the plant-based milk in ice cube trays for a bit “stronger” flavored drink.
  6. Uncle Bill D, You can add greens to this shake too. A handful of spinach will be undetectable. (Smile.)

ENJOY! — Shonda