The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright…
All my fellow Texans just clapped in their heads and sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Admit it, you know you did! I’m certainly missing Southern California, but I am happy to be back in my great state. Texans are a proud people, and one of the things we pride ourselves on is our BBQ. You can find at least one little BBQ joint, if not three or four, in pretty much every tiny town in Texas, and probably every single one boasts it’s own “special BBQ sauce”. I love BBQ sauce; I cook with it, dip things in it, and top things with it! It’s so versatile; sweet, spicy, tangy…and loaded down with refined sugar. A popular brand of BBQ sauce has a staggering 16g of sugar in only 2 tbsp of sauce, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar for women and around 12 for children, depending on their age. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want nearly all of my sugar consumption for the day to come from a measly 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce.
So what are we supposed to do when we want that sweet, tangy sauce? Make some with no added sugars! This BBQ sauce is sweetened using dates, which are a sweet and sticky fruit, so the sugar content is natural and unrefined. The smokiness comes from charring an onion, and the tangy flavor comes from apple cider vinegar and garlic. This sauce is delicious in my Barbecue Meatloaf, is perfect to top shredded chicken or pork with, or use as a marinade. However you use it, I know you will love the flavor, and relish in the fact that there are no added sugars. Healthy food doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring; enjoy it!
Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce
Makes about 2 cups.
- 1.25 cups of water, or more for a thinner sauce
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste, no salt or sugar added
- 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 yellow onion, charred either over gas burner or in the broiler
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne, depending on taste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder, depending on taste
- Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat
- Stir until combined and just starting to steam
- Carefully transfer ingredients to food processor or blender
- Puree until desired consistency
- Use immediately, or store covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks
For other flavorful sauces, be sure to check out my Dairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, Spicy Garlic Salsa, Classic Garlic Hummus, and Lemon Garlic Aioli. For creative ideas on how to use this BBQ sauce, check out my Barbecue Meatloaf, or possibly with leftovers from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots. And, of course, all BBQs need a delicious side of Mustard Potato Salad. Yum!
I hope this BBQ sauce inspires you to cut out added sugars and to truly enjoy healthy foods! Cover everything in sauce…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
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3 thoughts on “Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce”
Oh my goodness I am literally making this tonight! You posted just in time 🙂
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Hooray!! I hope you like it!