You can tell I wasn’t born in North America because I do not care much about sauces, dips, spreads etc. I know weird but honestly I don’t suffer. Take away wine and I will cry. However, after making healthy pulled pork I realized I created sort of healthy BBQ Sauce. Then a few readers emailed me asking if I have any condiment recipes.
Low sugar homemade BBQ Sauce is super easy to make, apparently (later on I was even brave enough to make Hawaiian BBQ sauce that goes oh so well on a sweet potato burger). Also apparently I have made it a million times without realizing so. I threw ingredients in a pot and from the first time I had a winner. Alex and kids went crazy for it. So, I made a second batch which I’m sharing today.
I’m not saying you can’t buy organic BBQ sauce. Yes, you can. And if you are short on time you should. I realize turning your fridge and freezer into “from scratch” oasis is time consuming. But if you have time and more likely all ingredients in the pantry (I did), then you should make your own for about 6 times cheaper than a store bought.
And in case you are wondering whether liquid smoke is healthy… Because I was, particularly about cancer causing carcinogens. So, Mr. Google came to the rescue and I found a great article on Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen, where she included a video done by Dr. Michael Greger, where he explains liquid smoke dangers in a nutshell.
Good news is there are no dangers of adding 1 tsp of liquid smoke to a batch of BBQ sauce. You would have to drink 3 bottles of liquid smoke a day (!) to go over OK safety limit of 47. 1 tsp of liquid smoke contains only 0.8 of whatever (honestly I didn’t dig down deep what are those #s, who cares?!). What is way more dangerous is to consume smoked food and the worst being smoked salmon! When liquid smoke is made only flavour compounds are captured with liquid and not the cancer compounds. So, liquid smoke for making BBQ sauce is completely safe, yay! However, I recommend to buy liquid smoke with only 2 ingredients: water and smoke concentrate. I have seen molasses (GMO for sure) and caramel colour in some brands.
Happy BBQ’ing and be healthy!
P.S. No idea on calorie count. Do you blame me?! A few tbsp maybe a few calories and few grams of sugar?! Just eat real food, and you must try slow cooker BBQ baked beans with leftovers of this BBQ sauce.
Healthy BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3 tbsp unsulphured molasses
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (I used hickory. Also sold in most grocery stores in spice aisle.)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and whisk until well combined. Bring to a boil, cover half way with a lid to prevent splashing and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool. Use as you would use a store bought BBQ sauce.