by Olena

Healthy BBQ Sauce

by Olena

This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce.

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.

Apparently, healthy homemade BBQ sauce is super easy to make. 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 barbecue sauce for about 6 times cheaper than store-bought.

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How to Make Healthy BBQ Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and whisk until well combined. This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce. This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover half way with a lid to prevent splashing and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times to prevent burning on the bottom. This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce.
  3. Let cool and transfer to a glass jar. Use as you would use a store bought BBQ sauce.This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce.

Is BBQ Sauce Healthy?

The first ingredient in store-bought BBQ sauce, let’s take the most popular Sweet Baby Ray’s, is high fructose corn syrup. If it’s #1 on the label, it also means that’s what is mostly in that bottle. Do you see where I’m going with this? Any store-bought BBQ sauce is 98% GMO processed sugar with a sprinkle of spices, liquid smoke, caramel colour and preservatives.

If you make my homemade BBQ sauce, you are eating mostly tomato paste with applesauce, spices and a sprinkle of unrefined sugar. It contains 4 times less sugar and 2.5 times less sodium than store-bought.

Is Liquid Smoke Healthy?

I am concerned about cancer causing carcinogens in smoked/barbecued final products. 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.

This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce.

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. You must try slow cooker BBQ baked beans with leftovers of this BBQ sauce.

Print

Healthy BBQ Sauce

5 from 1 reviews

This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe contains simple ingredients you have on hand or can find at most stores. Ready in 20 minutes, this healthy homemade BBQ sauce is low in sugar and free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought barbecue sauce. Enjoy!

  • Author: ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover half way with a lid to prevent splashing and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times to prevent burning on the bottom.
  3. Let cool and transfer to a glass jar. Use as you would use a store bought BBQ sauce.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight glass jar for up to 1 month.

Freeze: For up to 3 months.

Our BBQ sauce seems to be used faster than any of these recommendations.

Notes

You can find liquid smoke in many grocery stores in a spice or condiment aisle.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

About Olena

I don’t believe in diets, neither I think we were born to eat. This website reflects my healthy relationship with food – I like simple whole foods meals with a bit of lean protein, heavy on veggies and a sprinkle of complex carbs.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share it with everyone!

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19 comments on “Healthy BBQ Sauce

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  1. Is the molasses essential? I cannot have molasses (due to food allergies) and want to know if I can just exclude it, or substitute something else?

  2. Where do you find unsulphured molasses, and is it nonprocessed? They put some awful stuff in that processed stuff.

    1. Depends where you live. You can find Wholesome brand of unsulphured molasses pretty much in any grocery store that has Natural Foods section or on Amazon. Here read more, no additives, as good as molasses can get. Use their store locator.

      1. Thanks! I’m planning to use this as a base recipe for Hawaiian style BBQ chicken Pizza for potluck at church next week, I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

          1. Sure, I’ll write it down the ingredients when I add them so I don’t forget. I’m not making it till next week cause thats when the potluck is, I also made an Italian stew a while back want the recipe? should I just leave it as a comment?

  3. Excellent recipe! I added one tablespoon of natural Worcestershire and a pinch of pepper and was very happy with the the results.

  4. Thank you for this YUMMY BBQ sauce recipe. I made this and put it on meatloaf my family went crazy. Would it be ok to freeze? Thanks