by Olena

Healthy BBQ Sauce

by Olena

healthy bbq sauce

Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe

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.

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.

healthy bbq sauce recipe

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.

healthy homemade bbq 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!

is bbq sauce healthy

How to Make Healthy BBQ Sauce

  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.

healthy barbecue sauce

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

Looking for More Healthy Condiments Recipes?

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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.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

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.

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