'Tis the season for barbecuing—and with that, comes the essential condiments like BBQ sauce. Have you ever tried making your own? Do you know what’s in the store-bought conventional versions of BBQ sauce? We’re going to give you 5 reasons why homemade BBQ sauce is better than your typical store-bought version, and we’re even throwing in a delicious recipe by Sandy Pomeroy at the end.
The Sweeteners. Oh, the sweeteners! Take a look at the labels of conventional BBQ sauces and you will see a whole whack of sweeteners. Sugar (or glucose-fructose), high fructose corn syrup, molasses… sometimes a mix of all of these. And often, the sweetener is the very first ingredient, which means it’s in the highest quantity in that sauce. Is it a BBQ sauce or a Sugar Sauce? In homemade BBQ sauce, you can control the sweetener you use and how much of it you use. In the recipe below, we use maple syrup – a much healthier, more natural sweetener choice – and it’s in a much lower quantity than many store-bought sauces. And it’s not the highest quantity on our list, either!
The Vinegar. White vinegar is part of the white-family that you should avoid—white sugar, white flour, white vinegar. It’s often the second ingredient on the list, meaning it’s only behind sugar in quantity. In our recipe, we use balsamic vinegar which is a much healthier choice. It contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that will help protect you from certain ailments. And it’s made from grapes! White vinegar is distilled and often made from grains.
Water. Many conventional BBQ sauces on the shelf have water listed as a high ingredient. Why? As a filler? To thin the product? Probably both, so that the sauce can be made with less of the actual ingredients and more water. Either way, our sauce has 0 water. It’s all real, whole ingredients giving you the flavour your need without any filler!
Red Food Dye. This is a big one. It not only means that the sauce needs artificial colours, which leaves you to question how potent the real ingredients that would give it a natural colour are, but food dyes also cause a whole host of problems for those who are sensitive to them. Food dyes can be toxic, and the different colours have been linked to different issues. Red in particular has been recognized as a thyroid carcinogen, causes allergy-like symptoms, and has been linked to other serious diseases. Our BBQ sauce recipe? You guessed it, no dyes needed.
Artificial Flavours. We believe that real food has real flavour. There shouldn’t need to be flavourings added to anything to create an artificial flavour that isn’t there because of a lack of whole food ingredients. In many sauces, things like “flavour” are on the ingredient deck, or “garlic flavour”. In our sauce, though, we use the real thing—real spices and seasonings, like real garlic powder, dehydrated onion flakes, and smoked paprika, to create an out-of-this-world flavour profile. There is nothing artificial or fake in our homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
Have we convinced you yet? If not, think about the flavour of store-bought, conventional sauces compared to that of a homemade sauce. When has a homemade version notwon?! By using real ingredients and no fillers, the sauce has an outstanding flavour, texture, and colour that will make you want to use it again and again.
If you want to get a store-bought sauce that has a clean ingredient deck and is worth your money, try Amazing Dad's BBQ Sauce. It’s sweetened with honey, has a unique bag container, lasts a very long time, and has a great flavour. Check it out here!
And as promised, here is the homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe that you NEED to try! It’s as easy as stir, boil, summer, and cool.
1 cup organic crushed tomatoes 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup maple syrup 1 Tbsp. tamari 1 Tbsp. dehydrated onion flakes 1 tsp. Herbamare 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika pinch cayenne
Stir ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cool to room temperature and place in a glass jar. Refrigerate.
Katie has worked in the natural health & wellness industry for over 10 years and is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is passionate about eating #feelgood food and recognized that this might look different for each and every person. She truly believes that in a healthy lifestyle, you can have your cake and eat your kale, too! Follow her on Instagram @katielmitts