Hot-As-You-Want Barbecue Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

More and more, we’re taking a closer look at our health and the food we’re eating. Many of us are paying more attention to where our food comes from and the steps taken to prepare it. But have you taken a cold, hard look at the door of your fridge — the shelves storing your condiments?

Food companies like to pull out all the stops to make us think that what we’re buying is wholesome and healthful. But even if you’re buying your ketchup in an old-timey mason jar from an ultra-fancy, gourmet artisanal food store, there’s no guarantee that what you’re getting is actually healthy. The only way to be sure is to read the ingredients label.

If you’re reading the label on a bottle of conventional store-bought barbecue sauce, you’re likely to find…

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Soybean oil (most likely GMO)
  • Maltodextrin (a high-glycemic sweetener made from corn or rice starch)
  • “Natural” flavors (ever seen a “natural flavors” tree?)
  • Sodium benzoate (a preservative that’s also used in shampoos)

Making your own all-natural spreads and sauces is easier than it seems. This all-natural, gluten-free, vegetarian barbecue sauce recipe is satisfying, health promoting and delicious. Once the jar is opened, you should eat it within three to four weeks, though this shouldn’t be a problem — it disappeared in one weekend at my house.

Hot-As-You-Want Barbecue Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 500ml jar tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. or more sambal oelek or organic hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic dijon or honey mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • ½ tsp. sea salt or more to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes.

Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let it gurgle with love for 25-30 minutes, stirring often.

Taste your sauce and decide if you want more heat or sweetness to it.

Remove from the heat and let sit to cool.

Run the whole mix through your food processor or blender and mix until smooth.

Transfer to jars, allow to cool completely, seal and store in fridge or freezer.

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