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Reduce Your Sugar Intake With These Better-For-You Sauce Recipes

Danielle Walker
New York Times Best Selling Author By Danielle Walker
New York Times Best Selling Author
Danielle Walker is a two-time New York Times Best Selling author and photographer of cookbooks "Against all Grain" and "Meals Made Simple."

We know cooking for yourself leads to eating fewer processed foods, but condiments can get tricky.

These recipes are simple DIY versions of popular sauces made with healthy, whole ingredients.

They're worth taking a shot at making yourself if you're looking to reduce your sugar intake while still getting the classic flavors you crave.


Makes 2 cups


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ yellow onion, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed into a paste
  • 3¼ cups tomato puree
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 10 whole allspice berries


1. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until fragrant.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half.

3. Remove the onion, cloves, and allspice berries. Let come to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for later use.

Make-ahead tip

Double the recipe and store half in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator for a day before using. Fresh ketchup will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.



Makes ¾ cup


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup macadamia nut oil


1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a small blender or mini food processor and blend on low until combined.

2. With the blender on low, add the oil 1 drop at a time. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream with the blender still running, until all of the oil has been incorporated.

3. Cover and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.


Macadamia nut oil is used for its slightly sweet and mild flavor, but other oils, such as olive, avocado, or almond, may be substituted.

A small blender or mini food processor is essential for the method above; however, mayonnaise can also be made by hand. Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add ¼ cup of the oil ½ teaspoon at a time, whisking vigorously. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until thick, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Alternatively, many find that using an immersion blender in a tall, slender container works well.

BBQ Sauce

For the BBQ Sauce recipe, check out my website, Against All Grain.

Danielle Walker is the founder of and best-selling cookbook author of Against All Grain and Meals Made Simple. Find more recipes at

Photo courtesy of the author

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