Best Healthy Homemade Maple BBQ Sauce

Check the ingredients label on popular grocery store barbecue sauces and you’ll probably discover high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, modified food starch, salt and even the potentially harmful red dye 40. Making your own barbecue sauce is simple, tasty and a much healthier alternative. Keep a bottle on hand for summer grilling and an extra bottle as a unique host gift for your next backyard barbecue invite.

Choose homemade

Barbecue sauce adds a kick of flavor to grilled meats, pulled pork, quesadillas, chicken fingers and even veggie burgers. But if you prefer to eat healthy and clean, then you’ll probably want to avoid store-bought condiments and sauces. If you’re not reading labels, then start reading labels just to learn what you’re actually eating and feeding your family. Store-bought sauces may be easier than homemade, but in the long run, you’ll be adding more sugar, sodium, chemicals and calories into your diet.

People who frequently prepare meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who eat out according to a study that appears online in the journal Public Health Nutrition from research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

How bad is red 40

Red 40 is a food color used in popular barbecue sauces. It comes from petroleum distillates or coal tars, according to Health Line. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate requires that it is listed by name on food and product labels. It may cause allergic reactions in some people and hyperactivity in children. In addition, research shows that red 40 causes tumors in mice according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

How bad is high fructose corn syrup

Often listed as the first ingredient in sauces and condiments, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) should be eliminated from your diet because this manufactured sugar rapidly absorbs into the bloodstream, moves right into the liver, creating “fatty liver.” Fatty liver affects about 70 million people in America and spikes insulin (the body’s major fat storage hormone), suggests Dr. Mark Hyman. Consuming foods with HFCS may lead to increased appetite and weight gain, plus diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Modified food starch

The modified food starch found in many commercial sauces is used as a gelling agent to ensure that the correct texture is maintained when heated. The problem is, beyond the zero nutritional benefits, modified food starch is made from different grains, which includes corn, wheat and tapioca — and that’s bad news for anyone who’s gluten intolerant. All the more reason to make your own sauce.

Maple BBQ Sauce Recipe
This barbecue sauce is not only great for grilling chicken and ribs but also makes a great healthy dip for chicken fingers and sweet potato fries. But if maple syrup isn’t your thing, then replace it with raw honey.
Maple BBQ Sauce Recipe
This barbecue sauce is not only great for grilling chicken and ribs but also makes a great healthy dip for chicken fingers and sweet potato fries. But if maple syrup isn’t your thing, then replace it with raw honey.
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Place ketchup, ACV, coconut oil and spices in a medium saucepan and pour in the maple syrup.
  2. Add the molasses.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes and continue to stir occasionally, making sure to mix from the bottom to prevent sticking or burning.
  5. Pour barbecue sauce into glass jar and cover. You can store sauce in the refrigerator for up to two months.

— Katherine Marko

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