Whole30 BBQ Sauce
Father's Day is just around the corner and for many, the word BBQ comes to mind. It's just an American tradition right? On this weekend we don't tend to gravitate to the fancy new marinades, or different cultural cuisines, but just good old fashioned BBQ. Or is that maybe just the way I think? Whether or not BBQ is on your mind for this weekend, when you are in the BBQ mood, here's an idea for you to try. Good old fashioned BBQ sauce, but without the sugar, so you can keep eating healthy as you enjoy this tradition!
We all love BBQ sauce, along with several other of our favorite traditional (unnamed) sauces that we believe are necessary, but unfortunately, they are full of processed sugars and other hard to pronounce ingredients. We have options! Give this BBQ sauce a try this weekend, eliminating the sugar and processed ingredients, and guess what - Dad will never know! You can keep all of your family and friends happy and healthy while you enjoy the BBQ tradition.
I was pretty excited when I saw the idea for this sauce, it is sweetened with medjool dates. What's a medjool date? That's ok, I had to ask too! Have you ever had a Larabar? Those are a regular snack for me, all natural ingredients, sweetened with, guess what, dates, and several that are Whole30 approved! (You can skip the ones that have chocolate and peanut butter to stay true to Whole30). So this concept of sweetening with dates was familiar, but yet intriguing, knowing how good those Larabars are. There is also a date "paste" out there on the market for sweetening, I've yet to try it, but it's on my list!
This recipe is amazing, sweet yet tangy, easy to make, and it perfectly complimented the BBQ chicken that was on my menu for the evening.
3/4 cup medjool dates (about 6-8)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 8 oz can tomato paste
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
2 Tbl water
1/2 Tbl dijon mustard
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Want a little more heat? - - Add more cayenne powder.
Want a little more smoke flavor? - - Add more liquid smoke.
Want a little more tangy? - - Add more vinegar.
Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan on medium heat, then stir to combine. Heat for approximately 5 minutes, allowing the dates to soften and the ingredients to blend. Transfer the sauce to a small food processor and mix for about a minute to puree the softened dates. Or if you have used a smaller pot, an immersion blender might work for you.
The BBQ sauce is on the thick side so if you like, continue to add a little more water until you get the consistency that you desire.
Add a side salad, mashed sweet potatoes with oregano, roasted asparagus wrapped in bacon, and your BBQ weekend will be perfect. Enjoy!