One of the best benefits of breeding and becoming pregnant was changing the substances and drinks that I was putting in my body. Not just for vanity and losing weight, but for actual health. Once I found out I was pregnant I eliminated the usual no no’s from my diet: alcohol, caffeine, unpasteurized cheese, lunch meat, etc. I also decided to try to reduce the overall amount of processed food I was eating since I wanted to be providing the best diet I could for my baby.
Fast forward to this summer when my husband started bugging me to get rid of, or at least try to get rid of, the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our house after he watched a documentary about it. Politics and details aside it sounded good to me as I am all for clean eating, especially since Ace still gets all his nutrition from me via my breast milk. The problem is, HFCS is in EVERYTHING. It is not only in most processed sweets, but is also in most store brands of bread, most condiments, and even BBQ sauce. With the massive amount of BBQ sauce consumption that goes on in this house, this is an issue that needed to be addressed. Mission: Make homemade BBQ sauce without HFCS or any products that have HFCS.
I used this recipe to help guide me after I looked and looked for a BBQ recipe that didn’t call for ketchup. As you can see it calls for ketchup, which usually has HFCS in it. Plus isn’t making one homemade condiment out of another store-bought condiment kinda cheating? I am looking at you Pioneer Woman ;). (For the record I love 99% of Pioneer Women’s recipes.)
Coincidently, my husband canned some tomato sauce this past weekend and had an extra jar or two in the fridge that he didn’t seal. This is us using the tomato press that my mother-in-law bought us last time she was in town to visit. This thing-a-ma-jig makes using up all those tomatoes in the garden a snap. Plus it is fun to use! Terrible picture, but you get the idea.
So I figured I would just omit the ketchup for this fresh tomato sauce and fiddle with the recipe until it tasted good. And then slather it on ribs of course.
I sautéed half an onion and a few garlic cloves in some vegetable oil.
I added in molasses, honey, brown sugar, white vinegar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Interesting note about the molasses, I had to retrieve it from the garage because my husband uses it with worm poo (yes, worm poo) to make what he calls “worm poo tea” which he uses to fertilize the garden. Hmm.
I also added in chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It adds a really nice smokey flavor. I put in 4 tablespoons which was probably a bit too much since it made it a too spicy for my liking. I think next time I will use 2 tablespoons to start with and then add in more if I need more flavor. Finally, I added some tomato paste to thicken the sauce up since tomato sauce is much thinner than ketchup. The sauce looked like this, which was still too thin.
To thicken it up I let it simmer on low, uncovered for about an hour until it looked like this. Perfecto.
So yummy, sweet, tangy, smokey, and all around wonderful. The only thing left to do was slather it on ribs. The hubby happily obliged.
We served it up with our usual BBQ sides: grilled zucchini, squash, and a potato. Have mercy!
Homemade BBQ Sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 pint or 1 can of tomato sauce
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to taste
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Dash salt
Saute onion and garlic in vegetable oil until softened. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour to thicken.