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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Nutrish and Delish: Barbecue Sauce -- Healthier Version

For finger-lickin' good summer meals -- nothing beats a homemade barbecue sauce to tenderize and flavor your meats, chicken, and even vegetables.

Homemade barbecue sauce tastes infinitely better than anything that comes out of a bottle or jar AND you can control your ingredients so that it is ALSO so much HEALTHIER. You will find, too, that the healthier versions are lighter and give a more refined flavour than the thick, almost sickly-sweet bottled gunk.

Just for your information and comparison purposes, know that:

ONE SERVING (about 100 ml)

Bottled barbecue sauce (for example, Heinz)contains: 140 kilocalories, 31.7 g carbohydrates (of which 29.2 is sugars), 1.1 g protein, 0.3 g total fat, 0.5 g dietary fiber, 600 mg sodium

Homemade barbecue sauce, made the regular way which usually uses much brown sugar or maple syrup, contains: 160 kcals, 30.8 g carbohydrates (of which 26.2
sugars), 1.46 g protein, 4.1 g total fat,1.0 g dietary fiber, 910 mg sodium

The following recipes are MUCH HEALTHIER AND they are just as tasty, if not BETTER-TASTING!

This first recipe uses fresh plums in place of most of the brown sugar that is normally used to make a regular homemade sauce. Fresh peaches and apricots also make a great barbecue sauce, but plums give the nice 'tang' to the sweetness.

Barbecue Sauce made with fresh plums

1 tsp unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon margarine
1 onion, chopped
garlic, 2 cloves, minced
ketchup, 1 cup or 8 oz. or, better yet, 2 chopped medium ripe tomatoes or 15 baby pomodori tomatoes, chopped
cider vinegar, 1/3 cup or 2 oz.
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
plums, 2medium or 5 small, chopped with skin on
Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup or 1 oz.
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
salt, dash
1 tsp black pepper

Melt butter and margarine in saucepan. Add onion and cook until almost transparent. Add garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Add plums and cook until starting to soften
Add remaining ingredients and stir well. If too thick,at this point, can add cold water, but only to 'saucy' consistency -- never too 'liquidy'. Simmer until mixture boils, then lower for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
Set aside. Prepare your ribs, chicken, pork chops, or whatever you would like to marinate with the barbecue sauce. If I'm using ribs (ESPECIALLY pork), I always simmer first in a big pot for 45 minutes before laying in a baking or grilling pan covered with the barbecue sauce and then I cook them for a further 25-30 minutes with the barbecue sauce cooking into them. I also cook my chicken and pork chops first a bit (say 20-30 minutes -- depending on thickness of meat), before covering with barbecue sauce and returning to grill or oven to finish the cooking process. As the meats cook, the barbecue sauce almost melts into the meat and gives it a shiny, glistening barbecue finish as well as that fantastic barbecue aroma! For vegetables, you do not need to pre-cook before adding barbecue sauce for cooking.

This barbecue sauce recipe makes enough for 6 servings or 1 large pan of meat or vegetables.

One Serving (about 100 ml), made with ketchup, contains: 96.5 kcals, 19.1 g carbohydrate (of which 15.3 sugars), 2.3 g total fat, 1.04 g dietary fiber, 562 mg sodium

IF YOU REPLACE the ketchup with fresh chopped tomatoes, you get a similar tasting barbecue sauce AND the nutritional contents are EVEN healthier as ONE SERVING THEN contains: 64.5 kcals, 10.6 g carbohydrates (of which 7.18 sugars), 2.3 g total fat, 1.33 g dietary fiber, 174 mg sodium. You would add the chopped tomatoes after the plums have started to soften and then wait for the tomatoes to soften a bit before adding rest of ingredients and proceed, as directed, above.

I always make my recipe with fresh plums AND tomatoes (I use baby pomodori tomatoes) as I can't believe how much LESS sugars, sodium, and kilocalories and more fiber there is using this recipe and the flavor is SO tasty and delicious! Once all these flavors meld together and then cook into the meat and/or vegetables, you don't miss the brown sugar and ketchup AT ALL! I promise!!
Enjoy! ;)

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