A low sugar, low carb homemade BBQ sauce made in just minutes!
Summer is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean your grill is shut down- try this healthier low carb low sugar homemade BBQ sauce! The sauce is sweet and smoky with just a hint of spice.
How to make homemade BBQ sauce healthier!?
When it comes to BBQ the flavor is king so how can we enjoy it without unhealthy ingredients? Homemade of course! Then you are in control of sugar, oil, salt, etc.
If you follow a low carb, low sugar, or keto diet then you are typically trying to limit sugars. There are many sugar substitutes like Splenda, Swerve, Allulose, Monkfruit, Stevia, and more! But there’s a lot of mixed research so I like to keep it simple and pure so I went with honey (but molasses would be a great option here as well!) FYI: There are rodent studies that have assessed the metabolic effects of artificial sweeteners, but long-term studies in humans are scarce. If you are looking for more information on sweeteners or for conversions if you plan to use a substitute, check out my free guide!
Adding spices and herbs to any food or sauce is a great way to keep carbs, sugars, and calories low. You can truly make the recipe your own by adding more, or different spices. I personally don’t like anything too spicy but adding some cayenne to take it up a notch would be a great addition. Plus spices and herbs not only enhance the flavor, aroma, and color of food and beverages, but they can also protect from acute and chronic diseases. More Americans are considering the use of spices and herbs for medicinal and therapeutic/remedy use, especially for various chronic conditions. There is now ample evidence that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities as well as properties that affect cognition and mood. (Jiang TA. Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices. PMID: 30651162.)
How to make Homemade BBQ sauce taste just right??
Each region has its own style of BBQ sauce but these ones are by far the most well known:
- Kansas City
Carolina is typically known as the more vinegar based BBQ. Kansas City-style is dominated by tomato and molasses-based sauces. Within Texas there are multiple regional practices. Central Texas smoke their brisket over oak, slice it, and serve it without sauce. Southern Texas makes a mesquite-smoke barbecue. Eastern Texas favor more spice. Memphis is all about the rubs- both dry rub and wet rub.
Since sugar free BBQ sauce won’t caramelize it is necessary to have some sugar content. I like to opt for natural sweeteners like molasses or honey over brown sugar. My secret ingredient is Liquid Smoke. In combination with the smoked paprika the perfect taste is created. Obviously this is a forgiving recipe and adjustments can be made for a sweeter BBQ or smokier one. I’d say this recipe leans Kansas City style with a touch of Carolina with some added vinegar flavor.
Best ways to enjoy homemade BBQ sauce
Typically when most of us think about BBQ sauce we think chicken, but there are other great plant based options to enjoy BBQ. In fact one of my favorite ways to have bbq is to add it to tempeh in a frying pan and serve with polenta and green beans. It’s a well balanced and delicious southern inspired dish I make over and over.
Here are a few other options to inspire you:
How late into the year does one grill?? I personally think it’s preferable to grill when it’s a little bit chillier temperatures. I am team charcoal over gas because I think charcoal really gives it that nice smoky flavor. What’s your favorite way to enjoy BBQ sauce!?
Homemade BBQ Sauce
Low sugar and Low carb
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 tsbp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 tsbp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika, cumin optional
- 1/4-1/2 cup water as needed
Combine all ingredients in shaker or jar, mix throughly
Add additional spices/ingredients to taste
Stir in water gradually to desired consistency