Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Homemade BBQ sauce

on January 3, 2013
Homemade Barbecue Sauce

BBQ sauce and meatballs – mmm!

This is based off of this recipe on Food Network.

Okay, it’s basically the same recipe, except that you ignore the white sugar/brown sugar additions and use the following:

  • 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
  • 1/8 c. (or 2 T.) blackstrap molasses

This has a lovely rich flavor and it uses a little bit less refined sugar.

Warning! I’m gonna go all math nerd on you for a moment.

Whew! Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s pull out our slide rules. JUST KIDDING! (How many people even remember a slide rule, anyway?)  😀

Okay, okay. There are 16 Tablespoons in 1 cup. 1/2 of a cup would be 8 Tablespoons. 1/2 of a 1/2 cup is 1/4 of a cups or 4 Tablespoons. 1/2 of a 1/4 is 1/8 cup. That is equal to 2 Tablespoons.

So, the original recipe (which is also wonderful – I just like to tinker and try to “healthify” as I go), calls for 5 Tablespoons of white sugar and 5 Tablespoons of brown sugar, or a total of 1o Tablespoons.

Our 1/2 cup of sugar is only 8 Tablespoons. Admittedly, we are then adding another 2 Tablespoons of blackstrap molasses which is also a sweetener. However, it is a much less refined sweetener and has a whole host of trace minerals that have been stripped out of white sugar.

Jenny, of the website Nourished Kitchen, talks about molasses in her “Guide to Natural Sweeteners and How to Use Them“,

“Molasses: Molasses is a byproduct of processing cane juice into white sugar and, in that regard, I’m not entirely sure it belongs here. Nevertheless, it provides a good source of niacin, thiamin, magnesium, copper and potassium. Its flavor is bittersweet and deeply rich. For that reason it should be used in small quantities so as not to impart to (sic) strong of a flavor to the end dish.” (emphasis mine)
In BBQ sauce, where strong flavor is okay and even encouraged, we’re good to go! 🙂
So…why make your own BBQ sauce when it’s so cheap and abundant at any grocery store?
It’s all about control. Period.
That last time I looked for safe (i.e. no high fructose corn syrup, no corn syrup, no food coloring, etc.) sauce at the store, it was a disaster. Every bottle I checked had one or more of the aforementioned ingredients. Ugh.
But…thanks to google and Food Network (and the Ingles grocery store where I can pick up organic ketchup!), we can enjoy tasty BBQ sauce any time. Also, thanks to fantastic food education web sites like Nourished Kitchen that help us understand our food options and forge new ones in the comfort of our own homes.
Have you ever made your own BBQ sauce? How did it turn out for you?

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