So Summer is almost over and if you haven’t already, it’s time to dust off the grill. It’s hard to picture summer without BBQ chicken and ribs, but it’s hard to find a BBQ sauce that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup (one of the most highly processed food substances on the planet) and tons of sugar. Even if you decide to make your own, most of the recipes you come across call for ketchup (which contains high fructose corn syrup). In my search for a good BBQ sauce I’ve made a few batches from whole food recipes that didn’t taste anything like what I would expect BBQ at a good restaurant to taste like, so I’m really excited that this recipes doesn’t disappoint the taste buds.
Tangy Barbecue Sauce
I will admit that this recipe does have what I would consider a lot of sugars to it. If you like your BBQ sauce less sweet and more spicy then reducing the sugars should be fine.
(Makes approximately 2 cups)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup honey or agave
3 Tbsp molasses
3 tsp clean Worcestershire sauce (most name brand sauces have artificial preservatives and corn syrup, so look at the label)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar (I recommend sucanat or coconut sugar)
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp chipotle powder (optional)- this gives your sauce an extra slight kick as an aftertaste
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp mustard powder
- Pour the olive oil into a sauce pan and place on medium heat.
- When the oil is warm, add the minced garlic and allow the garlic brown slightly (about 40 seconds) while stirring.
- Add the water and tomato paste to the garlic and stir until the paste and water have combined.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until they are combined.
- Allow the mixture to start to bubble and then lower the heat to low/simmer for 20 min. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
- Once the sauce is cool, you can pour it through a strainer or puree it in a food processor to incorporate the minced garlic or just leave it as it is.
- Store in a glass container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Enjoy!
As a kid, I thought oatmeal cookies were ok, but when there were chocolate chip cookies around I would always choose one over an oatmeal cookie. This recipe is a great blending of the two. You can also add 1 cup of chopped nuts if you like, but I wanted my toddler to be able to eat the cookies (which she did with gusto), so I didn’t include them in the recipe.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup King Arthur’s white wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 stick butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup brown sugar (sucanat or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar (date sugar) (optional)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oats with a whisk and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar(s) with whisk and then beat in the egg until the mixture is smooth.
- With an electric mixer on medium high, drizzle in the maple syrup and vanilla to the sugar mixture.
- Turn the mixer to low again and add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture gradually.
- Blend in the chocolate chips with spatula.
- Spoon the cookies in walnut-sized portions onto baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
- Bake for 9 min. and turn them halfway through so that they bake evenly.
One of the down sides to eating whole foods is that they can be more pricey and take more time to prepare. I wanted to start with something that was very easy, yummy, and not that expensive to make. This is a Taste of Home slow cooker recipe that I’ve adapted to be more whole foods friendly. Here’s a link to the original recipe if you’d like to see it for a comparison.
Tender Salsa Beef
1 1/2 lbs diced stew beef
2 Tbsp molasses
2 cups organic salsa (we use Muir Glen Garlic Cilantro salsa)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (sucanat, coconut sugar or date sugar)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 minced garlic clove
2-3 dashes of sea salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
4 cups hot cooked brown rice
• Place stew beef in a plastic bag with 2 Tbsp molasses, shaking well to make sure all the meat is covered and refrigerate overnight.
• In a 3 quart slow cooker, combine marinated beef, salsa, sugar, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt
• Cover and cook on low for 7 hours
• Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and sauté 8 min.
• Add bell pepper strips to onions and cook 2-3 min. (until bell peppers are tender)
• Add onions and peppers to slow cooker mixture (mixing well before re-covering).
• Cook mixture an additional hour (8 hours total)
• Serve beef mixture over rice