The words “condiments” and “nutrition”, typically do not go hand-in-hand. Convention condiments are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals, coloring, preservatives, sugar additives in various different names, and much more. Popular diets and programs always omit condiments leaving participants able to use mustard and salsa as their ways of flavoring their foods, which is never a sustainable way of eating.
When supporting my clients, I find I have to reassure them that not all condiments are bad and in fact, if they make their own condiments they have greater control of how much sugar is added, use whole foods, and omit the chemical nasties used to keep products on the shelf long-term.
The first response to making your own condiments is usually people thinking that they simply do not have the time for that type of thing. This is where the slow-cooker becomes you BFF! You throw everything into your slow-cooker turn it on and walk away. go do all the things you need to do. When it’s ready you can pour it into jars and store it in the fridge for a few weeks, or can them and have them for a year. The process truly could not be simpler.
The BBQ sauce was a condiment that we don’t use every day but was one that is desired for particular dishes (i.e. pulled pork sandwiches, steaks, ribs, etc). When I tried to “healthify” these dishes my family was not very happy there was no BBQ sauce on the table. I tried several versions with NO sugar at all and that was a hard transition for many of them.
I finally landed on this recipe and it seems to please everyone and I am satisfied that it is lower sugar than conventional condiments, I know what is inside, and the nutritional profile is high. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts?
Badass Slow-Cooker BBQ Sauce
- 5 lbs tomatoes, quartered whatever is fresh, I like roma or beefsteak
- 1 lbs sweet yellow onions, peeled & roughly chopped
- 1 heads of garlic, peeled & stem removed
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar with mothers
- 1 cup coconut, raw cane sugar, or organic brown sugar
- 1 tbsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp pink Himalayan or celtic sea salt
- 1-3 chili peppers (optional) red chili's, jalapeno, or habanero peppers
- Put everything into a large slow-cooker (except peppers if adding) and stir well.
- If you want to add the peppers for a kick, I love to toss them onto the BBQ or grill over medium heat for about 2-4 minutes a side to char the outsides. Remove from heat, cut off the ends, slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds. Loosely chop the peppers and add to the slow-cooker.
- Place the lid on and cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to low and let cooker for 6-7 hours.
- Once the sauce is done, you may notice some excess liquid sitting on the top. A little is ok, but the more you remove the thicker the BBQ sauce you will have. This typically varies from how juicy the tomatoes were. I use a large ladle and push down along the inside of the pot, the liquid flows in and I discard that.
- After most of the liquid is removed scoop it into a blender or place an immersion blender into the slow-cooker and process till smooth, based on how you like your sauce.
- You can store it in sealed jars in the fridge for 3 weeks. If you wish to can them for storing in the pantry for 1 year use the canning method in the recipe notes below.