This easy cherry barbecue sauce will seriously give your current jar of barbecue sauce a run for it's money. Unlike the barbecue sauce you find in the grocery store, this barbecue sauce is naturally sweetened with dark sweet cherries, just a touch of molasses and maple sugar. I promise you will fall in love with this recipe, and you won't believe how easy it is to make! Vegan, gluten free, paleo, and naturally sweetened, this barbecue sauce goes with everything!
Confession time, I want to spell barbecue cause with a “q” because I want it to be easy to abbreviate into BBQ. It's kind of stressing me out lol!
Dave and I went to Whole Foods in search of a barbecue sauce without any added sugar. This is of course after spending way to much time looking at every label in the grocery store and Earth Fare. Dave has been eating on a pretty intense version of the paleo diet, as we are trying to heal his gut after finding out that he has a list of allergies including gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts. Unfortunately, these were all the foods Dave regularly ate, which caused him to have some severe damage to his gut (causing him to lose about 30 pounds in 4 months – not great for a guy that wants to be big and buff). Back to the paleo diet, added sugars are off the list. Sugar is known to cause inflammation and damage to the gut, so it's off limits.
Being on this kind of diet has caused me to make a majority of the food Dave eats. To be honest, I was willing to pay Whole Foods the $10 bucks for barbecue sauce that day because I was afraid that anything I would make would not be good enough for him. He was craving barbecue chicken (turkey for him right now) and I just wanted him for once to be able to eat what he wanted without feeling restricted and not feel like a guinea pig for my recipe testing. There are more dud recipes here than I'm willing to admit, especially savory dishes!
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Boy was I let down by Whole Foods. Every single bottle we picked up had sugar or organic sugar. All but a paleo barbecue sauce that was peach that Dave immediately turned his nose up at. Lol I don't blame him. So I picked up some items I thought would make a good base and I went home to experiment. The verdict, this cherry barbecue sauce is the BOMB! Seriously y'all I had really low expectations, and I found myself just sampling the jar of sauce, in awe of how good it was!
Sweetened with just a touch of molasses, maple sugar and dark sweet cherries! These are all natural source of sugar, all of which are paleo friendly and don't cause the same kind of inflammation in the body. The sweeteners I chose all provide the body with vitamins and/or minerals, which make them nutrient dense. Sugar on the other hand only provides calories, which makes it nutrient poor. I used organic molasses, which has potassium, calcium and iron. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar and contains minerals such as manganese, riboflavin, zinc , magnesium, calcium and potassium.
If barbecue sauce is something that you normally just grab off the shelf, grab your favorite brand and check out the ingredient list. Most brands have at least one or two types of sugar in the bottle, which isn't great if you are trying to limit your sugar intake. Even if you aren't trying to limit your sugar, making your own sauces can be fun! It was great to experiment with flavors and this is just another example that eating healthy doesn't have to be tough or take forever! This barbecue sauce is ready in under 10 minutes!
Cherry Barbecue Sauce Recipe Tips
The trick to making this barbecue sauce, crushed fire roasted tomatoes. My favorite brand is Muir Glen. I try to always use organic tomatoes in a BPA free can. If you are lucky enough you can find the big cans on sale. I buy 10 cans at a time. Did you know I was a food hoarder? Yes it's a problem. But this girls gotta eat on a budget!
Grab a bag of frozen dark sweet cherries and try not to eat the entire bag before making this recipe. These cherries are seductively sweet, adding natural sweetness to this barbecue sauce. And since they are frozen, you don't have to worry about them spoiling on you!
To make this recipe so simple, I recommend my favorite $30 kitchen gadget, the immersion blender! If you don't have an immersion blender, put one on your “wish list” and you can use your standard blender to make sure the sauce is silky smooth. Just be careful when working with hot food in the blender, don't fill it all the way and leave the small opening on the top of the blender open slightly to let heat escape. You don't want hot liquid spewing out at you!
Oh and make sure you have a few mason jars with tight fitting lids so that you can store any leftover barbecue sauce in the fridge for a few weeks!
Check out how easy this recipe is to make in the video below!
Easy Paleo Cherry Barbecue Sauce
- On the stove, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, molasses and salt. Cook over medium heat until just starting to bubble. Add the frozen cherries and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Blend the sauce with an immersion blender or in the blender once the cherries have defrosted. Add the maple syrup, garlic powder and cumin. Add hot sauce to taste.
- Cook 3-5 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.
- Store in mason jar with tight fitting lid. Let come down to room temperature before storing in fridge.
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What about you?
- Favorite thing to have barbecue sauce on
- Do you think barbecue sauce should have a “q” in it?
- What is the one food you are willing to pay Whole Foods half your paycheck for because it's more convenient?