With it being Independence Day today I thought I’d treat you all to something inspired from across the pond. Barbecue is about as red, white and blue as American cuisine gets and it’s definitely up there on my favourite things to eat too! I bet you didn’t know that the origin of this dish actually dates back to colonial times with the first recorded mention in 1672! Just a little fun fact of the day for ya! 😉
BBQ sauce is just THE BEST isn’t it? I used to love eating out at places like Bodean’s, Red Dog, Blue’s Kitchen and TGI Fridays and couldn’t get enough of that sweet sticky sauce that coated every bit of beige-coloured food on my plate! Since being more aware of the food I’m eating and how it effects my skin, I’ve sadly said goodbye to BBQ sauce, or so I thought! Back in April I came across a recipe for BBQ sauce on Against All Grain that looked incredible and was just sweetened with dates! Recently I’ve been chilling out a little and enjoying a bit more sweetness in my life – as long as it’s in whole food form from fruits (I still keep sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to an absolute minimum!) So, I thought this was the perfect time to have a little play in the kitchen and make my own version – and boy it turned out good! The only unusual ingredient that’ll you need to get your hands on is liquid smoke – I picked mine up from Wholefoods (Hot Headz Hickory Liquid Smoke) but you can easily pick it up online for less than £3 – just make sure it doesn’t contain any additives! It really makes a difference to the end result of the sauce and 1 bottle will last you ages!
As well as slathering on grilled meats you can also use this sauce as a dipping sauce. It tastes absolutely amazing with sweet potato fries so I thought I’d also share my recipe for the best home-made oven baked sweet potato fries you’ll ever have! It’s a big statement, I know, but give them a go and I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Sugar Free Smokey BBQ Sauce + The BEST Sweet Potato Fries
This makes quite a large quantity of sauce so I like to separate into 3 jars and pop 2 in the freezer for later use!
- 200g (about 10) Medjool Dates (soaked for 15 minutes in hot water then drained)
- 200g Cherries (pitted)
- 400ml can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
- 2 Tblsp Coconut Aminos OR Tamari (GF) OR Soy Sauce (Non-Paleo/Non GF)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tsp fresh Garlic (or 2 Tsp Garlic granules)
- 1 Tsp Himilayan Sea Salt
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder
- 1 Tsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 1/2 Tsp Allspice
- 1/4 Tsp Ground Clove
- Soak the dates in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Pop the dates, cherries, chopped tomatoes, water, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, coconut aminos and liquid smoke in a blender and blend.
- Pour the sauce into a saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients, mix and cover.
- Bring the sauce to boil then reduce it to simmer then let it bubble away for 30 minutes until the sauce reduces – you will need a lid for your saucepan as this stuff spits everywhere!
- After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let the sauce cool. I sometimes like to put the sauce back into the blender once cooled and give it one last blitz to make it extra smooth! 6. Transfer into glass jars and store in the fridge/freezer for later use.
If you’re storing the sauce in the fridge then I recommend using it up within 10 days – but I really don’t think it’ll last that long!
Best Ever Sweet Potato Fries
I can’t tell you how excited me and my boyfriend got when I finally cracked my oven baked sweet potato fries! This method guarantees gorgeous crispiness on the outside and lovely fluffiness on the inside!
- 3 large Sweet Potatoes (scrubbed or peeled – whatever you prefer!)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Paprika/Chipotle powder spice mix (or just Paprika)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
- Pinch Salt
- Scrub the skins of the sweet potatoes or peel them and chop them into even sized matchsticks. (I REALLY want a chip cutter! If anyone can recommend a good one please let me know!)
- *OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED* This step is optional (time permitting) but it really does make a huge difference to the crispiness of your chips! Pop all the chips in a bowl and cover with cold water for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200c
- Drain the chips and pat dry with paper towels.
- Put the chips in a dry bowl and add the olive oil, salt and spice mix and mix all together ensuring all the chips are coated.
- Add the Tapioca flour and mix again coating all the chips.
- Put the chips on two baking trays – it’s important not to overcrowd the chips on the tray, if you do they won’t crisp up so make sure none of the chips are touching each other.
- Put the chips in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then turn them all over and put them back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on them so they don’t burn as the size/thickness of the chips will cause the cooking time to vary.
- Turn the oven off and prop the door open a tad and give the chips an extra 5 minutes to crisp up!
- Take out the oven and enjoy immediately!
I promise you, if you try this sugar free smokey BBQ sauce, you will never ever be tempted to go back to the artificial sugary rubbish from the supermarkets!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin