Summer is right around the corner. Time to clean the grill and get your sauce on. Nothing sings of summer more than the laughter of children playing outside and the smell of a barbecue.

I grew up eating BBQ and must admit one of my favorite comfort foods is BBQ pork ribs. I don’t eat them much these days, (let’s face it, all that charcoal tastes good but it’s carcinogenic) but on the special occasions where I do indulge, the adult who cares about what he puts in his body steps into focus.

Sugar is the main ingredient in BBQ sauce and provides the caramelized, crispy goodness to that on which you spread it. Store-bought sauces and dressings are some of the least naked foods you can purchase due to the poor ingredients, additives and preservatives. I love me some BBQ, but not at the expense of my health.

Here’s a tasty BBQ sauce recipe that limits the amount of sugar while upping the flavor content. The liquid smoke is available at most grocery and health food stores. If you can’t find it, you can always add a dried chipotle pepper, which will also infuse a smoky flavor to the sauce. The more you reduce the sauce the more flavor you’ll get. Adjust the reducing time accordingly.

NAKED Barbeque Sauce

Yield: 6 cups


  • 1 Tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz-can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, rapadura or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hickory seasoning-liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, for spicier sauce)
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt to taste


Sauté onions with a little salt until they turn translucent in a pot over medium heat.  Add garlic. Cook for about 1 min. Add the tomatoes with juice, paste, syrup, molasses, vinegar, and liquid smoke (or chipotle pepper) into the pot, cover, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove the cover, adjust the temperature to a rolling boil, and allow the sauce to reduce. The longer amount of time, the more flavorful the sauce. Mix occasionally to ensure the bottom does not stick or burn

Once reduced (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours), remove chipotle pepper if using (unless you want the sauce to be VERY spicy), then add the mix to a blender and thoroughly mix until smooth. Add salt to taste.

For a spicier sauce, add a pinch of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. Blend briefly (10 seconds) and you’re done. Fully cool the sauce before sealing it in a jar/container.

Will store for about two weeks in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.


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