Convenience is pretty essential for most of us, most of the time. So thank you for the prepared BBQ sauce, jar of pasta sauce and the fact that we can buy yogurt already made. Some conveniences may have been taken a bit too far (if you gasped when you saw it, that means ‘too far’) but for the most part, there are lots of good options out there that were not made in your kitchen.
That doesn’t mean that the occasional roll up your sleeves kitchen meditation doesn’t have merit. Maybe you have a family recipe that you pull out once a year, take on a preserving project during berry or crab apple season or just commit to trying a new multi step recipe every so often.
Making your own BBQ sauce is a fun project because it is actually really, really basic but there is loads of room for creativity. This BBQ sauce is done in about 20 minutes and you scarcely use more than your blender. It also freezes perfectly and can be tailored to meet your tastes.
There are literally hundreds of combinations of BBQ sauces. We chose ancho chilies as the highlight because we just started carrying these dried organic ancho chilies in our bulk area that are a little piece of heaven (check with your local Amaranth for availability). We really wish they had a scratch and sniff option because the smell is so smoky and sweet but with so many levels of flavour that we could describe them like they do wine tastings!
Surprise, they aren’t just a flavouring component. They are also a powerhouse of nutrition. Not only does one pepper contain about 65% of your daily vitamin A requirement, but is also an excellent source of iron, potassium, manganese, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and has 2 grams of protein and up to 4 grams of fibre. Peppers also contain capsaicin which helps to decrease inflammation in the body. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin.
The other highlight of this combination is that we have used coconut sugar and molasses to sweeten the sauce. Coconut sugar has a toffee like flavour but as far as sweeteners go, it has a minimal affect on your blood sugar. If you like a sweeter sauce, you could go crazy and add one really ripe BC peach right into the blender with the ingredients below…
Organic Ancho Chili BBQ Sauce – makes 2 1/2 cups
2 organic ancho chilis, dried, whole with stems
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup coconut sugar (another dark sugar could be substituted)
1/2 cup mustard (dijon or yellow)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder (we used a paprika forward powder)
1 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
First you need to warm up your chilis to soften them. Heat a pan and warm the peppers for 3-4 minutes, turning often. You are not looking to toast them, just make them pliable and awaken the smoky flavour. After they are warmed and bendable, but a slit in the side of each pepper and remove the seeds and stems. In a bowl or jar, pour some bowling water over the peppers and allow them to finish softening for 5-10 minutes. We added about a teaspoon of the seeds to the hot water to give a bit of spice but the seeds in these peppers are not really very hot.
While the peppers are soaking, add all the rest of your ingredients to the blender. When your pepper is soft enough to blend, strain it and save the water for another use. Add the pepper and few seeds to the blender ingredients and blend until smooth.
Taste and adjust flavours if needed. Remember that the flavours will continue to combine over the next few days. The sauce will keep in the fridge for at least a month and also freezes really well.
You, my friend, just made your own BBQ sauce.
Recipe, photos and post by Amy Buckman, Community Ambassador, Amaranth Markets.