Clean Eating Barbecue Sauce

Last autumn when I was in Milwaukee getting my health taken care of the doctor encouraged me to a more “Clean Eating” lifestyle.  There are various definitions of ‘clean eating’ some of them relate to eating more-smaller meals, others focus on unprocessed ingredients, others focus on reducing the shear number of ingredients in your food (cutting out those words in the ingredient list that you can’t pronounce).

While looking into that I came across a basic ‘clean eating’ barbecue sauce.  I have used a couple varieties of this — in particular eliminating the garlic and the liquid smoke both of which I have a hard time digesting.

It’s amazing how many things can be improved by the addition of unsweetened applesauce!


  • clean-eating-bbq-sauce1 cup water
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp onion powder (or diced onion)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder * (or smashed garlic)
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (I used hickory) *
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  • In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  • Bring to a boil, cover half way with a lid to prevent splashing and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a glass jar and let cool.
  • Use as you would use a store bought BBQ sauce.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight glass jar for up to a few months. Might be freezable.


5 thoughts on “Clean Eating Barbecue Sauce

  1. I have to laugh at myself on this one, Peter. I thought ‘is this worth all the work over my tried-and-true gluten free Sweet Baby Ray’s?’ Then I looked at the SBR ingredients. Right off the bat…top of the list….HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Ya got me thinkin’ buddy….

    Liked by 1 person

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