Fall weather is fast approaching, and I’m trying to enjoy every ounce of my grill before the snow starts. That mean the flames are kicking, and the sauce has to match. Barbecue sauce recipes typically have a ketchup base. Condiments like ketchup are a hidden playground for sugar and sodium, not to mention loaded with coloring and preservatives. All these items can trigger inflammation in our bodies (puffiness and pain aside, this leads to serious disease).
So what’s a gal to do when the BBQ hankering kicks in?? Get creative!
Luckily I happened to attend a cranberry festival over the weekend and came home with a five-pound box of fresh cranberries. I couldn’t resist using the cranberries as the base for my sauce.
Mole flavors started to speak to me so I used raw cacao to give the sauce depth. Horseradish and harissa bring on the lingering heat of the sauce. Once it’s all cooked and blended, it becomes rich, silky, dark and tangy with a hint of spice.
You can add more spice for more heat or additional cranberries for more berry notes. Make it your own before grilling season is over. This recipe is a Happy and Healthy winner!
Cranberry Chocolate BBQ Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups raw cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon harissa powder
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoon horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Simmer the cranberries and the water about 40 minutes or until the cranberries are soft. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender.
In the same pan (no need to clean it), sauté the onion in the olive oil to soften—about 10 minutes on low. Add in the garlic, harissa and cacao powder and continue to cook another couple of minutes, stirring often.
In the meantime, blend the cranberries. Now add the blended cranberries and the remaining ingredients to the onion and garlic pan. Simmer about 30 minutes. Pour the sauce back into the same blender and carefully blend until smooth.
Use immediately or cool and store the remainder in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Happy Healthy Tips: Cranberries protect against urinary tract infections, inflammation and helps to protect against some cancer. Try popping a few raw for the best benefits. If you don’t have the Harissa powder, try substituting Thai chili powder, fresh chili peppers or a combination of cumin, cayenne and chili powder.