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Smoky BBQ Sauce

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Made with whole ingredients, raw, vegan, Smokey BBQ Sauce

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

I have always been fond of BBQ sauce… thick, sweet, smoky, and sticky. Back in the day when it was a standard condiment on our table, it wasn’t uncommon to find me wearing as much as I was eating… I would have a ring of sauce around my lips, my fingers sticking together with sauce covering them, and a few hefty smears on the front of my shirt.

A Firm Foundation

The foundation of this sauce is sun-dried tomatoes, which are essential when creating a raw BBQ sauce.  I don’t recommend using fresh tomatoes in place of them because the flavor and texture are very different.

Antioxidant-Rich BBQ Sauce

Tomatoes contain high quantities of antioxidants, but the antioxidants in tomatoes may vary based on the state in which they are served. For example, raw tomatoes contain more of certain antioxidants than sun-dried tomatoes, while sun-dried tomatoes are higher in others.

For example, vitamin C is higher in fresh tomatoes because it is water-soluble and sensitive to heat. Have you ever questioned why they add ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) to sun-dried tomatoes?  It is added not only for preservation but also because it creates a higher vitamin C content in sun-dried tomatoes than in raw tomatoes. Shew… did you follow that?

The other quick antioxidant that I wanted to touch base on is Lycopene.  The lycopene found in tomatoes may prevent the development of prostate, rectal, colon, and some stomach cancers.  But here’s the thing, it is more readily available for absorption if it is consumed with oil or heated. Sun-dried tomatoes contain approximately 20 percent more bioavailable lycopene than raw tomatoes. I love learning stuff like this.  I hope you do too.

Three Key Elements to a Good BBQ Sauce

Texture.  As you can see, the photo, this sauce is pretty darn thick… just the way I wanted it to be, but you can always thin it by adding more liquid.   It’s not uncommon to find BBQ sauce anywhere from thin and runny to molasses-thick, or almost paste-like. There’s no right or wrong with thickness and texture.  You are in control of that.

Aroma. The smell of BBQ  sauce always melts me.  The combination of sweet, savory, smokey, and sometimes spicy… all combined in a steady stream of aroma wafting from the bowl… oh, it gets me every time.

Flavor. This particular sauce has a beautiful balance between acidic vinegar tang,  smokiness, cayenne heat, and honey sweetness to round it out. You can adjust all of these levels to make it hotter, sweeter, thinner, thicker… and so forth. But I recommend making the recipe as is the first time and adjust from there.  That way, you can see the flavor that I was aiming for, which might be ideally suited for you. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Blessings to you in your kitchen adventures. amie sue


Yields 2+ cups


  1. After soaking the sun-dried tomatoes, drain 3/4 cup of water and set aside. Place the dried tomatoes and the other 3/4 cup of soak water into the blender.
    • The reserved soak water will be used if you want to thin out the BBQ sauce.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; vinegar, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, aminos, liquid smoke, onions, and spices along with the soaked dried tomatoes. Blend until the sauce is creamy smooth.
    • *If you don’t want to use honey, substitute with raw coconut syrup or even a thick date paste syrup. If raw isn’t a factor, you can use molasses as well.  The flavor will be affected a little but will still be good.
    • Create a vortex in the blender; this will help ensure that the sauce is getting fully blended into a creamy texture.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides.
    • Taste test and adjust flavors to your liking.
  3. Store the sauce in a mason jar for 4-7 days.

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