3 Classic Sauces Re-imagined
Simple, Vegan, and Healthier Than Ever!
Sweet sauces are an absolute favourite for most of us. However, if we are trying to eat healthy and avoid refined sugars, we have to say goodbye to them.
In my quest to find which sauces do not have any added sugar or sweeteners, I was surprised to find that the only sauce fitting that description was Dijon mustard! Added sugar seems to be in everything, even things that are not supposed to be sweet and, apart from it being an unhealthy additive, a lot of the time we also don’t know whether the sugar used in our favourite sauces is vegan or not.
But I have some great news—I discovered how to make homemade sauces that taste better than store-bought ones while using only the purest of ingredients. The magic ingredient for these recipes is dried pitted dates that give these sauces their sweet taste without the need of any added sugars. Let’s get cooking!
Ketchup. The ingredients you will need are 1 tin of plum tomatoes, 50g dried pitted dates, 1 tsp. celery salt, ½ tsp. mustard powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. black pepper and 80ml of cider vinegar.
Combine all ingredients along with 250ml of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and liquefy the sauce either by transferring to a blender or by using a hand blender. Now return to the heat and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. If you need to add more water at any point feel free to do so. Once the sauce is ready, let it cool down and for maximum flavour refrigerate it for a few hours before eating. Enjoy!
BBQ sauce. For this sauce you will need a ½ tin of tomatoes, 150g dried pitted dates, ½ tsp. celery salt, ¼ tsp. chilli powder, ½ tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. black pepper, a pinch of cinnamon and 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar.
Start by soaking the dates in boiling water for five minutes, then drain them and place them in a blender with the tomatoes, blend until smooth. Transfer your sauce to a saucepan and add all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is getting too thick add some water to loosen it up. When you have your desired consistency, remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool down. You can enjoy it straight away or refrigerate it for later.
Sweet chilli sauce. American spelling – British spelling is chilli This sauce uses 150g dried pitted dates, 250g medium-hot red chili peppers (bird’s eye or similar), 1 tsp. garlic powder and 350 ml rice wine vinegar.
This sauce also requires soaking the dates in boiling water for five minutes and then draining. The next step is to deseed your chilies, except three or four of them and then roughly chop up all of them. For a hotter sauce you can keep the seeds of more chillies and for a milder one keep only a couple or none at all. Add all your ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes while stirring occasionally. If at any point you feel the sauce is getting too thick for your liking you can loosen it up with some water. When the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down. This sauce is best enjoyed chilled so make sure you refrigerate it for a few hours before eating.
So there you have them; three delicious and 100% vegan sauces that are as healthy as a sweet sauce could ever be. You can eat them straight away or refrigerate them for up to 10 days.