Yes! But minus the sugar and carbs. And how is that possible? Unless you want to make your own keto-friendly bbq sauce, it’s got to be store bought. The good news is that there are plenty of good choices that allow you to enjoy those ribs, chicken or pulled pork with a tangy, tasty bbq sauce without all the sugar and carbs.
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Let the testing begin!
Several weeks ago, I promised that I would be testing a few keto-friendly bbq sauces. This blog post will start off with one test, and over the weeks, I add my thoughts on other brands. Sorry cooking lovers – I am cheating with the meat preparation by picking up some delicious ribs at my local farmers market. Super easy way to try out all these sauces. So here we go!
Before we get started, let’s talk about what’s so, so wrong with most of the bbq sauces on the market.
This discussion starts with the word “sugar”.
Really? 18 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar in two tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce? And the first two ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup? Not tomato paste, molasses or anything else you would want to make bbq sauce with? When you think about making bbq sauce, do you think about high fructose corn syrup as naturally being the first ingredient? Disgusting.
Test #1 – G. Hughes Sugar Free Honey BBQ Sauce
Even though there isn’t a lot of information on his website, G. Hughes seems like a pretty cool guy. He is described as an award-winning pitmaster “who knows how to start and finish”. Interesting. Well, I ran into this bbq sauce sort of by accident. I wasn’t really looking for it, but there it was on the shelf, so I thought I would try it. When I was paying for my groceries, the cashier said it was delicious, so I was really excited to try it.
The verdict – Not bad, not bad. The first few ingredients are crushed tomatoes, cider vinegar, and white vinegar as it should be for bbq sauce! The final ingredient was sucralose (aspartame) which didn’t thrill me. I prefer to steer clear of artificial sweeteners, but I usually do okay with occasional consumption. I did find that this sauce had a bit of an aftertaste. What this the sucralose? Who knows…
G.Hughes sugar free bbq sauce has 2 grams of carbs per tablespoon and there are six flavors: Mesquite, Maple Brown Sugar Flavored, Hickory, Honey Flavored, Carolina Style Sweet Heat, and Sweet and Spicy. I will give it a 7/10 for now.
Test #2 – Rufus Teague Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
Rufus Teague has been winning BBQ awards since 2005. Located in Kansas City, the company lives by the saying, “Good sauce makes bad barbeque good and good barbeque gooder”. Rufus Teague has a few regular bbq sauces along with their sugar free versions. Their sugar free version is available in two flavors, Slim N’ Sweet and fiery Smoke ‘N Chipotle. Made with stevia as opposed to artificial sweeteners, each sauce contains 3 grams of carbs per tablespoon. Thinking this was a bit high on the carbs, I discovered that the ingredients list a “trivial amount of sugar” apparently from Tamari Soy Sauce, which has 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon. I am not going to complain too much about that, but if you are super sensitive to sugar, you may want to think twice about this brand.
The verdict – I sampled their Smoke ‘N Chipotle flavor and it was definitely fiery! I love spicy foods so that wasn’t a dealbreaker. The sauce is very flavorful and did not deliver the same after taste as G. Hughes. It was very tasty! But I was a little disappointed that a “trivial amount of sugar” was used in what is supposed to be “sugar free”. In my opinion, a food is either sugar free or not. And I worried that it actually tasted good, and I liked it. Was it the sugar? 😬 I hope not. Give it a try!
I almost didn’t want to eat this. It looked so beautiful when it came out of the oven. This recipe came from Keto is Life and it’s a spin on their Keto Shrimp Alfredo Spaghetti Squash dish. I made a few small tweaks that I think you’ll really like.
Why I love spaghetti squash
I haven’t had spaghetti noodles or any kind of pasta since I went keto in October of 2015. I really don’t miss it, but spaghetti squash is so delightful. It’s a treat from nature that has the near consistency and texture of thin spaghetti noodles without the carbs, refined wheat and other miscellaneous inflammatory-causing junk.
Rich in nutrients and low in carbs
One cup spaghetti squash has 7 grams of carbs compared to spaghetti noodles which has 43 grams of carbs. Wow! Spaghetti squash is also good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6.
The recipe tweaks
I followed the recipe at Keto for Life with the exception of throwing in two cups of baby spinach in the Alfredo sauce. I also used cooked shrimp (saves a ton of time). I always keep a big bag of cooked shrimp in the freezer and use it for a variety of recipes. I just threw in eight shrimp into the Alfredo sauce along with the baby spinach.
This dish is absolutely delicious. It tasted like gourmet restaurant food without the expense. It was very easy to make and done in about 45 minutes. Most of that time was spent cooking the squash. I prepared the Alfredo sauce while the squash was cooking.
Definitely give this recipe a try!