Sugar-Free “Brown Sugar” Apple Dip (Low Carb)

 

While I prefer my fruits fresh for the most part, I do love apple-anything desserts! (Okay, I also love this low carb/sugar-free cherry delight too!) Apples are a perfect snack (if you’re not keto). They are delicious, not messy, portable, and readily-available. But how I really love my apples is with a yummy, caramely apple dip. The one that I have made for thirty years is still a family favorite (1 package cream cheese, 1/2 cup (or more!) brown sugar, and 1 TBSP vanilla). However, for daily fare and for me and Hubby, I prefer to make a low carb/sugar-free one that is seriously just as tasty!

 

(Have you tried my SF Caramel-Chocolate Apple Nachos yet?)

 

And it begins….of course….with my Cream Cheese Dessert Base. (I’m telling you…you need some “parts” of this base in the fridge and the freezer both!) There are so many things you can make with this–and the whipping and sweetening are done and ready for you!

 

This amazing cream cheese dessert base makes a wonderful strawberry dip or dressing when you don’t add the maple flavoring and instead mix the dip with strawberry yogurt!

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

If you have learned how to make “powdered sugar-free sugar” for the dessert base from this post, you might have also learned how to make “brown-sugar-free-sugar” from here also. The key to the sugar-free brown sugar is the maple flavoring that you mix with your granulated sweetener (Pyure is what I use). For this dip, you want the brown sugar taste, but since the sweetener is already powdered and added to the cream cheese, you will just add the maple extract whipped into the base before you fold in the whipping cream.

 

If you are a Daily Intermittent Faster, I highly recommend that you open your window with a low carb item–it will keep you from craving during your eating window and sort of extend the fasting window longer. I recommend anything made with the cream cheese dessert base to open your window–just be sure you don’t overdo it because it is pretty calorie dense. (I use lower fat cream cheese for my dessert base–neufchatel–even though it is a little carbier than full fat cream cheese.)

 

 

Add some peanut butter or peanut flour and thin with a little low carb vanilla yogurt for the perfect “sweet” apple salad dressing! (See my Pb-mayo Apple salad here!)

 

 

I have so many recipes coming to the blog made out of this dessert base….but until I do, here are some ideas associated with this apple dip:

1) Berry Fruit Dip: Make the dip without the maple extract to use as a yummy fruit dip. Low carbers can have a berry fruit tray with this amazing dip and still stay very low carb!

2) Fruit Salad Dressing: Make the dip without the maple extract and mix with a flavored yogurt for an amazing fruit salad dressing—strawberry for a strawberry-banana cheesecake “salad” or blueberry for a blueberry salad.

3) Peanut Butter Dip: Add peanut butter or peanut flour to the dip for a peanut butter dip.

4) Peanut Butter/Apple Salad Dressing: Add peanut butter or peanut flour AND vanilla yogurt for a peanut butter dressing to make apple salad.

5) PB Chocolate Chip Dip: Add peanut butter or peanut flour AND coarsely chopped sugar-free chocolate bars or chips for a peanut-butter chocolate chip dip. (Use low carb sweet crackers from here or peanut butter cookies or fried low carb tortillas {elephant ears!} for dipping!)

More coming soon…..

 

 

While this dip is a little too sweet for celery as is in my opinion, you can add some peanut butter or peanut flour to it for the perfect low carb celery dip!

 


Sugar-Free "Brown Sugar" Apple Dip (Low Carb)
Author: 
Serves: 14 servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream cheese dessert base with a whisk. (You might need to let it set out for thirty minutes or possibly use a hand mixer.)
  2. Whip in the maple flavoring.
  3. Fold in whipped whipping cream in one half cup increments until it is the "creaminess" you desire. (If you like it fluffier, use more. If you like it more "cream cheesy," use less.)
  4. Refrigerate until serving time.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 120 Fat: 12 Carbohydrates: 2 Sugar: 1 Protein: 2

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Mixed Pork Gravy (Low Carb & Healthy Options)

 

If you’ve been following my Grocery Fast, you know that I have been trying for eight weeks to not spend much money at the grocery store but instead use up my many food stores in my pantries, cupboards, freezers, and refrigerators. (And then I’m hoping to learn to shop and cook for two of us—wish me luck!) I found a few bags of “pork” (mostly turkey products) in my freezer that I couldn’t see using as main entrees since there were bits and pieces. But with my quest to really use up all of these “bits and pieces,” my mind went crazy trying to figure out how to make a meal (another benchmark is that I am making MEALS out of what I have, not just side dishes or “add ons” to meals) out of this combination. I had been so hungry for biscuits and gravy, but with our OMAD (One Meal a Day)/Daily Intermittent Fasting), I can’t fit all the meals in that I am hungry for. (IF problems!) So I set out to make “Mixed ‘Pork’ Gravy” with these little bags of frozen meats.

 

I will give you the verdict before the instructions. I liked it a lot. Satisfied my “biscuits and gravy” craving (even though I had it over low carb toast), and I even enjoyed leftovers as a snack to open my eating window throughout the next week. (It takes soooo long to use up food with only one meal a day and two people!) However, my husband didn’t like it very well. He has been getting pickier (again, probably the OMAD thing!) as he gets older because he used to like anything and everything. I also wanted to say, “There’s no reason not to like that….you order all of those meats on pizza and love it!” But I didn’t.

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

So here are some tips before I loosely give you the “recipe” for the gravy.

(I didn’t measure anything….I never do with any kind of gravy, so those recipes are hard to share on a blog!):

 

1)  I like a lot of meat in my gravy. However, this can be made with very little amounts of “bits and pieces” if you don’t mind being “lean” on the meats. Mine was loaded with meats as you can see in the skillet before I added the almond milk and cream.

 

Here are my “bits and pieces” of “pork”—bacon bits, thick ham slice, turkey sausage links, and turkey sausage rounds.

 

2) Any milks or creams will do (as long as they are not sweet). The more “creamy” your milks (i.e. whipping cream rather than milk, etc.), the more fattening your dish will be—but it will probably be yummier too! ? You will also need less thickener if you use cream.

 

3)  I use bases extensively to cook with. I know they’re not considered “health foods,” but they add so much flavor without added calories, fat, or carbs. I even stir fry meats and vegetables in a little base and water, red wine, aminos (or soy sauce), and seasonings. However, all bases (chicken, beef, ham/pork/smoke house, and vegetable) are salty. Therefore, do not add salt until you are ready to taste at the end. (I also “enrich” the flavors of broth and bone broth with added base.)

 

4) All of my meats were precooked. If you are using any of these meats in their raw state, you could keep some of the grease in your pan, make a roux with sprouted white flour, and add even more flavor (and not have to thicken as much at the end).

 

Since my meats were already cooked, I just defrosted them, added them to my skillet, and heated them before adding my liquids and seasoning.

 

 

5) I thickened my gravy with xantham gum and stirred into some of the liquid from the pan because I didn’t have any corn starch, and I wanted to do a little more “gravy and soup thickening test” with xantham gum for another article I recently wrote. Next time I would use corn starch mixed in cold water. (See next tip.)

 

6) As for “healthier” or low carb thickeners, I recently wrote an article about seventeen of them. Check it out here. I use xantham gum in stews and soups and even in my Very Low Carb Flour Mix to help bind things, but gravies are tricky to get the right consistency without changing the flavor. I would use corn starch and cold water for gravy personally. (The article gives the carb count and how many carbs per serving you would add to a dish if using corn starch to thicken.) Here are my thoughts for this recipe:

a. Adding cream cheese would add a boatload of calories and fat to the gravy before it got it to gravy consistency. If you are truly keto/LCHF and not concerned about fat and calories, you could start with some loose cream cheese then move on to something stronger.

b. Xantham gum did not give it the texture of gravy. It helped thicken it some, but it definitely wasn’t “normal” sausage gravy thick. Go slowly on the xantham gum, following the instructions in my Thickening article.

c. Corn starch has the next to the strongest thickening power out there (next to arrowroot). It simply doesn’t take very much to do the job—and would not add very many carbs per serving. I believe it makes the best gravy.

 

I used what I had on hand for liquids—a little whipping cream and unflavored, unsweetened almond milk.

 

 

7) I served mine over low carb toast. (Anybody else use their Air Fryer for toast? One less appliance that I have to have out on the counter!) You could also make my delicious low carb biscuits to go with these. (And then make my amazing crock pot apple butter to have on a biscuit for dessert!)

 

The finished product wasn’t overly thick—I would use cornstarch and water next time. (See Tips before recipe.)

 


Mixed Pork Gravy (Low Carb & Healthy Options)
Author: 
Serves: Serves several
 
Nutritional Count Based on Your Amounts (almond milk & cream are extremely low carb as are meats)
Ingredients
  • Mixed meats (sausage links, kielbasa, ground sausage, bacon, ham)
  • Milks of your choice (choose your favorite—almond milk, milk, half & half, cream, etc.)
  • Pork/Ham/Smokehouse Base
  • Seasoning of your choice—preferably salt free (I use my Favorite Seasoning Mix)
  • Corn starch or other thickener
Instructions
  1. Cook meats if they are not precooked.
  2. Cut meats into tiny pieces. (I used kitchen shears for this.)
  3. If desired, use some grease from the meat to make a flour and grease roux before adding liquid.
  4. If not making roux, be sure meat is hot and add it to the pan.
  5. Pour in milks of your choice and heat thoroughly. I also add some base mixed in a little bit of the liquid, seasonings, etc.
  6. Heat all til boiling and thicken with corn starch and cold water whisked together or xantham gum (or other thickening choice).
  7. Serve over toast or biscuits.

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17 Ways to Thicken With Fewer Carbs (Soups, Stews, Gravies, and More!)

 

When I began cooking and baking low carb, I knew that I didn’t want to add 50 carbs to a gravy or soup by using 1/2 cup of white flour to make a roux and thicken soups, stews, and gravies. So I began experimenting with various thickening agents. Since I have some upcoming gravy and cream soup recipes, I thought this would be a good time to share some of my findings with readers. You don’t have to eat specifically low carb to benefit from these tips. They are good ones for any health-conscious cook. So….if you would like to get some new tricks for thickening in less starchy/less carby ways, read on!

read more…

Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

True confession: I do not like Olive Garden’s salad dressing. But that is probably only because I do not like salad dressing at all.

 

Period. Not.one.single.dressing. Nada. Nope. None.

 

However, I have some kids who are crazy about this dressing, so I make it with my homemade Italian Dressing Mix for them.

 

Read through the Recipe Keys—there are alternatives and ideas for all kinds of cooks there. And even if your family is not doing fewer carbs/lower glycemic index/less sugar/fewer wheat-type of grains, I think everybody will love this recipe.

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 
Below are links to the ingredients I use in the recipe above. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
Author: 
Serves: 1.5 cups
 
Net Carbs: 4 grams
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP plus 1 tsp Italian Dressing Mix
  • ¾ cup oil (olive oil; original recipe called for vegetable oil or canola oil)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tsp. water or chicken broth
  • ½ tsp bulk sweetener
  • ½ tsp salt (may reduce or omit if using broth)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp real mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Use whisk to mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
  4. Keep refrigerated.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Tbsp. Calories: 140 Fat: 14 Carbohydrates: 4 Sugar: 2

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Recipe Keys

Low Carb (LC): This is a very low carb recipe with no added carbs—assuming you use a zero net carb bulk sweetener like erythritol, xylitol, Truvia, Pyure, Splenda, etc.

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): The sweetener in this is minute, and nobody can tell this is a “low carb food”—for those trying to persuade their family to enjoy foods with few carbohydrates/lower on glycemic index.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): You may use one packet of store bought Good Seasonings Italian Dressing mix in this recipe in place of the homemade Italian Seasoning Mix. Just be sure to use mayo and not Miracle Whip.

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): This is very homemade! You can make this completely whole-foods as written above—or make it even more homemade by using your own dried herbs or homemade mayo.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): This is a very S dressing! Can be used to marinate meats for S entrees or as is for salad dressing for an Italian salad or sub on low carb bread, etc.

 

Sugar Free (SF): Sugar-free and healthy option! (See sweetener options above in LC.)

 

Gluten Free (GF): No fillers so no concern about hidden gluten.

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): Love my mixes!

Italian Dressing Mix

Italian Dressing Mix

I have been building up my repertoire of mixes lately. (Check out my Very Low Carb Flour Mix, All Purpose Seasoning Mix, and BBQ Base mixes!)

 

If you are low carbing, you will want to be careful of seasoning mixes and packets. Many have thickening agents (i.e. arrowroot or cornstarch); others have anti-clumping properties, which can add carbohydrates to the total. Of course, many of us home cooks have been doing many homemade things for years and years—including sauces, seasoning mixes, and more—in an effort to either save money or be able to put into our foods exactly what we want (and know what that is!).

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Italian Seasoning Mix Recipe

Regardless of your reason for using homemade mixes and seasonings, I think you will agree that every home cook needs an Italian Dressing Mix in her cupboards!

 

 

I “developed” this recipe by combining some ingredients from the “Make a Mix Cookery” cookbook (though it doesn’t have the seasoning mix itself), a knock off “Good Season” dressing mix, and a couple of other from Pinterest. I knew it needed some red pepper flakes for some kick—and I can never use too much basil in my cooking! Also, some do not have any sweetener in them at all, which I think is a mistake in such a “spicy” dressing and mix.

 

 

Italian Seasoning Mix Recipe

If you want to become a “make-a-mix” cook, then this is the the book for you! You can see how worn out mine is—and this is my third copy! See that little sticky note? That is from a dozen years ago! It makes me smile…

 

 

Of course, this mix can be used to make salad dressing (Olive Garden knock off recipe here!). But there are so many other uses for this!

 

 

Italian Seasoning Mix Recipe

Homemade croutons!

Just like my all purpose and BBQ sauce base, I constantly use it as a seasoning mix blend (another step or two I can eliminate when cooking—not having to get out ten spices at one time). Oh, and of course, for marinades. I love to marinate—or even marinate and then stick the entire bag in the freezer for a quick freezer entrée later.
I will be posting many recipes with this mix—including Philly Cheesesteak Casserole, Homemade Croutons (oh my word!), Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins, steak salad, kielbasa stir fry, and Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Breasts. And some marinades. So stay tuned!

Italian Seasoning Mix Recipe

Roasted vegetables are simple: mix olive oil, broth, and one of my seasoning mixes. Drizzle over veggies on a large roasting pan and roast! Try this Italian Dressing Mix or All Purpose Seasoning Mix or BBQ Base Mix!!!

 

 

Oh, for those just sticking their toes into the whole mix cookery, I have the half measurements in parentheses following each ingredient. You will wish you had doubled or tripled it—not halved it. But baby steps, right? 🙂

 

 

Italian Seasoning Mix Recipe

Mixes make dinners for family and friends a cinch to put together!

 

 

Let me know what you think—or if you tweak it, please share your tweaks with me and why you like it better. I’m always into learning!

 

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

Italian Dressing Mix
Author: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Half recipe amounts in parentheses.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all thoroughly.
  2. Store in airtight container.
  3. Use liberally!
Notes
Amounts for half a recipe are listed after each ingredient.
Also, for uses in recipes that call for Italian Salad Dressing packets, 2 TBSP of this recipe is equivalent to one store-bought packet.

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*Any sugar-free bulk sweetener (granulated) that measures cup-for-cup like sugar will work this recipe. These include (but are not limited to) Swerve, Splenda, Erythritol, and Xylitol. You will have to convert the measurements if you use a Trim Healthy Mama sweetener, Pyure, Truvia, or granulated stevia. For more information about sweeteners, see this post.

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Recipe Keys

 

 

Low Carb (LC): This is a very low carb recipe with no added carbs—assuming you use a zero net carb bulk sweetener like erythritol, xylitol, Truvia, Pyure, Splenda, etc.

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): The sweetener in this is minute, and nobody can tell this is a “low carb food”—for those trying to persuade their family to enjoy foods with few carbohydrates/lower on glycemic index.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): While there are many seasoning combinations out there for SBS’s, be sure that if you are concerned about carbs (and you don’t’ choose to make this one!) that you read the labels carefully. If you want to use the packets of Italian Dressing mix for the convenience, you may use it in all recipes on my blog that call for Italian Seasoning Mix!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): This is very homemade! You can make this completely whole-foods as written above—or make it even more homemade by using your own dried herbs.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): These could be used in an S setting or an E setting—no real carbs and no fat as it is given (the mix)! Use it on all of that protein in both meal types! If you use it as part of a rub or as part of a marinade without fat, you may have an E or a FP. If you use it as it is traditionally used (with olive oil), it is an S.

 

Sugar Free (SF): Sugar-free and healthy option!

 

Gluten Free (GF): No fillers so no concern about hidden gluten.

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This is one of over two dozen of my low carb mixes that I will be bringing to the blog this summer (after eighteen months of testing them!). While the mixes say low carb, they have family-friendly options, gluten-free options, and just “regular” options. Mixes fit all cooking styles—I’ve been using mixes for twenty-five years this month!

 

 

 

Monterey Marinade

[Sugar-Free] Monterey Marinade

 

I like to marinate meats in a bbq type/Tex Mex marinade when using them in fajitas, bbq, etc. (Even if I am adding bbq sauce at cooking time, I still love that flavor-infusion from marinading in this mixture!)

 

I usually make my bbq sauce (plenty for whatever I am bbq’ing) then take out a cup of it for the first Monterey Marinade choice below.

 

If you do not want to make the bbq sauce or you are not bbq’ing (in the case of wanting to marinate beef strips for fajitas or something that you are not going to need bbq sauce for), you can use Monterey Marinade #2 given below (using my BBQ Sauce Base). Both recipes give you a moist meat with a hint of Tex-Mex!

 

And they both marinate a lot of meat—depending on how much marinade you like to use. I have marinaded up to fifteen pounds of mixed chicken pieces with each of the recipes given below.

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

Below are links to the ingredients I use in these recipes. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Monterey Marinade Recipe #1
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup olive oil or melted butter (Or sub half wine/half broth or all wine/all broth if using chicken with skin or other fatty meat in which you do not want to add more fat.)
  • 1 to 2 cups broth (depending on how much marinade you need/how much meat you are marinating)
  • 1 cup sugar-free bbq sauce (Try mine here!)
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces, pork loin slices, etc. as desired.
  3. Do not use extra marinade after you remove the meat unless you cook it first. (You may desire to cook the used marinade in the microwave for several minutes in order to use it on the meat at serving time.)

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Monterey Marinade

I love to precook meats before grilling and marinate before precooking! Sometimes I just marinate the meat (putting in s few pieces of meat then some marinade then repeat til done) right in my crick insert then put marinade and all on to partially cook before firing up the grill!

 

 

Monterey Marinade Recipe #2
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup olive oil or melted butter (Or sub half wine/half broth or all wine/all broth if using chicken with skin or other fatty meat in which you do not want to add more fat.)
  • 2 cups broth
  • ¼ cup BBQ Sauce Base
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup bulk sugar substitute (Splenda, erythritol, or xylitol—use a granulated one that measures cup-for-cup in place of sugar)
  • Drop or two of molasses
  • 2 tspliquid smoke
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces, pork loin slices, etc. as desired.
  3. Do not use extra marinade after you remove the meat unless you cook it first. (You may desire to cook the used marinade in the microwave for several minutes in order to use it on the meat at serving time.)

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Recipe Keys

Low Carb (LC): Yep! Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): My family loves meats marinated in one of these mixtures!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS: Come on, Stella, join the low carb mixes bandwagon! 🙂

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): You may desire to omit the liquid smoke if you do not like using processed condiments.

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): Sometimes I make marinades (one of these and others) and place my prepared meat (chopped, sliced, cubed…whatever) in a labeled zipper bag and pour the marinade over the meat and freeze! Then when I need that meat, I just defrost in the sink or the fridge (chicken always in fridge) and allow the meat to marinade as it defrosts. Then I am ready to use it! (This is actually the basis for many of those “Eighty-Five Freezer Meals in One Day” type of posts in which different sauces and marinades are prepared and meats are frozen raw in the sauces. I am not a big fan of too many of those simply because I like many of my freezer meals to be more ready than that—and I like freezer entrees that are more “all in one meal” types, like lasagna (make it with my crepes here!), enchiladas, etc.)

 

Oldie Goldie Family Recipes (OG): I have always (at least for the twenty-four years that I have been freezer cooking and mix making!) done the type of marinade and freeze described in the FC note. I just haven’t always done it low carb! Feels so good to find ways to do some familiar favorites of days gone by in healthier ways!

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): This can be S, E, or FP! Make it as is for an S (with the oil/butter—it does help the marinade infuse the meat more!). Make it an E or an FP without the oil or butter (with more broth or with cooking wine).

 

Cycle Cooking (CYC): To use this in my cycle cooking, I would probably either use it in my “shaped cycle”—pieces of beef and/or pork that I cook up all in one day for a special purpose or for meals that week or for the freezer. Or I would do chicken breast chunks for the freezer (frozen in the marinade as described). I seldom do two or three “kinds of meat” together since my cycle cooking involves all “crumbled ground beef” or “shaped meat” (meatloaves, meat balls, pieces of meat {like swiss steak, pork loin, etc.}) or “shredded chicken” or “sides” or “chicken breasts.” I find it more efficient to do all one meat type at once and make various meals out of that one type!

 

Sugar Free (SF): My Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce is sugar free as is my BBQ Sauce Base! So either way, this marinade is sugar free!

 

Gluten Free (GF): Yes! (Again, assuming that you have the condiments and ingredients this recipe calls for in gluten-free.)

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): The BBQ Sauce Base that is the basis for this marinade is a super handy “mix” that you will probably use time and time again. (Watch for future recipes using it!)

Sugar-Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sugar-Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

One of the primary uses for my BBQ Sauce Base is definitely to make BBQ sauce! I love sweet BBQ—but I also love foods with a little zip. This sauce give me both!

 

I like the sweetness just as it is, but you might like a little more or a little less bulk sweetener. Also, I like the spice as is, but you might want to adjust your base (i.e. omit the chili powder) or lessen the liquid smoke if you feel it is too spicy for your family.

 

Generally speaking, this sauce can be slathered on fifteen to twenty pounds of chicken (as given below—totaling three cups or so). It keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so even if I do not need all of it at the time, I go ahead and make the three cups and store the leftovers in a canning jar in the fridge. (I can always BBQ a few breasts or a pound of shrimp for my husband and me when the kids are all gone some evening!)

 

Also check out my Monterey Marinade that I like to use to marinade things I will be BBQ’ing. That marinade uses one cup of this sauce, so I like to keep a little in the fridge for that marinade as well.

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Sugar-Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce Base
  • ½ cup bulk sugar substitute (Splenda, erythritol, or xylitol—use a granulated one that measures cup-for-cup in place of sugar)
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup broth (I use beef or pork when making bbq for those meats and chicken broth when making bbq for chicken)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except broth until smooth.
  2. Whisk in broth as needed to get the thickness desired. (Keep in mind that if you are not using it immediately or you are refrigerating it for future use, it will thicken. You can wait and add more broth when you reheat and whisk again if desired.)
  3. Store or use immediately.
  4. Just before using, re-whisk and heat in micro for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Makes just under 3 to 3 ½ cups of BBQ sauce (depending on how much broth you use and how thick you like your BBQ sauce).

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Recipe Keys

 

 

Low Carb (LC): Carbs are minimal (just from the tomato paste and a tiny bit from the broth and the molasses).

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): This does not taste the least bit sugar free or low carb! My “this is sugar-free, isn’t it, Mom?” adult kids all really enjoy it! Regular BBQ sauce is so sugar-laden. It is like eating a candy bar every time you use a few tablespoons! This is tasty without the sugar coma!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS):  Very homemade—but very worth it!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): Sweet and spicy HOMEMADE BBQ sauce…you gals will love it! Optional: If you do not want to use liquid smoke, you may omit it altogether. Some HH’s do not like to use such a processed condiment. (I love the smoky taste that it adds!)

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I have made BBQ meatballs and BBQ chicken breasts ahead of time and froze them. They were still amazing!

 

Oldie Goldie Family Recipes (OG): Not my original BBQ sauce from years ago—but better because it isn’t like eating candy! 🙂

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): This BBQ sauce can be used in all three settings, depending on what you put it on! Put it on chicken with skin for a yummy S meal. Put it on turkey meatballs or pulled pork for an E meal. Or put it on skinless, boneless chicken breasts for a FP!

 

Cycle Cooking (CYC): I make my seasoning mixes all at one time to rotate them in to my cycle cooking!

 

Sugar Free (SF): Sugar-free and amazingly yummy!

 

Gluten Free (GF):  Be sure all of your products are gluten-free, and you will be great!

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This uses my BBQ Sauce Base mix! Love my “Low Carb Mixes and Fast Fixes”!

 

 

BBQ Sauce Base

BBQ Base Mix

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BBQ Sauce Base
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons dry minced onion (D ½ cup; Tr ¾ cup)
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder (D 2 TBSP; Tr 3 TBSP)
  • ½ to 1 TBSP chili powder (D 1 to 2 TBSP; Tr 1 ½ to 3 TBSP)
  • 2 teaspoon ground mustard powder (D 4 tsp; Tr 2 TBSP)
  • 2 teaspoon paprika (D 4 tsp; Tr 2 TBSP)
  • 2 bay leaves crumbled (or use powdered/ground bay leaf) (D 4; Tr 6)
  • 2 teaspoon salt (D 4 tsp; Tr 2 TBSP)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (D 2 tsp; Tr 1 TBSP)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and store in air tight container.
  2. Use as desired in recipes here on DonnaReish.com that call for BBQ Base.
  3. Also may be used by the teaspoonful (or more!) in recipes in which an onion-y, somewhat spicy flavored is desired (since there is no sweetener in the BBQ Base itself.)
  4. Recipe may be doubled (D) or tripled (Tr) or quadrupled—sorry, do your own math on the latter! I use this often enough in various things to go ahead and make it five or six times when I make it. It isn’t just a bbq sauce mix to me but a handy somewhat spicy seasoning mix! Gives things that Tex-Mex flavor!

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BBQ Sauce Mix Recipe

Use this BBQ Sauce Base to make my yummy Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce!

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Recipe Keys

 

 

Low Carb (LC): This is a very low carb seasoning mix. The small amount of minced onion is really the only thing with measurable carbs—and I don’t even count that. (And the sauce that is made from this is also very low carb!)

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): I use this in so many cooking applications. I used to have this seasoning called 33rd & Galena (from Penzeys Spices, which are great!). With this, I don’ t need that seasoning any more. Handy to have for all cooking—not just low carb.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS):  The whole mix process is pretty homemade, which might make some SBS’s think that my ideas and recipes are not really for them. However, the very nature of a homemade mix is to make things faster and easier. If you are a Stella who is a Homemade Hannah-Wannabe, then start making mixes as they are the best of both worlds—the homemade world and the quick and efficient world! 🙂

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): Any Homemade Hannah who wants to be more efficient in her kitchen and desires to have a cool cupboard full of mixes (see picture here!) will love this mix! The bbq sauce is homemade, sugar-free, and out of this world sweet yet spicy!

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I don’t recommend freezing seasoning mixes like I do flour and baking mixes.  I use them too fast to need to freeze them any way!

 

Oldie Goldie Family Recipes (OG): This is not my original, sugar-laden bbq sauce recipe base from days gone by. But I feel better using less or no sugar nowadays!

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): The BBQ Sauce Base as it is given above may be used in an S, E, or FP setting since it has little carbs and no fat. Sprinkle it on anything you want to give a Tex-Mex flavor to!

 

Cycle Cooking (CYC): I love to make all of my seasoning mixes at one time since I have so many spices out already. Then another day I will make my sweet mixes and another my croutons, etc. This is in addition to my beloved “shredded chicken cycle,” “crumbled ground beef cycle,” etc.

 

Sugar Free (SF): This base is sugar-free—and so is the amazing bbq sauce recipe that uses this base.

 

Gluten Free (GF):  I am not a gluten-free cook, but I understand that if you put gluten-free products together (i.e. all of your spices are gluten-free), your mix will be gluten-free, so go for it!

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This is not specifically a low carb mix. (I would have loved to have had created this years ago before I began low carb cooking!) But I call it a LCM because the dishes that use this base (coming soon—Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce Mix, Grilled BBQ Barbecue Chicken {Sugar-Free}, Monterey Marinade, Philly Cheesesteak Casserole, Crock Pot Beef Fajitas, and more!) are all low carb (and sugar-free and nearly always grain-free!).

 

All Purpose Seasoning Mix

All Purpose Seasoning Mix

 

I have been trying to develop a seasoning mix that can be used in meats, fish, vegetables, and salad. I think I am finally there!

 

If you are low carbing, you will want to be careful of seasoning mixes and packets. Many have thickening agents (i.e. arrowroot or cornstarch); others have anti-clumping properties, which can add carbohydrates to the total. Of course, many of us home cooks have been doing many homemade things for years and years—including sauces, seasoning mixes, and more—in an effort to either save money or be able to put into our foods exactly what we want (and know what that is!).

 


Regardless of your reason for using homemade mixes and seasonings, I think you will like this All-Purpose Seasoning Mix. I have been sprinkling it on frying meats, stir it into crock pot concoctions, and adding it to soups and salads.  I love to sprinkle it over the olive oil and beef broth mixture that I just sprinkled over vegetables for roasting! (The small amount of moisture from the olive oil/broth combination helps the seasoning to stick to even slick vegetables like zucchini better!)

 

I just tweaked a cole slaw recipe using this seasoning—even though it contains seasonings that we do not traditionally think of with cole slaw, my guys loved it! (Click here for cole slaw recipe!)

 

Let me know what you think—or if you tweak it, please share your tweaks with me and why you like it better. I’m always into learning!

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
All Purpose Seasoning Mix
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper (black or white; I like black because with the paprika, this seasoning mix is pretty!)
  • ¾ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp ground bay leaves
  • ½ tsp basil
  • Optional: 1 tsp red pepper powder or 1 tsp chili powder!
Instructions
  1. Combine all thoroughly.
  2. Store in airtight container.
  3. Use liberally!
  4. If you don’t want the pepper powder or chili powder in it all the time, you can omit it (like I did), and when a dish seems like it would benefit from it, just add a pinch of it with each teaspoon of All Purpose Seasoning Mix!
Notes
Note: To use this mix in recipes that call for other seasonings, if you are one to experiment (!), just add the total number of teaspoons of the seasonings your recipe calls for that are similar to the ones listed here and use that amount of All Purpose Seasoning Mix (while still adding in other seasonings that your recipe might call for, such as celery seed, ground mustard, etc.).

 

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All Purpose Seasoning Mix

 

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Recipe Keys

 

Low Carb (LC): This is a very low carb recipe with no added carbs.

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): Great in many of my FFLC recipes!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): While there are many seasoning combinations out there for SBS’s, be sure that if you are concerned about carbs (and you don’t’ choose to make this one!) that  you read the labels carefully.

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): This is very homemade! You can make this completely whole-foods as written above—or make it even more homemade by using your own dried herbs.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): These could be used in an S setting or an E setting—no real carbs and no fat! Use it on all of that protein in both meal types!

 

Sugar Free (SF): Sugar-free and healthy option!

 

Gluten Free (GF): No fillers so no concern about hidden gluten.

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This is one of over two dozen of my low carb mixes that I will be bringing to the blog this summer (after fifteen months of testing them!). While the mixes say low carb, they have family-friendly options, gluten-free options, and just “regular” options. Mixes fit all cooking styles—I’ve been using mixes for twenty-five years this month!

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