What would summer be without BBQs and what would BBQs be without BBQ sauce? Not that fun, I agree. But caveat emptor - not all sauces, marinades, and rubs are created equal. Some may seem like innocent and flavorful additions but can be loaded with nutrition "sabatogers" like sugar and salt. But not to worry, my team and I have put together a little something for you below so that you’ll have a leg up when attending or hosting your next BBQ.
Heather’s favorite flavor enhancer: Barbecue Sauce
Tips: A key ingredient to most BBQ sauces is sugar, so be careful! Make sure the first couple of ingredients don’t include – high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), cane sugar, granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup or honey. Having a little sweetness in your sauce is alright; just make sure it doesn’t double as your dessert. Aim for a sauce with less than 5 g of sugar.
Stephanie’s favorite flavor enhancer: Seasonings/Rubs
Tips: Use dry rubs, mixtures of herbs and spices that usually contain just a hint of sugar and salt, to instantly season beef, pork, poultry or fish without tacking on unwanted fat. Sprinkle the desired combination onto the meat, then use your fingers to gently work the seasonings into the meat surface. Or place the meat in a plastic bag, throw in the rub ingredients and shake to cover.
- Choose: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce (contains 5 g of sugar, 25 calories per 2 tbsp serving)
- Lose: Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce (contains 10g of sugar, 50 calories per 2 tbsp serving) – Both higher in calories and sugar
Dara’s favorite flavor enhancer: Marinades
Tips: The key component to a marinade is the use of an acid – such as lemon, vinegar, tomatoes, citrus juice or wine- which helps tenderize protein allowing moisture and flavors to seep in. Although these can be healthy ingredients, many commercial brands are essentially liquid sugar or salt with a touch of garlic. Choose marinades that are predominantly acid-based with some healthy fat (like olive oil) and some seasonings.
- Choose: Frontier Lemon Pepper Salt-Free Seasoning (salt-free!)
- Lose: Zatarain’s Blackened Seasoning (contains salt as its first ingredient as well as MSG!)
- Choose: Mrs. Dash Marinade Mesquite Grille (50 calories, 0 mg sodium for 2 tbsp serving)
- Lose: KC Masterpiece Marinade Steakhouse (80 calories, 620 mg sodium for 2 tbsp serving) – High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the first ingredient and a serving contains 26% of your recommended daily intake of sodium.
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