Nutritarian BBQ Sauce

Nutritarian BBQ sauce no oil no sugar no salt Dr Fuhrman Plan 6 week eat to live program PBS specialSauces just make life yummier!  But when you’re on a no-salt, no-sugar, no-oil nutritarian diet it is completely daunting to find any sauces that will “work” at your local grocery store.

Enter this easy nutritarian BBQ sauce recipe that you can make with your high-speed blender and a little bit of time on the stove!    

So, what’s the problem with store-bought BBQ sauce?

Sugar, salt, and more sugar.

That’s right, BBQ sauce has a lot of sugar–you know, the straight-up white, processed sugar (that is going to kill you early and Dr. Fuhrman recommends you avoid at all costs)! 

My favorite Trader Joe’s Bold & Smoky Kansas City BBQ sauce has “sugar” listed as it’s second ingredient, followed by molasses.

According to Wikipedia, molasses is a by-product of the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar.  That’s even more sugar

So, yeah… there’s a whole lotta sugar going on in store-bought BBQ sauce–just grab yours right now and check it out! 

There’s also salt. 

Just 2 tablespoons of my old favorite BBQ sauce has 420 mg of sodium–that’s almost half of Dr. Fuhrman’s 1,000 mg recommended intake.

Okay, so now you definitely know that you need to stay away from store-bought BBQ sauce…

Are you ready to make all your nutritarian BBQ sauce dreams come true?   

Nutritarian BBQ Sauce recipe Dr fuhrman Eat to Live Program no salt no oil no sugar added vegan gluten free recipe 6 week eat to live planAfter struggling through my first 6 weeks on Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live nutritarian plan, I’ve learned that making your own sauces, dips and condiments makes a huge psychological difference and sets you up to be a veggie-eating machine! 

You’re going to eat more of the good stuff if you take a little bit of time to make your own sauces.

This BBQ sauce is prefect to slather over tofu or cauliflower and bake in the oven, grilled veggie kabobs for those summer cookouts to come or drizzled over your favorite beans for some extra flavor!

So, how do you get that sweet BBQ sauce flavor without using sugar or molasses?

Two things: jelly & dates.

I used Trader Joe’s organic Superfruits Spread:

The flavor of this jelly is insane!  Cherries, grape, blueberries and pomegranate make for a bold, deep taste. 

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s around just look for a fruit juice sweetened jelly.  That just means no “sugar” is listed in the ingredients.  

Your jelly along with some super-quick-to-whip-up date puree is going to give you that sweet flavor you’re accustomed to in your BBQ sauce!

Nutritarian plan Dr Fuhrman 6 week eat to live program recipes PBS specialI get it, people like different kinds of BBQ sauce. 

So, I’m going to do my best to explain how this BBQ tastes and which ingredients are supplying which flavors–you know, should you feel the need to modify!

The flavor of this nutritarian BBQ sauce is:

  • bold
  • bright
  • slightly sweet
  • smoky
  • slightly spicy

The base of the sauce is tomato puree–I used the organic canned variety.

Date puree is added to supply some sweetness.  Then the fruit-sweetened jelly is added for more sweetness, color and texture.

Apple cider and Dijon mustard brighten up the sauce and balance out the tomato flavor.

Finally, spices deliver that smokiness and traditional BBQ flavor you’re looking for.

Feel free to adjust the flavors as you see fit! I like to add extra apple cider vinegar for brightness and extra paprika for heat!

Nutritarian BBQ Sauce
Yields 3
A vegan, no oil, low-salt, no-processed-sugar BBQ sauce that is perfect for following Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live plan!
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  1. 2 cups tomato puree
  2. 1/2 cup date puree (see details below)
  3. 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. fruit juice-sweetened jelly (no sugar)
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  5. 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 1/2 tsp. paprika
  7. 1 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1 tsp. corriander
  9. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  1. 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  2. 2 cups water
  1. Make the date puree first by combining dates and water in a high speed blender and puree until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup for BBQ sauce and store the rest in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot using a whisk.
  3. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Stores for up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.
  1. Use on tofu or veggies and bake in the oven. Pour over your favorite beans for extra flavor.
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4 thoughts on “Nutritarian BBQ Sauce

  1. Kathleen

    Tomato purée is that tomato sauce or tomato paste or something completely different? I was just thinking about trying to make bar b q baked beans! I love all your recipe ideas.

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Kathleen!

      So, yes tomato puree is it’s own “thing.” I saw it listed in my favorite Trader Joe’s brand BBQ sauce, so I thought I would start there!

      I think you could absolutely substitute tomato paste mixed with some water! I’m not sure about tomato sauce’s texture, puree seems a bit thicker.

      Hope you give it a try!

      xo, Kristen

  2. Mary

    Just found your website. Interesting information. I am sure that I would like this recipe but to me, you have replaced “sugar” with other sugars in the dates and the jelly. I have been off sugar for 5 months and any time there is a sweetener of any kind in a food, I can taste it and usually won’t finish it. It’s amazing how little time it takes to change your taste buds. Still working on salt, though! This sauce would work for those who are looking to replace refined sugar with a more “natural” sugar. Thanks for your blog.

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Mary!

      So glad you found the site!

      Wow, that is very impressive that you have no sugar of any kind!! I have followed Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian guidelines for the last 3+ years and he advocates fruit consumption because of the many phytochemicals found in fruit, especially berries!

      As far as dates are concerned you might want to take a look at this video that covers a 2009 Israeli study on date consumption. Here’s the transcript:

      “Dates are whole foods, but, by weight, are 80% pure sugar. Just to put that in perspective, Froot Loops are only 40% sugar. Half the sugar content of dates—and has fruit-shaped marshmallows—so it’s got to be healthy. Straight frosting? Only 60% sugar. Jelly beans? Only 70% sugar. Dates: 80%.

      Yes, dates have fiber; they have phytonutrients. But the concern about consuming high-sugar foods is that they can raise our blood sugar, raise our triglycerides, oxidatively stress our bodies, and make us fat. So, last year, Israeli scientists took a bunch of people, stuffed them full of dates for a month, and measured what happened.

      Are dates bad for us? Do the sugar and fiber kind of cancel each other out? Or are dates good for us?

      Dates are fantastic. No adverse effects on blood sugar or weight, and beneficial improvements in triglycerides and antioxidant stress levels. Check out the title of this review: “Possible…best food…?” Concluding that “dates may be considered as an almost ideal food.”


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