Recipe: Blackberry BBQ Sauce

What are you up to this fine weekend? I’m heading for the hills for my first backpacking trip in 3 years with a lovely group of ladies. And yes, we’re lugging in beer and inflatables for floating in the lake. We’re fancy that way.

If your plans include grilling, I’ve got something for you to try. This is adapted from a well-known Sunset Magazine recipe, primalized for our purposes. I’ve had it twice now—once on pork kabobs (pictured) and once on beef ribs. Both were outta sight. This would also perfectly suit chicken.

Blackberry BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup blackberry preserves (unsweetened, like Bionaturae) or 1 cup fresh blackberries

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup honey

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. ginger, finely grated

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

salt and pepper, to taste

— If using preserves, stir all ingredients together. If using fresh blackberries, whirl everything together in a blender. Slap this stuff on your meat before grilling and reserve a little for basting.

Makes 1 cup.


7 Responses to “Recipe: Blackberry BBQ Sauce”

  1. Honest question: As delicious as this sounds, doesn’t this sauce contain an awful lot of sugar? Not just the honey, but also the tomato paste and blackberry preserves. I’m counting about 90g of sugar in the recipe (79g if you use fresh berries instead). Even if each person gets only a 1/4 cup serving — whoa.

    Since I’m lower-carb, I know we’re taking two complimentary yet often different approaches to diet. This question is part of my understanding how something that is so wildly a no-no for me manages to jive with Paleo.

    • Good question. There are many ways to low-carb. Paleo/Primal definitely has its Low Carb (LC) and Very Low Carb (VLC) crowds. No two people follow Paleo the same way, and the carb argument is a big sticking point (see this post about why some think carbs aren’t the problem: Also, here’s a great infographic:

      To me, the main distinction is that, for lack of a better way to say it, Paleo espouses the intake of “real” foods. Nothing processed and we also avoid grains, legumes, and sugar. When I accidentally stumbled on an Atkins site, there was a lot of talk about things like sugar-free maple syrup, which would obviously not fit under our way of eating. Paleo also uses evolutionary insights and modern research to fine-tune our diets toward what should be most “optimal” for a human creature. For us, it’s not just carbs, it’s which carbs. We do not believe that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

      So something like this recipe is certainly “real” food. If your goals are to lose weight on Paleo, you might not partake of this one in particular. If you’re a carb counter, then this one definitely might not float your boat.

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Karen. I will definitely check out those links.

        I am trying to do low-carb with 98% real foods (making exceptions for the occasional sugar-free Jello or Diet Dr. Pepper, for now). I agree — some of the recipes I see out there, though clever, scare me. Too many loopholes.

        I hope I can eventually get to a point where my weight and blood sugar is stable enough to include a bit o’ honey (ha) here and there. But I may not. I suppose time will tell…

  2. Hiya :)
    I stumbled across your site while looking for a blackberry BBQ sauce. My question is: could this recipe be canned? I’ve only ever done jams/preserves/pickles. Since I have about 75lb of blackberries frozen hand picked from scottish countryside, I was looking for other ways to preserve them than jam *before* blackberry season hits again (gotta make room for more blackberries!!).

    I hope you know the answer to this question! I’m on the way over to a paleo way of eating from atkins (it seems a natural progression) as I’m 10lbs from my target weight and want something healthy and sustainable. Atkins is brill for losing weight (and I’ve lost 25 lbs in 4 months) , and stage 3/maintenance is similar to paleo anyways except for the addition of sugar substitutes. I would prefer to use natural sugars in moderation. So….I’m on the hunt for paleo/natural recipes I can can/jar.

    Thank you!

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      I can’t see a reason why not. I’d follow instructions for canning tomato sauce. I think tomatoes are a little different due to their acidity, but this would probably be an excellent intro to canning prepared foods for you. Have fun!

      • Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I’ve got my ingredients and equipment at the ready, so I’ll give a smaller double batch a try and see how it keeps. Fingers crossed as this would be a lovely addition to my larder. :)

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