Here’s a healthy version of South Carolina mustard-based barbecue sauce, with less sugar and salt and no preservatives. Vegan and gluten-free, too!
When I moved to South Carolina, I was surprised to discover that the barbecue there was yellow instead of red. Tangy and sweet, mustard-based barbecue sauce was very popular, but I never sampled the barbecued pork that the natives raved about because I became vegetarian shortly after moving there. Fortunately, the bottled sauce was available in stores, and once I tried it, I developed an instant love for it.
When we moved to Mississippi six years ago, my husband and I thought far enough ahead to bring several bottles of barbecue sauce with us. After all, we’d been importing Louisiana ingredients into South Carolina for years, and we were now prepared to drag South Carolina staples to Mississippi.
Unfortunately, our stockpile of mustard sauce eventually ran out and a decent substitute was not to be found anywhere in Mississippi. What to do? It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that I should just make my own.
Now, I can buy mustard-based BBQ sauce in Whole Foods, but I still come back to this recipe because it is lower in sugar and salt while still tasting good. But be careful as you cook it not to lean over the pot or else you’ll get a snootful of vinegar fumes!
South Carolina Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 cup prepared mustard I use spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1-2 tsp turmeric makes it yellower
- 3 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp celery salt optional
- 1/4 tsp rubbed thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne optional
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 1 cup (enough for the tofu recipe below).
Nutritional info is approximate.
This family favorite meal is certified as kid-friendly: even the spice-intolerant E. loves this one!
Did you know that mustard and turmeric are good for you? Mustard seeds contain phytonutrients that have been studied for their anti-cancer effects, and turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help people with arthritis, protect against breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer, and do a whole lot more.
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