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adventures in bbq land

Here is the little ball of energy all hopped up on pulled pork and bbq sauce. It is fairly easy to make pulled pork. Slap some spices on it and stick it in a slow cooker. The sauce is far easier to buy though. After scouring the isles of the super market and local Whole Paycheck, I found only sugar, honey, brown sugar, and/or molasses. Rather than sulk, I went to Dr Google and found a nice post by the Civilized Caveman and his Beasty BBQ Sauce. I had to ask myself if it was worth the effort to make it or if this was an area to concede  

The answer was to make it. I'll admit it was more to satisfy my curiosity  I had never made my own bbq sauce and was skeptical on how delicious it could taste without sugar. The linked recipe had an option to add pineapple to sweeten the sauce, but I decided to opt out and go for the full effect. I mean, I was going full hippy to make the bbq sauce, I might as well meet other needs by leaving out the sugar. 

Paleobaby loves bbq sauce
So there I was. Pork shoulder ready to be pulled and invigorated with bbq sauce. I won't lie, the smell threw me off at first. I was thinking "crap, I can't put this in some perfectly good meat, it'll ruin it." But I did. I didn't make it this far down the journey of sugarless bbq sauce for nothing. In it went and it sat in the cooker for another hour. Out it came lacking the combination of artificial coloring, "natural flavoring," and preservatives to give bottle sauces that distinct bbq brown color. 

I know, I make it more dramatic than it needs to be. My addiction to sweet tastes is very strong, so to me it is a big deal. I was going to eat the food regardless of how it tasted just for that reason, so I felt my thoughts on the matter were biased. This bbq sauce was meant for me more than anyone else in the house. The true test of taste were my hubby and baby. Neither care about sugar in bbq sauce nor do they have the same addiction to sugar that I do. The verdict - bbq sauce without sugar can be delicious. Both ate the meat with the sauce without hesitation. 

Was it worth it though? For me - yes. If it were just for paleobaby - maybe. I could see the process of making it going faster next time. For someone who relied on conveniently provided bottles of any condiment, it took longer than it did to tear off those stupid seals they hide beneath the caps. My goal with paleobaby is to let him to experience the world of food au naturale, yes it was worth it. In the future he will probably have PLENTY opportunities for fake, less than savory, sugary bbq sauce. I want him to have something real to compare. I would like for his first few years eating food to not be conducive to developing an addiction to sugar like it had for me. For someone not as concerned about those things, it may not be worth it. The time I spent looking for a bbq sauce I felt good using was probably more time than it took to make the sauce. I think there are plenty of minimally processed bbq sauces out there that do not have high fructose corn syrup or tons of sugar. I guess it's a chose your own adventure at this point.

In the attempt to raise paleobaby, I want to set him up with a untainted, functioning set of taste buds and a healthy gut. Those are the tools I give him to make nutrition decisions when those decisions are not in my control. We educate our children and teach them values to use in making decisions on their own, why not do something similar for nutrition? I don't want him to feel the anger I feel having been part of the generation that was told Gatorade and Little Debbie snacks were staples of the diet. If I ever see that Little Debbie bitch walking down the street, I'm going to beat the crap out of her.

just fyi - The original inspiration to make our own bbq sauce came about when we ran out of it and were too lazy to go to the store and buy more. Hubby made a version with honey, which spurned my need to make a version without any honey or sugar.
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