The photo below appears very brown, but really is not! It was made with dark cherries which for some reason made the photo look almost brown (that and lousy lighting in my kitchen!)
This recipe makes about 1 1/4 quarts of BBQ sauce or Ketchup.
This recipe can double as a recipe for ketchup as well as BBQ sauce. When making it into Ketchup, I simply add a little bit of water and blend it with my Immersion Blender (really, any blender will do) until it is very smooth and has a ketchup consistency.
Easy Peasy, eh?
1 lb cherries, pitted (or a bag of frozen that's been defrosted)
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard (I use dry, but any type will do)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
6 Medjool dates, pitted (do not use regular dates, they need to be Medjool)
24 oz can crushed tomatoes, strained
5 Tbsp coconut aminos OR 5 Tbsp heavily salted water (1/2 cup water + 3/5 Tbsp salt)
2 tsp paprika (I use smoked)
1 tsp black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the cherries, dates, and water over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until softened.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well to combine, and heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to low, and let it cook for 30-45 minutes until it thickens. I cook this until the cherries break up easily when mashed a little bit with a potato masher.
Mash with a potato masher if you want it to remain thick, then put into a storage container and store in your refrigerator.
For a Smoother, More Liquid Sauce (Ketchup-y, even):
Put the mixture, along with some extra water (start with 1/4 cup) in your regular blender or use an Immersion Blender to puree the mixture well.
This serves a dual purpose as BBQ sauce and ketchup, depending on the consistency you choose!
This stays fresh and tasty for two months in your refrigerator -- if you don't consume it before then!
One of these days, I will remember to take a picture of the final product for this post!
A Note On The Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos are a replacement for soy sauce, but in no way do they taste like soy sauce. They are sweeter, and not very salty.
Instead of paying the high price for Coconut Aminos, I just use heavily salted water in my recipes instead of the coconut aminos -- it is actually a closer taste to soy sauce than the aminos are. Plus you're saving your checkbook!