Avoid Added Sugar With 15 Easy DIY Recipes
There are many foods you may not expect to find added sugar in; and yet, there it is. Say, in your prepared pasta sauces. Your salad dressings. And soups. Many processed foods contain so-called "hidden sugars" as flavor enhancers and preservatives. The good news is, you can make a lot of these recipes at home and cut back on the sugar — or skip it entirely. Here are some delicious homemade recipes that will help you control the amount of sugar you and your family eat.
Granola bars may sound like the healthiest thing on earth. But the healthy ingredients often hide behind a pile of added sugars. Make them yourself and you can control what's in there. This one calls for a reasonable amount of honey. Incidentally, the point here isn't that honey should replace refined sugar, but that the amount added is not excessive.
Best Steak Marinade in Existence
Marinades are another prime place for hiding sugar. Not in this recipe, though. Zero added sugar.
Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
Sugar in tomato sauce? You bet. Actually, this tomato and meat-sauce recipe calls for a touch of sugar to balance the acid. Adjust (or eliminate) as you like.
Homemade Tomato Sauce I
Or try this tomato sauce. It has a splash of red wine, but no additional sugar beyond the sugars in the wine.
Boston Baked Beans
Surprise, store-bought baked beans include loads of added sugar. Make them at home and you can control how much sugar you add. This old-fashioned baked beans recipe features navy beans with dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce, sweetened with a touch of molasses, brown sugar, and ketchup. "This recipe was a hit," says CBURCHELL. "I reduced the sugar by half, and it was great!"
Val's Paleo Ketchup
Have you read the labels on ketchup bottles? True, ketchup needs a sweet element. And this DIY version calls for a combination of maple syrup and coconut sugar. It also calls for prepared tomato sauce; so check the labels there for added sugar, too.
BaBa's Thousand Island Dressing
While you're at it, double-up on that ketchup recipe — and use some in this salad dressing.
Trishie's Chinese-Style Salad Dressing
Or try a dressing that has zero added sugar.
A Very Popular BBQ Sauce
Barbeque sauce is meant to be sweet. But you can still control how sweet is sweet. This one calls for ketchup and brown sugar. Adjust as you like.
Mustard Based BBQ Sauce
Here's a mustard-based sauce. No ketchup. It's less sweet to begin with, though it does have some honey and brown sugar. And this North Caroline BBQ Sauce is vinegar-based. It doesn't call for ketchup, it doesn't even call for sugar or honey. It's tangy all the way.
Garden-Fresh Tomato Soup
You knew this was coming. There's sugar in soup. And, yes, there's a little bit in here, too.
Traditional Homemade Yogurt
Yogurt also tends to sneak in sugar. This recipe calls for just milk and unflavored yogurt with live active cultures. The upsides of DIY-ing it at home? You'll save money and you can control what sweetens it. You can't go wrong with fruit!
Banana-Blueberry Oatmeal with Rosemary
We like to think of oatmeal as a healthy breakfast food, but packets of instant oatmeal are another source of added sugar. Fresh rosemary and lemon add a unique burst of flavor to this blueberry oatmeal. A ripe banana adds sweetness, so there is no added sugar," recipe creator Tammy Lynn says.
Peppery Coleslaw with Cucumbers and Celery
Coleslaw can sneak in a lot of sugar. You can always omit it, but why not go with a recipe that doesn't include it? Cilantro, parsley, onion powder, and black pepper give this tangy coleslaw its kick.
Slow Cooker Cider Applesauce (No Sugar Added)
Yep, applesauce usually includes extra sugar. But you won't miss it in this recipe, which attributes its flavor to cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.