Hot Sauce Recipe Alternatives For Keto
Whether you are looking for low-carb, keto-friendly recipes or simply looking to reduce your sugar intake, these alternative ingredients will help you do that.
It’s important to remember that the typical hot sauce has a low enough concentration of sugar per serving that it typically won’t affect your diet, but if you’re like us and are the “would you like some eggs with your hot sauce” type, it is helpful to understand how you can reduce the sugar in your sauces. The following is more based around making your own sauces. If you’re looking for a generic hot sauce on keto primer, check out our Is Hot Sauce Keto Friendly post.
Sugar and Brown Sugar
There are some recipes that call for the addition of Sugar or Brown Sugar. Clearly, these are sugars and will not help from a carbohydrates standpoint, so what can you do? For sugar, there are substitutes like Monk Fruit, Stevia or Truvia. We’ve used the monk fruit the most in the past and like it pretty well.
For brown sugar substitute, our go-to is Sukrin Gold (we are not affiliated with them in any way). In a sauce, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the two and you get that same flavor.
If you’re looking for less of a sugar substitute, and more of a reduced sugar approach, we’d also argue you could potentially get away with using honey or maple syrup in some cases. While the caloric content of both is higher than the same amount of sugar, it is sweeter than sugar while also containing less of the bad stuff you get with straight sugar powder, plus you get the added benefits of vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind, you’ll need to be on the lookout for natural versions, otherwise you’ll get even more sugar added to your honey or maple syrup. Look for local carriers for each and chat with them to see if they’re adding anything additional. These won’t give a tremendous reduction, but you can use less while keeping the same level of sweetness as sugar.
Avoid canned fruits as much as possible. If you take nothing else away from this, natural fruits will almost always be lower in sugar than canned or concentrated fruits. The less processed your fruits, the better.
Some fruits you can think about adding (per 1 cup):
- Mango (18g carbs)
- Pineapple (13g carbs)
- Blueberry (14g carbs)
- Strawberry (7g carbs)
- Cherry (12g carbs)
The above are some of the more popular fruits to use in sauces, but you can also use things like ground cherries, papaya, guava, cranberries, oranges, lots of different options.
WARNING: If you are adding fruits to your sauces, be sure to refrigerate or watch your pH levels. We once had a mandarin orange sauce that we left out, it bubbled and when we went to uncork the top it exploded. We’re not exactly sure why it happened in that one particular instance and never again, but a good thing to keep in mind.
It’s also common to use lemon and/or lime juice in sauces. Especially with jalapeño sauces, lime juice is extremely popular. Again, if it’s in a little squeeze bottle be sure to see if there are any sugars added. By themselves, lime juice sits at ~11.1g of carbs per cup (2.2g sugar) and lemon juice comes in at ~14g of carbs per cup (3.7g sugar).
Honestly, those are the biggest changes to make when making hot sauce. Watch the amount of straight sugar you’re putting in and then watch the hidden sugars you’re putting in with fruits. If you’re a mad scientist and you’re putting something like sweet potatoes in your sauce, definitely keep in mind that those are high in carbs as well.
When looking for recipes that require sugar, try the sauce without the sugar and see if it’s just as good. Sometimes it’s added in as a “well, I don’t know another flavor sooooo.” In the above examples we used roughly 1 cup of the carb-containing item. Each of the sauces we’ve made with that amount of sweetness makes about five 5oz bottles. If we average 40 servings per bottle, that’s 200 servings, which spreads the 1 cup (let’s use the 18g carbs in 1 cup of mango) out to 0.09g of carbs per hot sauce usage. Even doubling the amount of sauce used, that’s still just 0.18g of carbs per serving of hot sauce. Not much at all, plus you get the added intake of vitamins and minerals from the peppers themselves. Sounds like a win to us.
Hello spicy traveler, try our sauces!
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