No doubt most of you have heard how much sugar is in sauces and condiments? A lot of companies have now brought out sauces using stevia instead of refined sugars. While this is definitely a step in the right direction it doesn’t take away from the fact that there are a lot of other additives and preservatives in these sauces, even the ones that tout “no artificial preservatives” typically have a chemical shit storm going on inside them.
Here is a list of “Traditional BBQ Sauce” ingredients from a very well known Australian sauce company –
Tomatoes 43% (from Concentrate), Sugar, Water, Wheaten Cornflour, Salt, Acidity Regulators (Acetic Acid & Citric Acid), Dried Glucose Syrup, Colour (Caramel 150C, from Wheat), Vegetable Gum (Pectin), Spices, Yeast Extract, Onions 0.5%.
Second ingredient – sugar! Wheaten cornflour, what even is this? It is a starch used for thickening made from wheat and contains gluten. Dried glucose syrup = more sugar. Caramel 150C from wheat, this is an interesting one. 150C caramel colour is so highly processed that it contains no detectable gluten – WOW! Colour from wheat that has no gluten. (source Gluten Free)
Ok I guess you get the point I am trying to make here. In my opinion store bought commercial sauces are generally crap. So the solution for me has been to make my own. I really enjoy making my own sauces and condiments from scratch, I love knowing the ingredients I am putting into those sauces are wholesome real food ingredient plus they taste delicious however they only last up to 7 days in the fridge and I often find myself throwing out sauces, wasting food is not something I like to do. Also I appreciate that not everyone has time to make their own sauces so you can imagine my excitement when a friend shared on Facebook a new real food sauces and condiments company, not only made in Australia but made in my own home town, the Gold Coast.
Of course I had to look into this family owned company, Oksana’s Kitchen. Before too long I had met and spoken with husband & wife team, creators of Oskana’s Kitchen – Paul and Ness. Their passion for creating real food sauces without sugar, gluten, flavour enhancers, preservatives or numbers meant I could have talked to them for hours.
The original recipe came from Ness’ Grandmother, Oksana hence the company name. Using traditional preserving methods also passed down from her Grandmother with no need for any artificial preservatives. The sauces and condiments have a shelf life of 18 months and last up to 6 months once opened and stored in the fridge. However my jar of salsa didn’t even last a week in my house as it was so delicious!
Comparing the ingredients from the commercial made BBQ sauce mentioned above, here is the list of ingredients for Oksana’s Kitchen BBQ sauce –
Tomato (Fresh), Onion, Apple, Tomato 4.6% (From Paste), Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic, Seasoning, Spices, Salt, Pepper
You will see there isn’t any water used in their recipe, many commercial sauces first ingredient is water. The sweetness comes from apple not sugar or glucose syrup.
I wanted to compare the nutritional panels for both sauces, not surprising but wow, what a difference!
Oksana’s BBQ sauce contains 5.9g sugar per 100g while the commercial one contains 54g! To put that into perspective 5.9g is approx. 1½ tsp. of sugar while 54g is approx. 13½ tsp. of sugar.
I hadn’t even mentioned salt/sodium previously but look at how off the Richter scale the salt is in the commercial brand – 1091mg of salt per 100g as opposed to Oksana’s being 21mg, that is almost 52 times the amount of salt in the commercial BBQ sauce!
Of course the big question is “how do Okasana’s Kitchen sauces taste?” I was fortunate enough to be given a sample of each of the sauces. Firstly I tried the tomato salsa with vegan nachos and I absolutely loved the salsa. My 19 year old daughter who is not sugar-free loved it too. Next I tried the tomato chutney for breakfast with bacon and avocado – now that was scrumptious! The sultanas in the chutney are so juicy. I used the BBQ sauce on my homemade pizza, it was so thick and rich of course it tasted delicious. My daughter made zucchini noodles and used the pasta sauce, her words were “mum that’s the best tasting pasta sauce ever!”. All of the sauces are rich and thick since containing no water. Now I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to chilli spices and I admit the chilli range is a bit too much for me but for those who like it hot then the chilli sauces will be right up your alley.
Oksana’s Kitchen sauces are being stocked in more stores around Australia as we speak, click HERE to find a retailer in your area. You can also buy direct on-line from their website HERE. With prices starting from just $5.25 for the sauces, they really are great value for money when you consider how healthy and mouthwatering they are compared to commercial sauces. Let’s not forget you are also buying Australian made and supporting an Australian small family business.
Head on over to Oksana’s Kitchen Facebook page and keep up to date with Paul and Ness as they add more retailers, and find out when & where they will be doing their next in-store taste tests.
I would love to hear from anyone else who has tried Oksana’s Kitchen sauces, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.
Here’s to real food