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clinic - Shop 5, 128 Lawes Street, East Maitland, NSW 2323 | ph 0433 781 934 | nicole@nicolebarber.com 

Sugar in my sauce


Many of us use sauces regularly, but have we thought about what actually is in our sauces? Below is a quick nutrient profile breakdown of some common sauces we can buy - 


                                                                                       kJ           Fat (g)   Carb (g).   Sugar (g)   Sodium (mg)

100 mL of Fountain: Sauces: Tomato,                     515        0.1         27.5           25.6           878

100 mL of Fountain: Sauces: Smokey BBQ            842        0.1         48.2            42.2           930 

100 mL of Fountain: Sauces: Satay                        965         11          25.7            22.3           1310

100 mL of Fountain: Sauces: Sweet Chili              836          0.1        47.4             42.2          1085


Stand out for me was the above table - almost half the jar of BBQ and Sweet Chili sauce's are just refined sugar. 


It is almost important to think, how much is 100ml, as when we use sauces we often don't use an accountability strategy of measuring our amounts.


I really do not want to support the movement of 'I quit sugar'. Carbohydrates, as a food group, are more complex than just sugar. There are over 9 different types of carbohydrates we can find in foods, but when the carbohydrate percentage is made up of mostly refined sugar, that's when we need to take notice. 1 tsp of sugar is about 4g of sugar. So in the Sweet Chili and BBQ sauce, 42g sugar / 100ml would equate to 10.5 tsps. of refined sugar in each.



Marinades - what's in a jar of a marinade? 


I also did a quick comparison of some ready to buy jar sauces -



You have not added any foods to breakfast.

1 bottle (375g) of MasterFoods: Marinades: Soy, Honey & Garlic

1 bottle (375g) of MasterFoods: Marinades: Satay

1 bottle (350g) of MasterFoods: Marinades: Thai

1 bottle (375g) of MasterFoods: Marinades: Teriyaki



Stand out for me was how the Soy, Honey and Garlic marinade is again almost 33% refined sugar. 


A quick easy dinner - get a jar of sauce, add it to meat, throw in some pasta and or vegetables - dinner is served.


But think about the marinade - soy, honey and garlic marinade - do you really need a 375ml jar of the sauce? Would you be able to create this sauce?


Ready for the taste.com.au recipe:

  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 3 tablespoons water


If you purchased a Masterfoods sauce of Soy, honey and garlic, you would be buying


"Water, Sugar, Soy Sauce 9% (Water, Salt, Vegetable Protein Extract (contains Soy), Sugar), Garlic 8%, Thickener (Modified Cornstarch, Xanthan Gum (contains Soy)), Salt, Golden Syrup, Acidity Regulator (Acetic), Soy Sauce 2% (Water, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Salt, Colour (Caramel 150C, from Wheat]), Spices, Vegetable Gum (Xanthan), Honey 0.5%."


I know we need sauces. Life would be boring without FLAVOUR. But can we make flavour in a healthier way? To help us in the quest, I thought to put together some marinade ideas.


Even with the recipes below, remember never go past the traditional onion, garlic, ginger and chili for flavour or the use of spices like turmeric, cumin seeds and paprika or even just using fresh herbs (how easy is lemon and rosemary to create for your chicken dish).


Dressing / Sauces / Marinade IDEAS


Creamy Chive Dressing

1/3 cup buttermilk

60g ricotta cheese

1 TB lemon juice

1 TB chives, chopped

3 tsp capers, drained and sliced


Place buttermilk, ricotta and lemon juice into a blender, process until smooth.

Add in chopped chives, and capers. Mix with a spoon.

Great to serve with fish, especially salmon (drizzle over when serving)


Chilli Rub

4 TB fresh coriander

4 TB parsley

4 TB lemon juice

2 fresh chillies

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander


Place all ingredients into a blender, process until smooth.


This keeps for a week in the fridge.

Will make enough to dress 8 fish fillets, but is nice with on all meats  


Sweet Tomato Relish

10 tomatoes, diced

2 cups water

1 cup dry white wine (or Verijuice) (optional)

1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar

1 TB lemon juice

1 TB lemon zest

1 TB tumeric

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 stalks lemongrass


Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes

Cool, remove lemongrass stalks.

Serve with fish and chicken 


Sweet Ricotta Cream

1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese

3 drops of vanilla

1 tsp jam (any flavour)


Beat all ingredients so they fluff up a little

This is great on some homemade wholemeal pancakes; a slice of sourdough bread or a slice of a nice grain bread

Can slice fruit ontop and sprinkle with cinnamon


Peanut and Lime Dressing

60ml lime juice

1 TB brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

35g dry roasted unsalted peanuts


Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves

Spoon over steamed fish or chicken


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