One of the sugar-rich staples that I used to rely on heavily in my kitchen were bottles and sachets of Chinese sauces. Plum, General Tao, Spicy Peanut and our favourite Sweet and Sour.
Always in the cupboard, I pulled out the sweet and gloopy sauce to toss into a pan with chicken or beef and vegetables.
Sweet and non offensive, this sugar packed shortcut kept the whole family happy at the dinner table.
When I started to look seriously at improving my families diet and reducing the amount of refined and corn syrup based sweeteners we consumed, I knew that the Chinese jar sauces were out.
I never put another jar or sachet in my shopping cart!
But then I began to hear about how much my kids missed Chinese food, how much they would like to order a Chinese take-away and just how much they loved sweet and sour sauce.
I decided for the sake of peace and sanity to meet my family half way and devise a Sweet and sour sauce that I felt good about serving and that they would thoroughly enjoy.
Easy to make in a blender this jar of ‘real food’ sauce is a perfect weekend project and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, leaving you with an easy one-pan chicken dinner to execute in the middle of the week.
Now is the perfect time of year to try this fruit based recipe. Much of the sweetness is derived from blended mango and I found the most gorgeous ripe mangos for sale at a reasonable price in my local Farmers Market this weekend.
Pick a big, beautiful, soft to the touch mango for your sauce. As you can see from my photo below, even over ripe would work. Then it is just a case of blending and adding a spicy and sour kick to the mix.
I turned to fresh ginger, garlic and chilli to provide the heat and lip puckering lime juice to add a note of sour.
A tablespoon of honey adds that extra sweetness that my family loves in a more natural form than blood sugar spiking, high fructose corn syrup.
Jar up your concoction and know it can be left in the refrigerator for about three days. I think it would be safe in there for the week. Just chillin’.
Isn’t the sauce such a glorious colour in the jar?
What a wonderful feeling to pull your lovely jar of homemade sweet and sour sauce out of the refrigerator on a busy mid-week evening, toss it over chicken thighs browned in a large skillet with red pepper and zucchini and leave to simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat until the chicken cooked through.
A sweet but nutrition packed firm family favourite, I encourage you to get that blender whizzing and give this recipe a try.
All Natural Sweet and Sour Sauce
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large, soft, ripe mango
2 limes juiced
1 ‘ fresh ginger root finely grated
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli pepper seeds removed
1 tbsp raw local honey
1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
- Whizz all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week
- Add to browned chicken thighs in a large skillet with sliced red pepper and zucchini.
- Simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat or until the chicken is cooked through.
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