Healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce
Every time I see a cauliflower-alternative dish I think, “Yes! A healthier version of a favorite dish!” Sadly, I’m almost always mistaken. Sure, they replace the meat with cauliflower (not that some meats aren’t healthy) but there’s usually unhealthy ingredients regardless of the swap. When I came across a baked sweet and sour cauliflower recipe the other week, I decided to give it a try but changed things up a bit.
I can’t even imagine what’s in the Sweet and Sour Chicken we order from a Chinese restaurant. It used to be one of my favorite dishes but it’s definitely off-limits these days. This Sweet and Sour Sauce is a good alternative to make at home when you’re craving Chinese food.
I found the original recipe here. While that recipe could be worse, it could also be healthier for you. I swapped out a few things.
Olive oil for vegetable oil
I don’t know why they’re still allowed to sell vegetable oil. Not only is it over-processed but it’s loaded with omega-6s and artificial antioxidants to prevent spoiling. Overconsumption of omega-6s is linked to heart disease and cancer. Those artificial antioxidants can cause everything from fertility issues to cancer. Here is an in-depth article about the dangers of vegetable oil if you’re interested in learning more.
Coconut flour for corn starch
I don’t use coconut flour that often. I find it really hard to bake with but it can be a great thickening agent. Corn starch is empty calories. Swapping it for coconut flour is beneficial because coconuts contain fiber, protein and healthy fats. Since so many people are following the paleo diet these days, it was easy to find coconut flour at my local supermarket.
Honey for sugar
This is probably a pretty obvious one. Honey is far superior to plain, old sugar. And if I had used sugar, I wouldn’t have used nearly as much as the original recipe called for because my kids (and I) would be hanging off the chandelier the rest of the night. Since my version of this recipe uses coconut flour, I found it even easier to limit the use of a sweetener because coconut flour is slightly sweet.
Garlic for garlic powder
It isn’t that garlic powder is unhealthy but fresh garlic contains allicin while garlic powder doesn’t. In research studies, Allicin has been shown to prevent the common cold. I just so happened to have some freshly-grated garlic in my refrigerator so I swapped it in for the powder.
See my healthier version below:
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon of coconut flour
2 tablespoons of cold water
Combine honey, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add coconut flour and cold water. Turn heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Use sauce however you wish!
I’ve made this sauce for my family a few times now. The first time I made it, I used the original recipe’s suggestion and made the cauliflower along with it. Apparently, no matter how dressed up cauliflower is, my kids are not fans. So, I started using the sauce on other things like chicken, shrimp, carrots and red peppers.
It’s a big win because my kids love the sauce. All I had to do was tell Reagan there was coconut in it and she scarfed it down (thank you, Moana!) and Grayson loves ketchup. And my super-taster husband said he likes it too!