Spicy Barbecue with Adaptogenic Herbs

How can the easiest and tastiest barbecue also be the healthiest? Superfoods and adaptogens spark your body alive with flavor! Spicy, exotic adaptogenic herbs help dissolve stress. Oven baking eliminates free radicals in grilling, which hang around in the body causing disease. I used natural chicory root sweetener Just Like Sugar Brown, which tastes delicious, dark, and won’t spike blood sugar or cause weight gain. Even better, it’s a pre-biotic that helps stimulate healthy intestinal flora.

Quality meats have the best flavor. I used Kyzer Farms pork ribs from Albuquerque NM, which are fed the cleanest non-GMO grains, local vegetables, no antibiotics or steroids. Mary’s organic chicken legs are raised clean and rich with flavor. Avoid meats from commercial feed lots that use GMO grains, antibiotics, and growth hormones.

Amazingly, this barbecue sauce tastes hot and spicy with NO nightshades! (See my article Beware of Nightshades). The secret is Galangal, also called Thai ginger, which is spicier than regular ginger root and gives the flavor a tantalizing kick. You can find Galangal in Asian markets, in grocery ethnic section, or online. Look for Thai Kitchen dried galangal. Makes 1 1/2 cups healthy BBQ sauce.

Just for fun, here are the ingredients in a popular BBQ sauce. Bull’s-Eye BBQ Sauce by Kraft/Heinz claims “no high fructose corn syrup”. However their recipe has changed, and the label lists it as the first ingredient! High Fructose GMO Corn Syrup, Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste), Molasses, Vinegar, Salt, Modified Food Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor, Mustard Flour, Dried Onions, Spice, Dried Garlic.


Paleo Barbecued Ribs with Adaptogenic Spices



  • 2 pounds meat such as baby back pork ribs or chicken legs, organic or GMO-free
  • Basic Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup brown sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Brown natural chicory root sweetener, or 2 2/3 tablespoons PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2/3 cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unprocessed salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-inch fresh ginger root
  • Optional Adaptogens and Superfoods in Sauce:
  • (Find these in an herb store)
  • Zest of 1/2 orange, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup dry goji berries (If you're nightshade sensitive, skip these!)
  • 3 slices soaked Galangal root (Thai Ginger)
  • 2 droppers-full American ginseng extract
  • 1 tablespoon Licorice root powder
  • 3 capsules contents Reishi mushroom powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry Schisandra berries
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Buckthorn extract
  • 1 tablespoon dry rose hips
  • 2 droppers Elderberry extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. For Ribs: Remove the membrane from the ribs and slice in individual portions. For Chicken legs, pat dry. Set meat aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Basic Sauce:
  3. Put all the basic sauce ingredients into any blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Taste and add the optional superfoods to your taste and health needs. Let the mixture soak 2 hours, to soften the woody and dried ingredients. Then blend again until smooth. If you’re using a super-blender such as a BlendTec or VitaMix, blend immediately, no need to soak.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meat in the mixing bowl and toss to coat each piece evenly, Marinate the meat in this mixture for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, basting with more sauce after 20 minutes.

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