It’s absolutely time to start making your own Homemade Enchilada Sauce. Have you ever read the ingredients in store-bought enchilada sauce? It may look something like this:
Water, tomato puree, modified corn starch, salt, sugar, distilled vinegar, chili pepper, soybean oil, citric acid, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, onion powder, red pepper, color added, natural flavor.
Think you can do better? YES! And it only takes a few minutes to make a huge batch of fresh sauce in your own kitchen. Make it once while other foods are cooking and set some aside in your freezer to grab-and-go in the future. Your future self will thank you so much on a busy night when you just need something to make that’s easy. I seriously need things to be simple in my life and I love eating out but I find that if I have easy items at home, I’m more likely to stay put and make something on my own. I live in the city so getting to the grocery store is not a simple task. Having frozen pre-prepared foods at my house is one of my keys to success.
In the past, I always bought enchilada sauce, reading labels and feeling frustrated at the poor quality ingredients UNTIL I found out that it takes just a minute to make on your own, it tastes better and there is no need for added color or protein fillers. I hope you enjoy this DIY recipe for a simple enchilada sauce that you can use in so many recipes including my vegan enchilada casserole.
The health properties of tomatoes, particularly lycopene, are enhanced by cooking so be sure to add tomato paste and sauce as part of your regular diet. Lycopene is an antioxidant known for bone health, heart health, and anti-cancer benefits (especially prostate cancer). Many of the healthful compounds in tomatoes are fat-soluble, so cooking with a little healthy oil will also increase the absorption of these benefits during digestion.
The nice thing about making your own homemade enchilada sauce (and other sauces as well) is that YOU control the flavor. Want more or less spice? Go for it. Add more or less onion or garlic. Make it saltier or less salty depending on your preference for taste as well as your health needs.
Many people should cut back on salt for their blood pressure. Remember, water follows salt so if you’ve got a lot of salt in your diet, you will have more water which increases blood volume, making your whole system work harder. Potassium is the partner to sodium and it’s something you want more of. That’s easy because potassium is found in all fruits and veggies. It’s particularly high in tomatoes so as the base of this homemade enchilada sauce, you’re getting a nice dose of that nutrient.
- 1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 28- ounce can diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4-1/2 cup water (as needed for consistency)
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add water if needed as you prepare your own recipe. If you used diced tomatoes and find the sauce too chunky, feel free to use a blender or immersion blender for a smoother finished product.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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