Sugar-Free Balsamic Glaze by Blaire Flory
There are two kinds of people in life: sauce people and non-sauce people. I am a lifelong sauce person. No matter what I am making, eating or dreaming of making to eat, my first thoughts are of the complimentary sauces. And sometimes there are those meals that are simply vehicles for sauce, like sauce is for pasta.
Balsamic glaze is without question one of my all-time favorite sauces. I dare anyone who has ever had a sun-ripened tomato covered in aged balsamic to disagree. However, Balsamic is so much more than a Caprese salad. Balsamic glaze makes everything better, truly. It goes on essentially everything, from sweet to savory, and adds almost an umami element with its sweet, acidic flavor. From this moment forward, you’ll never touch a salad with watery balsamic again.
To make the best balsamic glaze, there are a few things worth noting. Firstly, balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze are two different things. Think of balsamic vinegar like wine: all are pretty good, yet some are significantly better than others. Unsurprisingly, the older they are, the more expensive they typically are. That said, the ones you buy for cooking are not the same as the ones you buy to consume directly. Due to its aging and production methods, well-aged balsamic is generally quite pricey; however, it is thicker, creamier, and much more luxurious than a watery balsamic. Balsamic glaze, as we are making here, is essentially taking an inexpensive balsamic, adding Lakanto sweetener, and magically turning it into a thick, rich balsamic glaze (which has a strikingly similar taste as aged balsamic). This recipe is truly a life hack.
Just this morning, I actually made the strawberry-balsamic version of this recipe and poured it all over my toasted grain-free baguette that I’d covered in goat cheese. Heaven on earth.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Lakanto Baking Sweetener, divided
- 1/2 cup of strawberries (blueberries, raspberries, or thinly sliced peaches work as well), or
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated (with a microplane or the finest side of a box grater), or
- Mix of fresh herbs, julienned
- Add balsamic to a small sauce pan and heat on medium-low.
- After about 3 minutes, it should start to boil gently—at this point, stir in 1 tablespoon of the Lakanto baking sweetener with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. (Note: the Lakanto will cool the balsamic, so it might take a moment to come back up to a simmer).
- Add optional add-ins, if using (see individual notes below).
- Continue occasionally stirring the balsamic, paying attention to the reduction of the balsamic, it is done when it has reduced in half, or when you can coat the back of the spoon with balsamic, run your finger through it, and it trails for a moment. When that happens, stir the other tablespoon of Lakanto into the sauce, until fully incorporated.
- Remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Skirt steak marinated in ginger-balsamic glaze (great for a fatty fish too, like salmon)
- Fig salad with almond ricotta, mint, balsamic glaze
- Oven-roasted brussels tossed in balsamic glaze
- Vanilla ice cream, topped with strawberry balsamic glaze (trust me)
- Grilled veggies with balsamic glaze
- Balsamic peach glaze over ricotta & basil, served with olive oil-grilled bread
- Pan-fried chicken with balsamic pan sauce
- Balsamic glaze stirred with olive oil for crusty bread
- Citrus avocado salad with balsamic glaze
The plain balsamic glaze will keep covered, unrefrigerated for a week. Balsamic with add-ins will keep best refrigerated for up to four days, let come to room temperature before using (or incrementally heat in microwave for 5 seconds, stir, five additional seconds).
Note on add-ins: if the fruit is overly ripe, wait to add until just before you add the second tablespoon of Lakanto sweetener.