Featuring a perfect blend of spicy and just the right amount of lip-smacking sweet, this juicy and tender sweet barbacoa recipe is an easy-to-make, low fat family favorite.
The inspiration behind this sweet barbacoa recipe was my sweet pork barbacoa recipe (found on my website Measuring Flower). The pork recipe is a real food rendition of the same or similar pork barbacoa found in many a Mexican or Caribbean restaurant. However, since pork roast tends to be pretty high in fat and the sweet and spicy sauce that goes with it is mainly carbs, I had to swap to a different kind of meat to make it lean enough to enjoy with the sauce while in weight loss mode on Trim Healthy Mama. The meat I chose was chicken breast; however, pork tenderloin would work well, too!
Another tweak I made to this recipe is the honey. Since real honey is harder on blood sugar (which is especially bad when you’re in weight loss mode), I chose to use a sugar-free honey substitute. The one I used is made by Nature’s Hollow and is basically a syrup made using xylitol (psst…I have since made a much less pricey homemade honey). You’re more than welcome to use real honey (if you use real honey, reduce the amount to 1/4 cup and omit the Super Sweet Blend). However, if you’re in weight loss mode especially, I’d recommend using the sugar-free honey substitute or to omit the honey altogether and just add more Super Sweet Blend to taste.
One last thing to note about this sweet barbacoa recipe is that you can totally use a fatty, delicious pork roast if you want to. This will lift it into the Trim Healthy Mama Crossover (XO) realm. If you’re pregnant, nursing, maintaining weight, or need an on-plan treat, then using pork roast would be great. Or, to keep it on plan as a THM E (Energizing) while still enjoying pork flavor, use pork loin instead of the chicken breasts.
- 8 chicken breasts or 6 pounds pork loin, excess fat removed
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cans (15.25 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed, optional
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chipotle chili powder (more or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Super Sweet Blend or equivalent sweetener (more or less to taste)
- Add all ingredients to the crock of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Once the meat is tender, shred it and return it to the crock. Add more chipotle powder and/or sweetener as you desire.
- Serve atop lettuce or a low carb tortilla with choice of toppings (see notes for ideas).