This balsamic glaze without sugar recipe is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional glazes that are heavy on unnecessary sweeteners. Made with just balsamic vinegar, it’s the perfect addition to meats, vegetables and even roasted fruit. And best of all, it’s sugar-free, making it a great option for those watching their sugar intake.
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What is Balsamic Glaze Reduction?
Balsamic glaze reduction is a cooking technique in which balsamic vinegar is simmered on the stovetop until it thickens and becomes a syrupy consistency. This process is known as reduction. As the vinegar cooks, the liquid evaporates, and the natural sugars in the vinegar become concentrated, resulting in a thicker and sweeter glaze. It’s a versatile and flavorful addition to many dishes and can be easily made at home. While this is a one-ingredient recipe other versions call for additional sweeteners such as sugar or honey.
What kind of vinegar to use?
There are many different types of balsamic vinegars on the market, but if you want to fully appreciate its flavor it’s best not use anything less than Modena-made. You don’t have to buy the most expensive brand but do make sure the label says “balsamic vinegar of Modena”.
It’s important to note that lower quality, less expensive balsamic vinegars on the market may be made with wine vinegar and added caramel color and thickeners, these types of balsamic vinegar are not recommended to use for making a glaze, as they do not have the same depth of flavor and sweetness as traditional balsamic vinegar and may not reduce as well.
Do I need to add a sweetener such as honey or sugar?
It is not necessary to add sugar or honey to a homemade balsamic glaze. The natural sugars in the balsamic vinegar will caramelize and concentrate as the vinegar reduces, providing a sweet and tangy flavor. Adding sugar or honey to a balsamic glaze can make it overly sweet, and mask the complex and nuanced flavors of the balsamic vinegar.
If you find that the balsamic glaze is not sweet enough for your taste, you can try reducing it for a longer time or add a small amount of honey, sugar or maple syrup to taste.
How to Store Balsamic Glaze Reduction
Homemade balsamic glaze can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Let the glaze cool to room temperature before transferring it to a clean, airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic container.
After refrigeration, the glaze may thicken or solidify slightly, this is normal and it can be brought back to its original consistency by heating gently on the stove or in the microwave.
You can also freeze the balsamic glaze for up to 3 months, in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to label the container with the date of preparation, and let it thaw in the refrigerator before use.
12 oz of Balsamic Vinegar
That’s it! Just one ingredient.
Optional Ingredients: 1-2 tsp of sweetener such as honey, brown sugar and coconut sugar. 1 -2 tsp of herbs and spices such as garlic, cinnamon and rosemary.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze
1. Place balsamic vinegar and optional herbs and sweeteners in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. After a few minutes reduce heat to med-low.
3. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Cook until the vinegar has reduced by about half but no more than 75%. Any further and you risk burning the vinegar. Timing will vary based on your preferred thickness but shoot for 12 – 18 minutes. Keep in mind, glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
4. Let cool and enjoy as a delicious finishing touch on any dish!
How to Use Balsamic Glaze
- As a delicious glaze for meat, fish and seafood
- Drizzle over salads. It’s especially delicious with a Caprese Salad or Burrata Salad.
- As a dip for breadsticks or crudités along paired with a high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Use to marinate pork, chicken or beef
- Drizzle over roasted stone fruit such as peaches, plums and apricots with vanilla ice cream
- Brighten up roasted root vegetables with a bit of this delicious glaze
- Drizzle over your pizza to add additional flavor
- Try it over our brown butter brussels sprouts or skillet green beans!
Is Balsamic Glaze Gluten-Free?
Traditional balsamic vinegar, which is made from grape must and aged in wooden barrels, is typically gluten-free. However, some balsamic vinegars on the market may contain added ingredients or flavorings that contain gluten. Therefore, it’s important to check the label to ensure that the balsamic vinegar you’re using is gluten-free.
When making your own balsamic glaze, be aware of any other ingredients that you’re using and ensure that they are also gluten-free. Some thickeners, such as flour, may be used in some recipes and may contain gluten. Our recipe calls for no other ingredients so as long as your vinegar is gluten-free there is nothing to worry about.
Can I use other types of vinegar?
While traditional balsamic vinegar is the best option for making a balsamic glaze, you can also use other types of vinegar, such as red wine or sherry vinegar, but the flavor and consistency may be slightly different.
How do I know when the balsamic glaze is ready?
The balsamic glaze is ready when it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. The consistency should be similar to a syrup.
Can I add other flavors to my balsamic glaze?
Absolutely! Add additional flavors such as herbs, spices, garlic or shallots. These ingredients can add depth and complexity to the flavor of the glaze.
Can I use balsamic glaze on sweet dishes?
Yep! Balsamic glaze can be used not only on savory dishes but also on sweet dishes, such as fruit, ice cream or cheesecake. It can also be used as a salad dressing, marinade or dipping sauce.
The best things in life are simple, and this balsamic glaze without sugar is no exception. With just one ingredient, this recipe is high in anti-oxidants and full of flavor. It’s also fairly low in carbs, making it a perfect addition to any keto or low-carb diet. This yummy glaze is simple to make and is the perfect finishing touch for any dish. Whether you’re serving roasted chicken or pork chops, this glaze will add a touch of deliciousness that everyone will love.
Balsamic Glaze Reduction Without Sugar
- 12 oz balsamic vinegar
- Place balsamic vinegar and optional herbs and sweeteners in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. After a few minutes reduce heat to med-low.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Cook until the vinegar has reduced by about half but no more than 75%. Any further and you risk burning the vinegar. Timing will vary based on your preferred thickness but shoot for 12 – 18 minutes. Keep in mind, glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Let cool and enjoy as a delicious finishing touch on any dish!