BBQ Bacon Meatballs

This holiday season on the GAPS diet has been the easiest for me by far.  The last couple years have been hard, watching everyone drool over Grandma Bosen's orange rolls and Mom's sweet cooked ham, while trying myself to curb cravings for cinnamon rolls and Christmas cookies.

But this year, instead of trying to find new holiday dishes off other blogs (which never turned out how I thought they would anyways), I focused on taking delicious foods I grew up loving and making them GAPS-legal; that's grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free, and pretty much anything processed-free.  It was both fun and sentimental to dream up some of my favorite holiday foods and turn them into special meals and memories once again. 

And I couldn't believe how good they turned out! My cranberry cream-cheese dip with my easy grain-free crackers were to-die-for and nobody could stop eating them. But THIS recipe was probably the favorite.  My family and friends couldn't get enough... literally (A few of us might have hoarded most of them before everyone else could get to them... I'll make them more next year;))

I got the idea to create a sweet, bbq meatball appetizer from a dish my aunt often brings to our Christmas Eve celebrations. My sister and I could often smell that crockpot of Little Smokies coming up our street before anyone else even knew my aunt and uncle were close. Those barbecue sauce-smothered Smokies were the first thing on our plates before dinner and the last thing on our plates after.  Forget appetizers--it was our main Christmas dish!

So this year I decided to create a GAPS-friendly version of BBQ Little Smokies with some meatballs, bacon, and a variation of my own BBQ sauce. Wrapping some simple homemade meatballs in bacon gives a deep, satisfying flavor, while grape juice-sweetened bbq sauce adds a sweet, tangy kick you're gonna love. It's an easy recipe you won't have to labor over for hours, so get read to make extras and feed a crowd!! I promise there will never be enough of these GAPS bacon meatballs!!

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BBQ Bacon Meatballs
Author: Amy MoffatPrep time: 10 minCook time: 30 minServings: about 20 meatballs

Meatballs:

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp pepper
about 16 oz sliced uncured, sugar-free bacon (like Pederson's)

BBQ Sauce:

1 26 oz box pureed tomatoes
1/4 c tomato paste
3/4 c honey
1 1/2 c fresh grape juice
3 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients for the BBQ sauce and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Preheat your oven to 375° F. Combine ground beef, ground pork, egg yolks, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix until combined (do not over mix).
Form into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven. (For a deeper flavor, brown sides in a skillet over medium-high heat before baking in the oven)
Fry the bacon in small batches of 3-4 over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, remove with tongs, and place on a paper towel. While the bacon is still warm, carefully wrap each meatball in a slice of bacon, piercing through with a toothpick to hold in place.
Continue until all the meatballs and bacon are used (makes about 20 meatballs).
Serve with Sweet BBQ Sauce

Let me know what you think!! Leave a comment below!

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