Tis’ the season of outdoor barbecues and bold summer flavors. Although we are not totally putting the ketchup down, we just need to put some other condiments out there that have way more flavor and are actually good for you!
You might think you’re eating healthy but when it comes to the condiments people love to load up, that usually means loading up on salt and/or sugar. Here are the 10 healthy condiments and sauces you need to keep in your pantry or make homemade instead!
Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is popular in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. You may already know tahini as one of the main ingredients in hummus. When combined with lemon, water, garlic and other spices it makes a very good and very healthy dipping sauce, dressing or marinade.
…Or hot sauce as many of us in the United States know it as. Sriracha is made from red chili peppers that are known to help boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Chili peppers also release endorphines which make us happy while lowering inflammation at the same time! The garlic in sriracha helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Can’t get enough? Harissa is for those who need even more spice in their lives. It is made from hot peppers, spieces, garlic and olive oil. Like any spicy food, harissa is going to help lower inflammation and blood pressure, clear out your sinuses and may also help with depression and migraines!
A combination of pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, basil and olive oil, pesto has many health benefits. Olive oil contains healthy fats while the other pesto ingredients provide vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants and iron. These compounds together support cell structure and help fight disease-causing free radicals!
Satay sauce is a peanut sauce that is popular in Asian cultures. It is an amazing marinade for chicken or tofu. Satay sauce can be high in calories depending on where you get it from so it’s suggested to make your own at home instead of buying from the store. Use coconut milk, reduced-fat peanut butter, sugar, lime juice and cilantro.
Tzatziki sauce comes from the Greek culture and is made from yogurt, cucumbers, lemon and other ingredients. This creamy and healthy condiment is generally low in carbohydrates but high in protein. On average, a serving of tzatziki contains 5 or more grams of protein! It is excellent on many different foods, such as grilled chicken and steak. It is also a flavorful addition to many steamed vegetable dishes and salads. Try this recipe from skinnytaste.com!
Mustard plant seeds are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. When going to buy dijon mustard make sure to look for the amount of sodium! Many products pack a high sodium punch which can make it far less healthy than you’d like. Dip pretzels, veggies, make a marinade, dressing or sauce for extra flavor!
There are many health benefits to balsamic vinegar that you may not even know about! Did you know it was used back in ancient times to relieve people from pain? Not only pain from migraines and headaches, but pain from infections as it was used as an anti-bacterial agent. Other healthy benefits to balsamic is that it acts as an antioxidant, a cancer fighter, a digestion promoter and diabetes controller! This Caprese salad staple does way more than just make our food taste better.
This delicious and tangy condiment can be used to boost flavor in a sandwich, spread over cheese and crackers, a fun additive to a grilled cheese sandwich, or a glaze for meats. Originating in India, chutney is made from fruits or vegetables, vinegar, and spices.
We can go on and on about the benefits and uses for lemon juice, this condiment may just be the most inexpensive and the most versatile of them all. Lemon juice treats an upset stomach, detoxifies the body, improves liver function, clears your skin, freshenes your breath, helps with weight loss and makes for strong and healthy nails. Add lemon juice to your salad dressings, marinates, squeeze over seafood, put it into cakes and pies, or simple make the most delicious lemonade!
For more Food features, check out our articles here.
What is your favorite condiment or sauce to cook with?