Give Your Favorite Condiments a Healthy Makeover
A Healthy Makeover for Your Favorite Condiments
Everyone has their favorite condiments. They’re the ones we keep buying because we like them - alot. Of course, many of us skip reading about each one’s nutrition content or ingredients. We really don't want to see what's in there anyway, do we?
Should we give up eating tartar sauce, ketchup, or mayonnaise in order to eat healthy? Let’s take a closer look. Here are some of the more well-known and well-loved condiments found in most kitchens, and a few healthy alternatives you can enjoy without feeling so guilty.
Most people know ketchup isn’t the healthiest condiment out there, but we love it anyway. Whether its French fries, hamburgers, or meatloaf, these foods often get smothered in ketchup. Can we choose something else? Yes. Ketchup is a a product of tomato paste, so you can thin a can of tomato paste with water and apple cider vinegar, mix in a little dry mustard, cinnamon, cumin, and salt until you get a consistency and taste you like. Keep it in the refrigerator for the next time you get a craving for ketchup. This way, you get to decide how much salt and sugar you want to add to it. This also eliminates the high fructose corn syrup and preservatives found in the original.
Mayo is another all time favorite convenience food. Mixing it into macaroni salads and sandwiches doesn’t hide the fact that its not healthy for us. Sure, there are low fat varieties, but you're still consuming sugars and preservatives you shouldn’t. How can create a substitute that suits your diet? Put a few simple ingredients together – some yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and egg, and you’ve created a mayonnaise that is healthier and tastier than you might think. Keep it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator to enjoy the taste of mayonnaise without sabotaging a healthy diet.
Is there a healthier alternative for yellow mustard? That’s sort of a trick question, because yellow mustard right out of the jar is about as healthy as you can get in a condiment. It’s fat free, gluten free, and has almost no sugar or salt, making mustard one condiment you can eat on a healthy conscience. In fact, you would do well by switching sandwich spreads like mayonnaise to yellow mustard if you enjoy the taste.
Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so you know that when high fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient for cocktail sauce, you're off to a bad start. This condiment is meant to be tangy, spicy, and a tiny bit sweet. Therefore, you can mix together a simple sauce with ingredients you probably have already, without the corn syrup.
Whisk together a blend of tomato paste, horseradish, and garlic. Sweeten with a drop of molasses, and add tangy flavor with white vinegar and lemon juice. This way, you skip taking in almost a quarter of your daily allowance of salt and avoid some preservatives to boot. Keep a bottle in the fridge you'll never miss the additives at all.
The main draw for Tartar sauce is its rich, tangy flavor. Too bad you get a load of extra calories and fat along with the bargain. Even limiting yourself to two tablespoons, you’re still ingesting around 130 calories just from fat. So, what to do for tangy flavor without all the fat? Try yogurt. Leave some yogurt draining overnight through cheesecloth in a container in the refrigerator. To make the tartar sauce, mix in finely chopped relish or pickles, and your choice of flavorings like dried mustard, salt, pepper, or chopped parsley into the thickened yogurt. Experiment with these flavors and you’ll enjoy a healthy alternative dressing for your favorite fish dish.
Although a relative newcomer to the world’s most favored condiments, taco sauce is becoming more and more popular with Mexican dishes like tacos, huevos rancheros, and wraps at home. Store-bought taco sauce tends to be high in sodium, but relatively low in calories. This is one condiment you can probably make a bit healthier, but it takes some effort.
However, once you create a good recipe for taco sauce, you can tweak it somewhat to make some great salsas as well. A simple taco sauce would include ingredients like tomato paste, onion, green chiles, vinegar, paprika, garlic, and some lemon juice. You can also add a touch of sweetness to it with a drizzle of honey.
Reaching for condiments is something we don’t often think about, and we all have our favorites. That's actually where the problem starts. Introduce some healthy alternatives into your routine with a few simple recipes made from ingredients you have at home. The end result is just as tasty and flavorful as the original, just healthier.