Essential Condiments: A Basics Guide

Adding condiments to your recipes and meals can be a fantastic way to make food more exciting and enjoyable. However, not all condiments belong in the fridge or pantry of someone trying to make healthy choices. Below are nine must-have sidekicks to your dishes!

  1. Dijon, Grainy or Brown Mustard


Mustard seeds provide many phytonutrients and a lot of flavor. Mustard has been shown to offer protection against DNA or cell mutation and tumor growth. It makes a tasty addition to salad dressing, on meat before cooking, added to a marinade, or alone as a dip.

2. Fermented Soy Condiments


Fermented soy condiments such as miso, natto, tamari or tempeh add a salty flavor to recipes without all the preservatives and unwanted side effects of less healthy options, like soy sauce. Bonus: miso and natto are both probiotic foods high in nutrients like vitamin K, and are even a good source of protein!

3. Apple Cider Vinegar


ACV is a wonderful addition to many foods, as it’s fermented and has probiotics, has antibacterial properties, helps cure acid reflux and digestive issues, improves diabetes, and lowers blood pressure. It helps balance the body’s pH level and boosts digestive health. It can be added to salad dressings, smoothies, marinades and sauces.

4. Hot Sauce


If you’re into spicy foods, nothing quite beats a good hot sauce to get that extra kick! Spicy flavored foods like peppers and other fat burning foods are known to increase the body’s fat-burning abilities. Just look for a brand that doesn’t contain artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.

5. Raw Honey


Raw honey is one of my favorite natural sweeteners, although I recommend still using it sparingly as it is still high in sugar, albeit natural sugar. It’s great for helping reduce allergies, relieving cold and flu symptoms, improving digestion and reducing infections and viruses. Add a little to your fruit, yogurt, tea, oatmeal, or even in marinades and dressings.

6. Spices


There are so many possibilities in combining spices to make your food taste amazing! Some basics to keep at home are sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger, oregano turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, and chili powder.

7. Salsa


Fresh homemade salsas are your best bet at a healthy option, but there are many store-bought brands available made with nutrient-rich tomatoes, onion, jalapeños and spices. Add salsa to eggs, tacos or fish for a tasty kick.

8. Horseradish


A great way to add flavor to mashed potatoes, soups, dips and sauces: try adding a tiny bit of horseradish! It’s a strong spice high in nutrients, and a great natural sinus infection remedy. Remember, a little goes a long way!

9. Hummus


Hummus ingredients like olive oil, beans, lemon and garlic are shown to be heart-healthy and great anti-inflammatory foods. Try hummus on salads and sandwiches, and don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous by adding it to something different like an omelet!

Condiments to Avoid:

1. Soy Sauce:
  • Loaded with sodium and soy.
  • Can mess with hormones and interfere with digestion .
2. Store-Bought BBQ Sauce
  • High in sodium and sugar.
3. Store-Bought Ketchup
  • Full of sugar and artificial ingredients.
4. Sweet Relish
  • Contains preservatives, artificial coloring, and loaded with sugar.
5. Mayonnaise
  • High in processed, refined vegetable oils.
6. “Light” or Low-Fat Salad Dressings

The fat is replaced by lots of artificial preservatives, sugar and sodium.

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