As summer arrives, we’ll be having picnics, barbeques and cook-outs! Here is a breakdown of condiments – options that won’t make you go YUK! but will make you go YUM!
Less than healthy choices:
- Mayonnaise. Made with processed, refined soybeans, which can cause internal inflammation. IF you can find a mayo made with olive oil instead, it could be a healthy choice! Try Greek yogurt with your favorite spices as an alternative.
- Tartar Sauce. Same as above with mayonnaise. It might have some added herbs, but the oils make it a sub-par choice. You could substitute a good quality cream cheese, again with your favorite spices.
- Ketchup. Most brands have lots of added sugar, in addition to high fructose corn syrup. Look for organic brands with no added sugar for a healthier option. You’ll be surprised at the good taste. My son-in-law, Jason Grimes, and I have lively discussions on healthy ketchup!
- Barbeque Sauce. This is a big strike-out due to higher levels of added sugars and high fructose corn syrup, and less benefits from tomatoes. Experiment with recipes that use honey or stevia instead.
- Salad Dressings. Most store brands contain the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup and unhealthy canola and/or soybean oil. Avoid “fat-free” dressings – you need some fat to help absorb the nutrients from the salad greens. If you can find one made on-premises, it usually has less added preservatives and could be a better option. Or, better yet, make your own!
Better, healthier choices:
- Mustard. Generally, one of the healthiest condiments! Most brands contain no added sugar, and mustard seed is a great antioxidant. In addition, many mustards contain turmeric and paprika, which are also good antioxidants.
- Guacamole. Made from my all-time favorite, the avocado! Guacamole has healthy fats, fiber, and lots of healthy nutrients and antioxidants. I even like most store brands. Just read the label to make sure you’re getting pure ingredients.
- Salsa. Just like ketchup, right? Not really! Salsa is made from mostly veggies, without added sugars. And it pairs well with guacamole. Try it on a burger or hot dog next time!
- Hummus. I love hummus! It can be a condiment or a snack with veggies. Many store brands are pretty healthful – just read the label. Choose those made with olive oil, rather than canola or soybean oil. Try making your own, too. There are lots of recipes!
- Pesto. Made from basil, garlic, olive oil and sometimes pine nuts and grated cheese, pesto has a lot of antioxidants in it and can be easily whipped up from all the basil in your garden, especially at the end of the season. I make it in batches and freeze extra in ice cube trays, and have pesto at my fingertips!
Picnic season can be a healthier season if you start with good proteins, good fats, and now…excellent tasting and good-for-you condiments!
Hello Summer! To Your Vitality!