Photo by Pixzolo Photography on Unsplash
It is officially summer! With all the BBQs, picnics and parties coming up, this is the perfect time to share with you my favorite healthy condiment lines.
I actually went through a phase of trying to make my own, especially mayonnaise. It tasted AMAZING, but I have limited time and I am always looking for ways to make healthier eating easier. With so many great off-the-shelf options, this is definitely an area where I buy instead of make.
What I Look For In A Condiment
When stocking our pantry, I look for a few things:
First, no canola oil! Canola oil is inflammatory because of the high level of omega-6s (we need them, but in a certain ratio with omega-3s). It is so widely used in restaurants and packaged foods that I avoid it when I can to keep it to a minimum in our diets.
Second, less or no sugar and salt. Overall, I try to limit my sugar to places where it really matters (desserts!) and look for low-to-no sugar in foods that I don't need sweetened so my sugar intake overall is lower. I am not extremely diligent about my salt intake because I just don't like super salty foods, but I have family members who have been advised to limit their salt intake so I like to keep it in mind, especially with foods that we serve at parties, BBQs and get-togethers.
Third, I look for organic vegetables and pastured eggs (for mayonnaise). This isn't just about avoiding pesticides (which is very important), but I believe in supporting farming methods that are better for the environment and vote with my dollars.
So on to the condiments!
Brandless offers healthy items at budget-friendly price points. And it is hard to beat their prices for organic condiments. They have all the essentials: ketchup, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, stone ground mustard, and mayonnaise, and then several different BBQ sauces. They are organic, gluten-free and don't have preservatives and weird ingredients.
Their dijon mustard for example: water, organic mustard seeds, organic vinegar, salt, organic turmeric, and organic spices. That's it. That is what I like to see!
Thinking Outside the Bottle: Sir Kensington's
I first found Sir Kensington when I fell in love with their special sauce. They also have all the basics covered, but it is really the variations on the classic condiments that we love. My absolute favorites are the special sauce (on eggs, yum!) and the spicy brown mustard (alone or as the base for a honey mustard salad dressing).
And if you are looking for vegan mayonnaise or one made with avocado oil (which is less inflammatory than canola oil), they have you covered!
Sugar-Free/Keto-Friendly: Primal Kitchen
If you are looking to ditch the sugar in your condiments altogether, try Primal Kitchen. Primal Kitchen was founded by Mark Sisson, a popular figure in the paleo movement. But even if you aren't paleo or keto, removing sugar from your diet where you can is a good idea, especially if you use condiments, sauces and dressings often. The only drawback is that they are expensive. Thrive Market has them for a discount if you are looking to try them!
What About the Relish?: Thrive Market
The only thing I noticed missing from the roundup above was relish - one of my mother's favorites! Well, Thrive Market has us covered. We have been Thrive Market members for a couple years now, and we have saved much more than we spend in membership fees, especially when Thrive started selling its own label.
They have a sweet and a spicy relish and pickle chips too if you need to round out your condiment offerings!