One of the best steps you can take towards better health is to simply ditch processed foods and transition to real whole foods. To some that could mean entirely gutting your pantry leaving nothing left to utilize in your kitchen, and needing to make a clean start. In an effort to help those who want to take it one step at a time, let me break it down for you in a way that makes it all more doable. The top two things you should change in your S.A.D. pantry to make it a REAL FOOD pantry are the fats/oils and meats you choose and consume. Today I am going to cover how to ditch typical grocery store condiments and replace them with healthier store bought options or homemade.
Have you ever taken the time to look at the labels on the condiments you buy at the store? Most often you will find plenty of undesirable ingredients, excess sugar and bad fats. Most of us alive today are all too familiar with having a refrigerator door full of condiments at our ready, however what we don’t realize is how these ‘trivial’ additions to our food are potentially harming our health. Traditional cultures would have made their own condiments and they would have been very basic and simple and not in excess. Things like raw and aged vinegars, naturally fermented soy sauce, tamari and miso. As we moved into the modern age where food no longer came from the hearth and home, things got more complicated.
One of the worst condiments out there is salad dressing. Loaded with bad oils and all kinds of thickeners and stabilizers and all to be put onto fresh vegetables in the name of eating healthy. Many dressing labels may say ‘all natural’ but often contain wheat or soy, and usually oils you really do not want to consume. Making salad dressing at home is likely the most simple thing in the world. I highly recommend making this the first thing you ditch and replace with homemade in the condiment category. I have yet to find a quality store bought salad dressing that meets my standards or is cost effective and easy to come by.
Recipes for Salad Dressing
- Better Than Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
- Yogo-Mayo Dressing
- Basil Vinaigrette
- Buttermilk Dressing
- Caramelized Honey Balsamic Dressing
- Champagne Vinaigrette
- Creamy Feta Dressing
- Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- Domestic Goddess Dressing
- Ginger Vinaigrette
- Homemade Ranch Dip
- Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Ketchup, Mustard, BBQ Sauce
The trouble with these condiments is usually the added sugar and other undesirables. I’ve never made my own mustard at home because I think it’s not worth the trouble and I can get get really high quality mustard at the store or online very easily. I have made homemade ketchup but prefer to buy it. BBQ sauce made from scratch is far more complex in flavor than any store bought sauce out there. I usually make 2 big batches per summer and freeze it in portions to use whenever I need. Good store bought brands of mustard: Eden (this is my favorite and it’s sugar free- I get mine through Tropical Traditions), Annie’s Naturals, Anton Kozkils, Grey Poupon, Hain and Westbrae. Good store bought brands of ketchup: Annie’s Natural, Muir Glen, Nash Brothers Trading Company, Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup, Portland Ketchup Co. (low sugar, 2 grams carbs per serving I believe) and sugar free ketchup from Steve’s Paleo Goods. BBQ Sauce is best made from scratch. Steve’s Paleo Goods also has salad dressings, wing sauce, sriracha and steak sauce.
Fish Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, Vinegar
These condiments most of us are not likely to make at home. However, it’s good to know which to choose when purchasing. Fish Sauce can be of poor quality -so look for these brands of fish sauce: Red Boat fish sauce (best option), Squid Brand, Thai Kitchen, Tiparos and Tra Chang. High quality raw or aged vinegars are best -avoid white vinegar and pasteurized vinegars can be used as an okay option. Brands of vinegar: Bariani Balsamic, Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Bionaturae organic balsamic vinegar, Eden raw wine, apple cider and rice vinegars, Spectrum Naturals raw unfilitered organic apple cider vinegar, Omega Nutrition organic apple cider and balsamic vinegars, Solana Gold raw apple cider vinegar. If you are needing to be gluten free, many soy sauces contain gluten, be sure to get raw naturally fermented gluten free soy sauce or tamari as the best option with pasteurized as a second best. If you simply cannot do soy of any kind due to an allergy ,try Coconut Aminos. Brands of Soy Sauce: Mitoku shoyu and tamari (call 800-324-1878), Natural Zing nama shoyu unpasteurized soy sauce (call 301-703-4116), RawGuru nama shoyu unpasteurized soy sauce (call 800-518-0727), Eden naturally fermented soy sauce (have gluten free tamari as well), Ohsawa gluten-free tamari (call 800-475-3663), Westbrae and San-J naturally fermented soy sauce. Brands of Worcestershire sauce: Annie’s Naturals organic and The Wizard’s organic Worcestershire sauce
Recipes to Make Your Own Condiments
- Kombucha Ketchup & BBQ Sauce
- Easy Homemade Mustard
- Spicy Horseradish Mustard
- Easy Homemade Ketchup
- Magic Mayonnaise
- Homemade Mayonnaise
- Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce
- Homemade Chocolate Syrup
A great resource to have on hand while you are learning to navigate new real whole foods as opposed to the typical processed food options we are all so familiar with, is this handy Shopping Guide from the Weston Price Foundation -I believe it’s only $2. I find it to be an invaluable resource and I order a bunch in bulk every year for my local WAPF chapter group. It’s so hand and can fit in your purse. Pick one up -you won’t regret it!
For more reading on How To Ditch Processed Foods, check out these posts as well;
- Transition To Real Food: One Day At A Time
- How To Ditch Processed Food: What Fats Should You Be Consuming
- How To Ditch Processed Food: Choosing Meat, Seafood and Dairy
- How To Ditch Processed Food: What Sweeteners Should You Use
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