Holiday weekends typically spur thoughts of family and traditions. And Memorial Day weekend is no different.
Whether it’s a backyard BBQ, a day at the beach or otherwise, food can play a big role in our traditions.
But food is not the enemy. There always are small tweaks we can make to limit our sugar and salt intake in particular.
In other words, let’s talk about condiments, which can very easily add far more of what you don’t need into those meals that you’re looking forward to.
The following are five sneaky condiments that you could encounter this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, as well as healthier homemade recipes you can try as a substitute.
Traditional and often a crowd-favorite, ketchup is not only high in salt but also sugar. So much so that one tablespoon of ketchup often contains about one teaspoon of sugar.
This is likely more than most people would imagine!
Instead, give this healthier homemade ketchup recipe a try:
2 cups unsweetened tomato paste (6 ounces each)
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
Himalayan salt to taste (optional)
Other herbs and spices can be added to taste if desired (such as turmeric and paprika)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy immediately or cool first by storing in a refrigerator.
Barbecue sauce is a sneaky source of salt and sugar, just like ketchup unfortunately. In fact, barbecue sauce typically has even more sugar than ketchup. About two tablespoons contain about 10 grams of sugar.
High amounts of sugar consumption can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, which is not something anyone wants.
Healthier Barbecue Sauce recipe
1 can unsweetened tomato sauce (15 ounces)
1 can unsweetened tomato paste (6 ounces)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Up to 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Once simmering, cover with a lid slightly ajar so that steam can escape, and the sauce can reduce. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy immediately or let cool first.
Unfortunately, mayonnaise is high in fat, salt and calories with almost no nutritional value. There are about 100 calories in just one tablespoon, with processed refined soybean oil typically the main ingredient.
However, there are a number of healthy substitutes for mayonnaise, including (but not limited to):
Healthier Mayonnaise recipe
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or even a mason jar. You can use an immersion blender to better blend ingredients together. Refrigerate once blended.
Honey mustard sauce
Unlike regular mustard, honey mustard sauce contains significant sugar. Of course, easy substitutions include regular mustard (although both honey mustard and regular mustard both contain salt), pesto and/or hummus (made with olive oil).
Healthier Honey Mustard recipe
1/4 cup raw or all-natural honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
⅛ tsp Himalyan salt
Cracked black pepper (to taste)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate once blended.
Store-bought ranch can really range in obstacles for healthy eating: a lot of calories, fat, sodium and sometimes added sugar.
Tahini can be an easy substitute since it’s made of ground sesame seeds. It is high in fat, but it’s healthier unsaturated fat. To change its consistency, you can dilute it with water (possibly a 1:1 ratio) as desired.
Healthier Ranch recipe
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp parsley, dried
1 tsp chives, dried
1 tsp dill, dried
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ to ½ tsp Himalayan salt (or more to taste)
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white rice vinegar
1 tbsp water (or more depending on how thin you want the consistency)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor, and refrigerate once blended.
Remember that the keys to success for healthy eating is planning, preparation and commitment. Never let the available tempting foods that will be around stress you out. We can only do our best, hopefully focusing on consuming more memories than calories.
Plus, you can now experiment with various healthier condiment recipes to help you stay on track for all your health goals.