These healthy condiment swaps will help you eat a nutrient dense meal that’s packed with flavor!
In a recent article I announced that I am now on a journey to cutting out dairy (cheese was the last I’m saying adios to – ’cause I love it). Dairy was adding to the inflammation I was experiencing on my skin and since I’ve started finding cheesy substitutions, I’ve already noticed an improvement in my skin.
Another way that I’m cutting out dairy / cheese is by creating healthier and plant-based condiments. Condiments are what gives our dishes flaaaavor folks! That’s why so many people can’t and won’t add more plant-based meals into their routines. It’s all because they don’t know how to add scrum-didly-umptious flavor to their meals using plant-based ingredients.
Today’s Balanced Babe Guide is to showcase healthy condiment swaps. I’m including a mix of recipes + products (because let’s face it some of us don’t want to be making everything from scratch). All of the products I’m including are those that I’ve tried and enjoy – these are not sponsored product mentions. So let’s get to it:
The Balanced Babe Guide To: Healthy Condiment Swaps
Homemade Italian salad dressing vs high sodium store bought brands: Lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano.
The star of the show? Lemon juice. You’ve probably seen countless articles of health gurus talking about drinking lemon water in the morning. Lemons are a great source of antioxidants, they help balance your pH levels, and they naturally curb cravings (when you sip on lemon water all day). I pretty much put lemon juice on everything to balance the flavor profile.
I use this dressing on salads, to protein bowls and I’ll even top my cauliflower crust pizza with it.
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Tofutti vegan cream cheese instead of dairy cream cheese: Growing up I used to have a bagel with cream cheese every time I went to the airport. There was this breakfast spot that my family used to always swing by when we were walking through O’hare and my cream cheese bagel was a special treat. I haven’t had cream cheese in a long time due to the fact that I’ve shifted my cheese consumption to only to feta, parmesan, and goats for years. Now that I’ve found Tofutti’s brand (that really tastes like regular cream cheese) I can splurge and have my special treat sans the dairy inflammation.
Siracha: Sometimes for breakfast I’ll heat up a bowl of low sodium tomato soup from Trader Joe’s (you can find it in the soup aisle) and I’ll add Siracha to spice things up. I know Siracha is a wildly popular hot sauce for good reason, it tastes so stinkin’ great. I add it to so many recipes for flavor – my Asian inspired dishes, in salads, and in my soups. If you eat eggs in the morning, you can even add it to your eggs for flavor instead of using cheese.
Balsamic vinegar or any vinegar really, instead of salt: I always keep vinegar on hand. Balsamic, apple cider, rice vinegar, you name it. When added to sauces and recipes, vinegar provides tangy flavor to any dish. The tangy taste of vinegar is what adds the extra cheesy flavor to my vegan cheese recipes and tofu marinades.
Instead of relish (high in sodium), chop up pickles: I like adding pickles to my cold pasta salads, well any salad recipe really, my sandwiches and more. You can also add chopped pickles to your eggs, tuna or chicken salad and more. It’s a great cheese alternative and provides salty flavor with benefits! Look for raw, fermented pickles so that you can enjoy the gut benefits.
Instead of Parmesan cheese find Go Veggie Parmesan: This tastes like the real deal, people. I add it to my popcorn (mixed with nutritional yeast), to many many vegan bowls, and pretty much to anything that would call for real Parmesan. Yum!
Instead of butter, try Guacamole: Avocado is a healthy fat and one that you can use as a straight up butter substitute in recipes (ahem, my vegan avocado brownies). I’ll add guacamole to all of my Mexican recipes to add healthy fats to my dish and to also give it that creamy, rich taste.
Instead of mayo, choose hummus: Not only are you eliminating dairy, you’re adding protein to your plate from the beans. I like dipping pretty much everything in hummus (especially red pepper hummus and garlic hummus). You can add hummus to your salads, your sandwiches, and if you eat chicken, you can dip your chicken in hummus too!
Coconut amino acids instead of soy sauce: I absolutely love using coconut amino instead of soy sauce for a number of reasons. The sauce that I’m linking to contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH. I use it in all my stir fry recipes and anything that would call for regular soy sauce. If you like eating fish you can top it on your seared Ahi tuna, too.
Nutritional Yeast: I seriously put nutritional yeast on EVERYTHING. People look at me like I’m crazy, but I’m telling you nutritional yeast is not baker’s yeast. It is deactivated yeast and it provides a cheesy taste to everything its added to. I sprinkle it on popcorn, I add it to every single cheese substitution recipe, and in all my pasta recipes. There’s a slew of recipes on here that calls for nutritional yeast, it’s just awesome.
Instead of Ceasar salad dressing, opt for vegan Caesar dressing: Super easy to make and is great as a sauce for pastas, protein bowls and even over tempeh. You can get the entire recipe here!
Instead of store brand pesto, opt for quinoa pesto: This pesto recipe has such low levels of sodium and is another easy recipe. I’ve added this pesto to my pizzas, in my asparagus protein bowl, and it tastes great stuffed in chicken and fish too.
So if you still don’t know what to add to your recipes after this, then I don’t know what else will help ya! You can always email me at: Sarah@BALANCEDBABE.com to ask about what pairs well with a specific recipe, too. If you have your own special healthy condiments that aren’t listed here, share them in the comments to inspire!