Condiments - what's best?

I often get asked about condiments so I thought I’d throw something on the blog about it.

The thing with condiments is they are all made from calorie containing ingredients, so they must be considered a food just like an apple or a pie. Just because it’s a sauce or you only use ‘a tiny bit’ doesn’t make it diet friendly.

Here are some diet happy condiments from my pantry – but note, these may or may not contain additives, glutamates, wheat, gluten and other allergens.

Valcom Authentic Thai Green Curry Paste

Serving approx 3TBSP | 99cal | 8.4g fat
Why diet happy? This has no MSG and being so flavourful you only need to use a TBSP, which drops the cals to 33 per serve, the fat comes from sunflower oil.

Lee Kum Kee Thai Lemongrass Pork ready sauce
Serving approx 1.5 TBSP | 41cal | 7.3g carb
Diet happy as it only has 41 cals and low in fat.

Leggos tomato Paste
Serving size approx 2TBSP | 25cal | 3.9g carb
Diet happy as this product is only tomato and salt and low cal. No MSG

Masterfoods Honey Mustard

Serving size 1tsp | 10cal | 1.3g carb
Diet happy as it has max flavour for a very small calorie hit (great for making your own vinaigrette)

Ceres Organics Tinned Tomatoes
Serving size 100g | 17cal | 3.8g carb
Diet happy as you virtually have a pasta sauce right there for only 17 cals.

Other diet friendly condiments include
: vinegar, lemon, lime, wasabi, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, tamari, oyster sauce, fresh and dried herbs and spices, salt, pepper, ground kelp, seaweed, vegemite, onion, olives, capers, sundried tomatoes (remove excess oil), worcester sauce, english mustard, chillis, tabasco sauce, pickles.  Hummus and pesto are good condiments - but use in moderation, and if you can, make them from scratch.

You can’t go wrong with flavoured pastes. A paste is the food (eg tomato) that has been reduced down to evaporate the water out. Some pastes may have a tiny amount of oil added, but that’s fine.  Go paste mad!

Diet Unhappy condiments:
Sauce and meal solutions in jars, packet meals (some are ok, some are high in sugar and crammed full of additives), bottled and tinned sauces, mayonnaise and salad dressings. Some seasonings found in the herb and spice section contain MSG. Yes, there are diet condiments – Weight Watchers does heaps of them, but you will be consuming a large number of additives including aspartame and diet condiments don’t mean you can eat double the amount either.

How to make a quick, low cal creamy sauce
Boil ¼ cup of milk
While you are waiting for the milk to boil mix 1tsp of arrowroot (gluten free) or cornflour into 2tsp of cold milk. Once your milk has boiled, tip this mixture in.  Flavour with any of the diet happy condiments above.

Quick, easy, low cal, tomato based sauce
1 tin of tomatoes, 1 pottle of leggos tomato paste. Boil and simmer until reduced to the desired thickness (too easy) Season as you wish (salt, pepper, oregano..etc.  You can season this sauce before or after cooking - it's your choice.

And of course, don't forget your food has loads of lovely flavours - so don't mask it too much!