5 Spot: 5 healthier alternatives to common condiments
FARGO – When counting calories and watching sugar intake, it can be easy to overlook condiments. But those dips and toppings can be loaded with what you might be trying to avoid.
Here are five healthier alternatives to popular condiments:
Ketchup contains 20 calories, 4 grams of sugar, and 160 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. It’s also made with high fructose corn syrup and natural flavoring, an ambiguous term often used to mean a plant or animal derivative used for flavoring rather than nutrition.
In a recent newsletter, Team Beachbody (a fitness support team connected with Beachbody, which sells fitness videos and supplements) offered recipes for healthier versions of popular condiments.The homemade ketchup has 18 calories, 3 grams of sugar, and 7 milligrams of sodium in a 2-tablespoon serving.
Homemade ketchupTo make it, heat 1 15-ounce can of organic tomato sauce with no sugar or salt added, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or pure maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat; cover. Cool to room temperature.Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
MayonnaiseI love tuna sandwiches, but I never feel good about the mayo I use to make them. It also contains preservatives, “natural flavors,” and it has 90 calories in a 1 tablespoon serving.I recently read an email from My Fitness Pal (a calorie-tracking app) that recommended replacing mayo with avocado for added flavor, creaminess and healthy fats.There are 234 calories and 21 grams of fat in 1 cup of sliced avocado, but according to WebMD, more than half of that is heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Avocados are also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and K, folate, and B6.Avocado is also a nice alternative for topping burgers.
Team Beachbody also had a healthier version of ranch dressing, which I think my son would dip everything into if I would let him.Ranch dressing typically contains artificial flavors, preservatives, 140 calories, 14 grams of fat, 260 milligrams of sodium and 1 gram of sugar in a 2-tablespoon serving.Team Beachbody’s homemade version has 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, and 89 milligrams of sodium in a 2-tablespoon serving.
Homemade ranch dressing
Combine 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk and 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning blend. Mix well.To make the seasoning blend, pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until well mixed:2 tablespoons dried parsley, crushed2 teaspoons dried onion flakes2 teaspoons onion powder2 teaspoons garlic powder1½ teaspoons dried dill1½ teaspoons dried cloves1 teaspoon sea salt1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Thousand island dressingAnother great recipe from Team Beachbody is for a healthier Thousand Island dressing. The condiment typical has 130 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4 grams of sugar, and 290 milligrams of sodium in a 2-tablespoon serving. It also contains soybean oil, aluminum sulfate, natural flavor, additives and preservatives.This homemade version contains 72 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, and 67 milligrams of sodium in a 2 tablespoon serving. And a bonus, I didn’t have to Google any of the ingredients to find out what they were.(Note: If you use a store-bought mayo, you will be adding preservatives and natural flavors to your dressing. Try making your own.)
Homemade thousand island dressing
1/3 cup olive oil mayonnaise2 tablespoons organic tomato sauce, no salt or sugar added2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon finely chopped onion1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley¼ cup water
Place mayonnaise, tomato sauce, lemon juice, onion, pickle relish, parley and water in a blender; cover. Blend until desired consistency. Refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours.
SyrupIf you’re going to coat your food in sugar, opt for one that at least has some nutritional benefits.Aunt Jemima Original Syrup, for example, contains high fructose corn syrup, artificial and natural flavors, and preservatives, whereas pure maple syrup is just that.It also contains vitamins and minerals like manganese, riboflavin,and zinc, according to purecanadamaple.com.Still, pure maple syrup is mainly sugar, so use it sparingly (and don’t consider it “healthy”).Pure maple syrup contains 217 calories and 54 grams of sugar in ¼ cup. Aunt Jemima’s contains 210 calories and 32 grams of sugar in ¼ cup.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526