When it comes to living well in the kitchen, nothing makes everyday meals better, faster and more flavorful than having a good cache of condiments on hand. With the right sauces and sprinkles, you could feed yourself or your crew the same basic bowl, wrap or salad in a million ways (without cooking several different meals).
Condiments are one of the most clever and economical ways to keep clean eating interesting at home. We’ve rounded up a few notables that, combined, make crave-able sauces, dressings and sprinkles for days.
A Guide To Healthy Condiments
Good extra-virgin olive oil | We can’t run a story on healthy condiments without a huge shout-out to extra virgin olive oil and grey or pink salt. You’d be surprised at how flavorful good-quality olive oil can be and, depending on your mood, a good drizzle can give you all the flavor (and polyphenols) you need on fresh or roasted veggies, salads and other basics. We’re partial to Wonder Valley and Celtic grey salt.
Fly by Jing Chili Crisp | The Fly by Jing brand of authentic Asian condiments went viral quickly and hasn’t let up. The uniquely clean ingredients are hard to find on grocery store shelves these days and allows healthy eaters to dig into super-spicy flavors fast. See our interview with Jing.
Miso Mayo | Miso is a fermented paste that packs an umami punch, but requires a little work to add to sauces and dressings. We’ve become addicted to Miso Mayo, a collection of miso-based sauces that come ready to drizzle on steamed veggies, bowls and salads so easily.
Siete Traditional Hot Sauce | Never underestimate the importance of having a good hot sauce on hand. When that weeknight bowl or protein falls flat, lean in a spicy dash of sauce. Or plan a whole night of tacos around it.
Siete makes four flavors of their hot sauce packed with additional nutrients like flax, chia, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil — no quasi-food additives included.
Hi Note Cheezio Pepe | This vegan seasoning mix blasted onto the market just recently and has already sold out several times. This brand launch is a foodies’ dream, combining the expertise of Chef Roy Choi and nutritionist Shira RD for clean convenience products we’re drooling over. Cheezio Pepe is a vegan blend of nutritional yeast, pepper and little else designed to fold into organic pasta or spaghetti squash for the easiest meal ever. We also sprinkle it on popcorn by the bowlful!
Raw Nut Butter | Take this condiment out of the (breakfast and) lunch box and start thinking about dinner. Almond butter or cashew butter can make a super-flavorful sauce or dressing base that makes veggies and salads more substantial quickly. We love Deliciously Ella’s approach to the ultimate baked sweet potato with a cashew-based sauce here. With butters, you’ve already got one step behind you.
Mustard of every kind | Do not underestimate the power of a good mustard to bring life to salad dressings, marinades and sandwiches. We like it stoneground and spicy, mixed with real honey, or a bit on the boujee side with wasabi and turmeric like this version from LA’s Flamingo Estate.
Mina olive tapenade | Love the salty flavor of olives? Use tapenade as a condiment to add flavor and complexity to basic bowls, salads, and toasts of all kinds. Try adding a dollop on top of hummus.
Soom tahini | Like nut butter, tahini (made from sesame seeds) can take you a long way in the everyday sauces department. Try tahini and soy sauce over sweet potatoes or tahini and yogurt over a veggie bowl. Note: both soy sauce (we like Bragg’s Aminos and yogurt also make excellent healthy condiments! Here’s how to use yogurt for quick sauces).
Diamond of California Nut Coatings | Intended as a substitute for breadings, these ‘nut coatings’ have landed a solid spot in our pantry, and I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about them. Guess there are more important things in the news? These clever chopped nut and seasoning blends are meant to coat chicken or seafood, making quick work out of a filet of frozen salmon in the oven. They are also terrific tossed into a little oil over popcorn, salad and bowls. Try the Ranch flavor!
Wildbrine Kraut | The more probiotic foods you can sneak into meals the better (for most of us, that is — if you have a condition like SIBO, learn more here). We love Wildbrine for their foodie-friendly array of flavors that can be added by the scoopful to bowls, sandwiches and burgers for a healthful dose of nutrition and unexpected new flavors. Try the Beet Cabbage on salads with hummus or the Dill Garlic on old-fashioned sandwiches.
Laka Living furikake | Seaaweed is another fun way to tweak a basic meal into something extraordinary. I’m a huge fan of this traditional Japanese sprinkle, a blend of dried seaweed and seeds made with love in Hawaii.
Takii umami powder shiitake | Like miso and dried seaweed, dried shiitake powder can add a traditional Asia flavor to sauces of all kinds or just amp up the earthiness of a salad dressing or burger mix with plenty of shroomy depth. If you’re looking for something new that packs a punch, start experimenting with this stuff.
More MVPs | We couldn’t say enough about raw apple cider vinegar, a good spice rack and figuring out which fresh or dried herbs are your favorite. Which essential condiments do you love that didn’t make our list?