Tired of conventional condiments like ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and mayo? Bored by bland toppings for burgers and brats that probably haven’t changed much since the Stone Age?
To make matters worse, if you spend part of your supermarket time as many of us do reading labels, it’s no surprise to see that these common condiments are generally loaded with added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and the like. In fact, did you know that most commercial honey mustard products also contain refined sugar–as if the more healthful honey ingredient wasn’t quite sweet enough!
To curtail your intake of excess sugar and other additives, and especially add zest, ingenuity, and sparkle to everyday condiments, why not create your own recipes with the opportunity to personalize them using everyday ingredients, but in a not-so-ordinary way. Items such as pungent chili paste, spicy salsa, relish, pickled beets or onions, roasted and chopped red peppers, toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, wasabi, anchovy paste, chopped roasted artichokes, hot peppers, lemon zest, curry, and even dried cranberries can ignite ordinary ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce or mayo for an unexpected culinary kick. Combining these ingredients with traditional condiments can take your burgers, steak, fish, chicken, and plain old turkey, tuna or ham sandwiches to a whole new level, making each meal a celebration of the palette.
What’s more, in glass bottles with a pretty ribbon, these kicked-up condiments make perfect holiday and special occasion gifts that you can be sure no one else will have. Try these easy creative condiment recipes or invent a few of your own!
Sugar-Free Ketchup with Lemon Zest and Chili Paste
1 6-oz. can of tomato paste
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. of your preferred sugar substitute (optional)
2 tbsp. onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. lemon zest (more or less to taste)
2 tbsp. chili paste (more or less to taste)
Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until the onion disappears. Spoon mixture into an airtight container and store in refrigerator.
Sugar-Free Mustard with Curry and Toasted Pine Nuts
1/4 cup white or brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. cold water
Place mustard seeds, wine vinegar and wine in a small bowl and let sit for three hours. Pour contents of bowl into a food processor with steel blade. Blend until seeds are broken up and then add the dry mustard, salt, allspice, curry powder, and water, and process until smooth. Add toasted pine nuts. Scoop into glass container and refrigerate 12 hours before serving.
Less Refined Sugar Mayonnaise with Dried Cranberries
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 cup pure olive oil
1 cup chopped dried cranberries (watch for refined sugar, as some packaged cranberries are coated)
Heat egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, and water in a small skillet over very low heat, stirring constantly. At the first sign of thickness, remove from heat and submerge in a large pan of cold water (continue stirring to avoid creating citrus-y scrambled eggs). Scoop mixture out of pan and into a food processor. Blend for a few seconds and then let mixture sit uncovered at least 5 minutes to cool. Add remaining dry ingredients, except for cranberries, and blend on low speed. Drizzle oil slowly into the mixture until all ingredients are combined. Add cranberries. Scoop into a large glass container and chill immediately. Mayonnaise should keep for at least one week if stored correctly.