How to Make Your Own Healthy Condiments

Condiments add flavorful zing to recipes and cooked foods; without American staples such as mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, many recipes, such as hamburgers, turkey sandwiches and pulled pork, would be bland.

But, store-bought versions of these condiments are often packed with sodium, sugar, preservatives and a host of chemicals that are hard to pronounce. If you take some extra time to make your own sauces, you'll not only have control over the quality and nutritive value of the ingredients you use, but you'll also be able to customize these basic recipes to accent whatever meal you're making that day (see "variations" at the end of each recipe for customizable suggestions).

More: 5 Low-Calorie Ingredients to Spice Up Any Dish

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Ingredients
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 cups water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons dark maple syrup
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a small saucepan over medium heat, and add all ingredients to the pot. Once the ingredients start to bubble, reduce heat to low and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

More: Your Grill Guide for Healthy Eating

Variations:

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke to the recipe for a smoky flavor
  • Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of whiskey or bourbon to the recipe for a kick
  • Add 1 tablespoon of any flavor of honey to make honey-barbecue sauce

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