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Healthy Eating with DIY Condiments

Posted Aug 03 2012 12:00pm



Part of being a good cook is striking a balance between flavor and healthy eating. With sky-high obesity rates, it would be foolish to ignore this fact when cooking at home. The mere act of your cooking is a big step in the right direction. Chances are that you use significantly less salt when cooking than you would find in processed foods.

Sodium in Foods

Have you ever looked at the label of a typical store-bought spaghetti sauce. Depending upon the brand, it may contain a large percentage of the recommended total sodium intake–for the day! Condiments like ketchup don’t fare much better. To get around the health pitfalls, you can make them yourself.

DIY Condiments

You may be surprised to learn how easy it is to make some common foods yourself. I’ve written before about how simple it is to make homemade butter . Just a bit of cream and a pinch of salt, and you have butter that is easier to cook with and tastes fresh.

Mayo is another one you can add to your list. Your base ingredients include egg yolks, canola oil and an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Epicurious.com has a simple recipe. You can also use olive oil instead of canola for added flavor. Either choice is the healthy one.

Ketchup is another possibility. It also gives you a chance to find another use for the tomatoes coming from your garden. With a recipe like this, you have a great opportunity to tweak for your own tastes. You can make it with ingredients you probably have on hand, making it a snap to whip up.

Homemade Tips

Making your own condiments has distinct advantages. However, without all those preservatives, your creations will not last as long. Your ketchup, for example, may only be good for two weeks. Items with fresh herbs may lose their bright green color after a few days. It’s best then to make what you need.

Another thing to consider is using xanthan gum. It is used in commercial products like salad dressings as a thickener and emulsifier. It can help keep your own products from separating. You might also try it in sauces. To keep it from clumping, use on a pinch for your recipes and mix in a blender so it gets fully incorporated.

Healthy eating is about taking charge of your diet. Doing it yourself gives you the satisfaction of taking actions to follow a path of good eating habits.

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