Don’t let the limitations of a primal style diet take away from the delicious flavors you can still get from food! If you’re finding it hard to make your homecooked food taste less bland without the extra toppings, condiments, sauces, sugars and spices you are used to, look no further! We have compiled a list of our top eleven (or more) paleo-friendly condiments, spices and flavorful additions to complement your homemade meals. All of these condiments have no added sugars or sweeteners, no artificial or unpronounceable ingredients, are gluten free, and are all whole30 approved (if you’re super strict). Stock up your cabinets now!
1. Cholula “Chili Garlic” hot sauce (runner up: Melinda’s Hot Sauce)
Even if you’re not a fan of extremely hot sauces, you have to try the Chili Garlic flavor. Whereas many hot sauces have a straight up sour & vinegar taste, the Chili Garlic flavor adds a bit more sweetness and dimension that you don’t get with your traditional Tabasco. We also like Melinda’s hot sauce as well, as it is holds a light, sweet, tangy topping. Drizzle these on top of any dish for a little extra spice!
2. Green Mountain Salsa (runner up: Desert Pepper or Poblano Farms Salsa)
Don’t use salsa only for your mexican inspired dishes…we like to liberally use it on anything as a way to spice up an omelette or a beef brisket sautee with various vegetables. All the brands listed above do not have any added sugar and only have tomatoes, peppers, spices, lemon juice and/or vinegars as ingredients.
3. Mediterranean Organic Sundried Tomatoes and/or Roasted Red Peppers (runner up: 365 Organic Sundried Tomatoes)
Chopped up sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers make an excellent salad topping or a way to add in some needed acidity and sweetness to a dish with italian sausages or italian spices. Use these in your next quiche (with rosemary or basil) or on top of some baked fish. You can also use these with a “bunless” burger (or with portabella mushroom caps as the bun). We enjoy dicing these up and throwing them in the morning frittata.
4. Raos or Boves Marinara and Tomato Sauces
Who said your spaghetti squash had to be sauceless? Both Raos and Boves brands make jarred marinara sauces (with no sugars added) which come in various flavors such as Mushroom and Roasted Garlic.
5. Chinese Five Spice (runner up: Garam Masala)
Chinese Five Spice is a mix of 5 different spices all mixed together (fennel, star anise, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) which adds an asian-inspired sweetness to meats and curries. Rub this spice on that pork shoulder you are about to slow cook, or the pork belly you are planning to roast in the oven. Or, add some of this to a hash made of diced sweet potatoes, red onions and apple! Garam Masala is a traditional Indian-flaired spice that can be added to a curry-style dish with coconut milk and tomato sauce. Or just add it to some veggies sauteed in coconut oil.
6. Tessemaes Dressings & Marinades
Whole30 approved these dressings with their paleo-friendly ingredients. A good handful of these dressings have no added sugars or processed ingredients, making them great marinades for meat or dressings for your salad.
7. DennyMikes Seasonings
Looking for that perfect “all purpose” seasoning? We love DennyMike’s Pixie dust as the seasoning for everything that we want to cook fast! It has a great barbecue and smoky flavor to it. DennyMikes also makes seasonings that tailor more to seafood (FinTastic) and also pork or chicken. The come in smaller tins, or in larger bulk containers. Find these at your local Whole Foods.
Anytime you are looking to add some vinegar-like acidity to your meals, sauerkraut may be your answer! This condiment also has great probiotic bacteria that may help your gut’s digestion as well.
9. Fig-Balsamic vinegar
Instead of the traditional balsamic, try out a flavored balsamic vinegar to add some more dimension to your salad topping or your baked fish or pork dish. You can find flavorred balsamic vinegars at the store (just read the labels to make sure they have no added sugars), or you can also find some at your local Olive Tap stores (There is Olive Del Mundo on Hope St., and The Olive Tap on Angell St. in Providence…both have a huge variety of flavored balsamic vinegars. We love the fig and espresso ones!)
10. German or Stone Ground Mustard
Mustards are also somewhat forgotten, but powerful toppings for any meat dish, sausage or omelette (or homemade coleslaw) Here is a recipe for another unique way to incorporate some mustard (and balsamic vinegar) into a dish:
11. Red Boat Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a very salty sauce made from fermented fish. It is an excellent and flavorful (fishy) replacement for salt. Although out of the bottle it has a pungent fishy smell, it mellows out and adds dimension to asian and indian spiced curries, fish dishes and sauteed vegetables. Red Boat brand specifically doesn’t have any additives or extra sugars (some fish sauces do so be aware!)