Paleo Condiments… Are There Any?
Granted, you're not going to be using corn-syrup laden catsup or dousing your filet in steak sauce with MSG (the mere thought of ruining that lovely cut of grass-fed beef is beyond me…)but that doesn't mean you need to throw out the idea of all types of seasonings, dressings and even jus!
The easiest way to approach this topic, is to use the 'keep it simple (actually, keep it 'natural') approach. In other words, if it's an actual food (like a lemon), plain and simple, you're more likely going to be able to incorporate it into your daily Paleo life than if it's something in a jar (like prepared mustard, which, while seemingly benign, almost always has vinegar, thus rendering it NOT Paleo), or a box (sorry, that Lipton Onion Soup Mix doesn't fly as part of your meatloaf recipe anymore!).
- Focus on lemons, lime, oranges any place you would have used vinegar, such as in dressings, or even when poaching an egg.
- Take advantage of whatever fresh herbs and spices grow locally and organically, and use them in salads, or as a bouquet garnis in your soups and stews.
- For those of you who like some heat, rather than commercially prepared 'hot sauce', go with fresh chili peppers, or dried cayenne (reminder here- if you follow the Paleo Diet AutoImmune plan- you'll want to skip ALL peppers and pepper products…)
- Finally, be adventurous and play around with some of your favorite foods and see which combine well to make sauces or even dips for crudites. For example, I combined an avocado with some raw almonds and some lemon zest in my mini prep and gave it a quick whiz; it was thicker than good old guacamole, and worked fabulously rolled into thinly sliced turkey stuffed with mache lettuce and strawberries.
- Also, have a look at whether or not you really need condiments in the first place. I had one client who needed a replacement for her ranch dip as she said that was the only way she'd eat raw broccoli. I suggested she try steaming the broccoli as an alternative and tossing it with lemon and olive oil, and she loved it! She simply didn't like the taste of raw broccoli, and was really using the ranch dip to disguise the flavor, just to get the veggies in.