Ah– summer is finally upon us! Well, hopefully. Here in Texas it’s been a little iffy. It hasn’t even reached 90 degrees yet, which is basically unheard of. We had an unfortunate weather situation this year. We had no spring. It was cold, it turned into March, it rained for three months, and now it’s June. The whole spring season was ruined by rain. Am I bitter? Maybe.
At least they say that a cool spring means a cool summer. Kay. I’ll check back in with those people in August.
One of the most fun ways to celebrate summer is to have a cook out! Along with cookouts come sides and condiments. Today I wanted to talk about the latter, and what to look for when shopping.
I’ve listed the ingredients of nine of the most common condiments. Most of them don’t actually look too bad, ingredient wise. My only concern is the sodium, which tends to add up fast, depending how much of the condiment you use! Which ones do you use most often?
TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE TOMATOES, DISTILLED VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SALT, SPICE, ONION POWDER, NATURAL FLAVORING.
One tablespoon has 160mg of sodium– I know the pile I put on my plate is at least 3 tablespoons, which would equal 480mg! Try the No Salt ketchup instead, which only has 5mg of sodium per serving. I use the No Salt ketchup and trust me, it tastes just the same!
DISTILLED VINEGAR, WATER, #1 GRADE MUSTARD SEED, SALT, TURMERIC, PAPRIKA, SPICE, NATURAL FLAVORS AND GARLIC POWDER.
One teaspoon has 55mg sodium. The ingredient list for plain yellow mustard doesn’t look bad at all!
SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY), NATURAL FLAVORS.
Contains 90mg sodium per tablespoon. High in fat (but low in saturated fat). Does contain a preservative. I like to use the light mayo made with olive oil (it has half the fat of regular mayonnaise) because I like the taste better.
WATER, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, VINEGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, EGGS, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, MUSTARD FLOUR, POTASSIUM SORBATE AS A PRESERVATIVE, PAPRIKA, SPICE, DRIED GARLIC.
Contains 100mg sodium per tablespoon. Sweetened with high fructose corn syrup– we don’t need that in a sandwich spread, do we?
CUCUMBERS, WATER, VINEGAR, SALT, RED BELL PEPPERS, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, ALUM, XANTHAN GUM, SODIUM BENZOATE, NATURAL FLAVORS, POLYSORBATE 80, YELLOW 5.
I prefer sweet relish, but they’re all made with high fructose corn syrup and I can’t ever find one that’s sweetened naturally (if you have a recommendation, please tell me!). This ingredient list does have some artificial coloring and preservatives, along with 140mg of sodium per teaspoon.
DISTILLED VINEGAR, RED PEPPER, SALT.
Love this list! All natural ingredients. Contains 35mg sodium per teaspoon. I reckon how much hot sauce Texans use however. Probably more than a teaspoon?
TOMATO PUREE, (WATER AND TOMATO PASTE), DICED TOMATOES IN TOMATO JUICE (CONTAINS CALCIUM CHLORIDE AND CITRIC ACID), JALAPEÑO PEPPERS, ONIONS, VINEGAR, SALT, GARLIC POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR.
Fresh is always best when it comes to salsa. Although this list is pretty clean, it still contains 260mg of sodium in just two tablespoons. That’s not very much salsa.
WATER, VINEGAR, MUSTARD SEED, SALT, WHITE WINE, FRUIT PECTIN, CITRIC ACID, TARTARIC ACID, SUGAR, SPICE.
Yay, another great ingredient list! Contains 120mg sodium per teaspoon.
DISTILLED VINEGAR, WATER, #1 GRADE MUSTARD SEED, HORSERADISH, SALT, SPICE AND NATURAL FLAVOR.
I don’t know why some people like horseradish. But I guess some people do. And its fine if they do, because this list looks good as well. Contains 80mg sodium per teaspoon.
When cooking out this summer, keep in mind how much of your favorite condiments you’re using. It adds up fast! A couple squirts of ketchup + mustard + mayo for a burger may be adding almost 500mg of sodium to your meal. Buy the low sodium versions, or just use a little less!
What are your favorite condiments? Any brands you recommend?