Condiments are one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavor in your foods. While the addition of some condiments provides flavor and little else, some can actually ramp up the health factor of your meal, while some of your favorites may be heaping hundreds of calories and unnecessary sugar, fat, and salt onto your already healthy meals, sabotaging your efforts to eat lighter and cleaner.
Anything in excess can be bad for you, so just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s free license to eat as much as you’d like. To keep our condiment analysis true and accurate, always stick to recommended portion sizes.
Salsa: 1 oz, 8 calories, .9g sugar
Veggies, herbs and spices, what could go wrong? If you’re whipping up your own, not much, but grabbing a jar of name brand salsa off the shelf can mean you’re pouring on preservatives, chemicals, loads of sodium, and even added sugar if you’re a fruit salsa fan. Big companies will pump their salsa full of preservatives to keep it shelf stable. Think about it — how else can “fresh” veggies sit on a shelf for weeks and still be edible?
If you go fresh and all natural, salsa can be an amazingly healthy and delicious option for just about anything. If buying from the store, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If making your own, dice up fresh roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic and a little jalapeno and pile that pico high to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Try it on eggs, over chicken, or mixed with brown rice and kidney beans for a satisfying meatless Mexican filling. (more…)
If you’ve heard of chia seeds but are still unsure how to use them, this is the recipe for you. It’s a simple, 3-ingredient strawberry jam that’s so easy a kid could make it! Plus, it can be modified to suit your taste in just about every way, be it with different fruits or making it extra sweet, thick or thin.
I whipped this batch up one night last week and couldn’t wait to dig into it the next morning over some whole wheat toast. The result was perfect – thick, subtly sweet and not too tart. Plus, the chia seeds provided a subtle crunch and creamy thickness that I just adored. That’s the power of chia seeds – they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, lending themselves perfectly to this jam.