There is a myth out there that vegan food is bland. While tofu certainly has little to offer in terms of flavor (but soaks up anything you add to it), it is usually the case that most people are used to eating highly processed, overly sweet and salty foods. Even though it is true that those eating more plant-based foods tend to develop an appreciation for the beautifully complex flavors of fruits and vegetables, they also know that the right condiments can make an average veggie meal into an outstanding culinary masterpiece.

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Ketchup and mustard are great in their own right, but one of the unforeseen blessings of eating vegan is that it forces you to experiment with different spices, seasonings, and dressings to add to a bland block of tofu. It seems that once people are brave enough to give up animal products, there is no strangely named sauce or oddly appearing spread that can scare them. Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indian condiments are great for adding flare to your vegan meals, offering unique flavors that will undoubtedly have you wishing you had tofu to put them on.  While these 10 condiments are not your run-of-the-mill dips and spreads, they are definitely must-haves.

1. Nutritional Yeast

nooch

Do not let the name scare you!  There are very few, if any, vegans who do not swear by nutritional yeast, lovingly referred to as nooch. Be sure not to confuse these yellow flakes with brewer’s yeast, which is used for brewing beer and is quite bitter in taste. Nooch is renowned for it’s nutty, cheese-like flavor, and can be used to make i-can’t-believe-it’s-not-cheese-like dips and spreads, or as a topping on anything you would have once sprinkled cheese on.  The yeast is grown on molasses, harvested, and then deactivated (so, no, it will not make your bread rise).  This vegan panacea naturally contains protein, essential amino acids, and B-complex vitamins, and with brands like Red Star, who fortify their yeast with the essential Vitamin B-12, there is no reason not to sprinkle the golden goodness on everything.

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