So you’ve whipped up a meal and take your first bite. Hoping for something spectacular to satisfy your hunger, you find your taste buds are incredibly disappointed. Something’s missing, and perhaps a little off. Maybe it’s not rich enough, maybe it’s bland, maybe it needs a touch of sweetness, or perhaps the spice just isn’t right. Whatever the case, this is an easy fix. Thanks to five awesome  condiments, you got this.

Any  condiment can easily be used to change the entire flavor or depth of a recipe. Condiments go way beyond ketchup and mustard these days. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with those (so long as you avoid those loaded with high fructose corn syrup and foreign ingredients), there are other condiments to love out there too.

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Take for instance these five condiments that can be used in sauces, entrees, dressings, and more. Prepare your taste buds for lift off and take your meal to the next level with these amazing choices!

1. Horseradish Mustard

Perhaps my favorite  condiment is organic, horseradish mustard. Unlike any mustard you’ve ever had before, this stuff is where it’s at. It’s got spice, a little kick, and an incredible depth that’s just down right awesome. You can find it at any health food store or purchase one that’s not organic at most grocery stores nationwide.

How to use it:

Mix it with a little water or almond milk to thin it out, and shake in a jar. You’ve got salad dressing in an instant! Or, use it as a fantastic flavoring agent to vegan soup. I like using about a tablespoon or two in a vegetable stew. It’s very complimentary to tomatoes and goes well with a variety of flavors no matter what stew or soup you use. Horseradish mustard is also good on sandwiches and can be used as a dip for veggies like carrots and cucumbers. A final personal suggestion would be to try it in this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Mustard Glaze.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when you start telling everyone your new favorite dish has Brussels sprouts in it. It’s that delicious!

2. Almond Butter

Whether you consider nut butter a condiment or not, raw and roasted almond butter can be used to make delicious condiments like dressings and dips. You can make your own almond butter or choose a store bought brand; both will work just great.

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How to Use It:

Raw Almond butter is especially great when blended with a little almond milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to make a topping for oatmeal or a healthy drizzle for banana bread or muffins. You can also use roasted or raw almond butter in your recipes to add flavor and depth. These Vegan Almond Butter Muffins are one to put at the top of your list and are sure to hit the spot!

Many people also use almond butter in salad dressing recipes. The roasted varieties will work just as well, though raw almond butter lends a creamier, milder flavor that’s a bit easier to flavor in various ways without being too overwhelming. Oh and if you’re afraid of using almond butter due to the fat it contains, don’t be! Healthy fats help you absorb the vitamins and minerals in vegetables much better than you would eating them fat-free.

3. Tahini

By now, you’ve probably heard of tahini and may even love it already. However if you haven’t bitten the bullet and bought some tahini yet, then it’s time to take the plunge! You can even make your own if you like. This condiment is a vegan staple for its many culinary and health benefits. Tahini is just raw sesame seeds that have been roasted and ground into a butter. It’s a good source of nutrients including iron, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, and even protein. It also makes for a delicious, creamy ingredient in a variety of condiment options.

How to Use It:

Blend a tablespoon or two of tahini with some apple cider vinegar, some tamari, some black pepper, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of your choice sweetener. Shake well in a jar and you’ve got yourself one mean, lean salad dressing! Tahini will add a deep, slightly nutty flavor, and the other ingredients add just the right bit of “this and that” to give you a complex salad dressing or glaze for cooked veggies or tofu. You might also like to make these Protein-Packed Vegan Tofu Burgers with Tahini Dressing or this Kale Salad With Creamy Ginger Tahini Dressing.

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4. Coconut Vinegar

Have you heard of this stuff yet? It’s amazing! Coconut vinegar is made by tapping the coconut tree to remove the sap, which is fermented with cultures to make vinegar. As a result, coconut vinegar is extremely rich in enzymes, amino acids minerals, probiotics, and contains no sugar whatsoever.

How to Use It:

Coconut vinegar tastes incredible when drizzled on steamed veggies, salads, or used in cooked entrees anywhere vinegar is called for. I’d suggest consuming it raw if you can since it’s so full of enzymes that are killed by heat, but it’s still tasty no matter how you choose to use it.  Use coconut vinegar to add a unique flavor to a spicy salsa, or this yummy Cheezy Kale Salad

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5. Hot Sauce

Let’s not get too fancy here if we don’t have to- hot sauce is just another awesome condiment to have on hand. You can do almost anything with it, and need just a small amount to change the flavor of an entire meal. Not into store bought hot sauce or want a healthier option? Make the Greatest Homemade Hot Sauce or learn How to Make Raw Hot Sauce, which allows you to keep the ingredients healthier and cut down on the sodium in processed sauces.

How to Use It:

Try using hot sauce to flavor soup, an entree of your choice, vegan chili, use it on a veggie-based burger, or just douse your salads and veggies with it. Whatever floats your boat!

Boring meals don’t exist with these vegan condiments. How will you use them to transform your plant-based meals?

Image Source: Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

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