When I began to read and understand food labels, one of the things I was shocked to learn was how much sugar and additives are included in something as unassuming as a bottle of salad dressing.
Believe it or not, there's an average of one and a half teaspoons (6 grams) of sugar in a serving of dressing. Ketchup often packs even more.
I quickly realized that I was not only adding a lot of unnecessary junk to my meals, but I was missing out on a lot of natural flavor!
Now I almost always make my own — they taste better than any of the bottled stuff you’ll find in the supermarket and are actually good for you.
My advice to you: get creative! I like to combine different ingredients to add a unique flavor every time.
My taste buds are never bored with these 5 ways of adding flavor to your dishes WITHOUT sugar.
1. Make your own salad dressing.
This was a game-changer for me. My favorite blend is 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon. It’s delicious with any blend of greens.
Be sure to keep balsamic and apple cider vinegar on hand along with a quality cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed flaxseed oil to mix up new combinations.
2. Experiment with herbs and spices.
A well-stocked spice rack is a must to add flavor to dishes. Keep fresh basil, coriander (cilantro), sage and mint in the fridge and stock cinnamon, cumin and turmeric in the pantry.
3. Go global.
I love to use tamarai sauce (a gluten-free soy sauce alternative) and miso paste to give dishes an Asian flair. Kimchi is another favorite when I want a kick of heat.
4. Create homemade pesto.
So much better than anything you’ll find in a jar! This is the perfect reason to grow your own basil, too. When made with heart-healthy walnuts, it’s a truly healthy way to dress up any chicken, fish or pasta dish.
5. Whip up guacamole.
It’s an unbelievably easy way to add healthy fat to veggies or salad, and you can really get creative with it. Try adding pomegranate seeds to a simple mix of mashed avocado, chopped red onion and cilantro.