6 Essential Homemade Condiments for a Healthy Kitchen

These condiments will be sure to give your food a nice swift kick of flavor, and many of them can be made in the comfort of your home!

1. SRIRACHA: Also known as "rooster sauce", this delicious hot sauce was named after the coastal city of Si Racha, located in Eastern Thailand. It is a paste made of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. The American version boasts a heat rating of around 2,000 scoville units, less than that of half that of jalapeño peppers. The peppers it is made from contain capsaicin, which helps boost metabolism. They are also said to boost your endorphins, which help you feel happier and promote mood-enhancing serotonin. Use sriracha in small amounts when having it for the first time, as this stuff is HOT!

What's even better is that we have an amazing recipe for you to make your own batch of Sriracha in the comfort of your own home!

Thai curry refers to dishes in Thai cuisine that are made with various kinds of curry paste, and can also refer to the pastes themselves. There are several forms of Thai curry:

  • Sweet Green Curry, which is the hottest curry

  • Red Curry, also known as "spicy curry"

  • Yellow Curry, also called "elephant curry"

  • Massaman Curry, derived from Indian curry and often eaten in Central and Southern Thailand

  • Panang Curry, usually eaten in Central Thailand, milder and more subtly flavored than other curries.

Make your own Vegan Thai Red Curry at home!

3. TAHINI: Tahini (sesame seed paste) is full of wholesome nutrition. Sesame seeds contain important B Vitamins…B1, B2, B3, B5, as well as a great supply of calcium. They also have beneficial trace elements like copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Sesame seeds contain both omega 3 & 6 that improve the health of the brain. I'm learning to use tahini in all different kinds of ways. You can use it in salad dressings, dips, hummus, soups, cookies, or just eat it plain spread on toast. It pairs well with different flavors like lemon, miso, cumin, parsley, cilantro, garlic, etc. So very good and so very good for you! Try it in this yummy Falafel Taco recipe.

Here is a simple recipe for a homemade version!

4. SWEET CHILI SAUCE: Common found in Asian cuisine, but also widely seen in Western, Thai, and Malaysian cuisine, sweet chili sauce is a hugely versatile condiment that can be used as a sandwich spread, a dip for spring and fresh rolls, and also in stir fries. It contains red chilies, vinegar, and a bit of sugar, though some variations can also use garlic, lime, or other ingredients. Sweet chili sauce is said to be good for metabolism, and can act as anti-inflammatory agents and help fight pain.

Here is a simple recipe for a homemade version!

Tamari is a form of soy sauce that is darker in appearance and richer in flavor. It contains little to no wheat, and the wheat-free form can be used by people with a gluten intolerance. It is also low in sodium, allowing for a reduction in sodium intake of nearly 30% without having to compromise flavor. Finally, it works well as a dressing, dip, and even cooking oil. Want to learn more about this delicious seasoning? Check out our article on it!

6. MISO: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning that is most typically made with soy and is most commonly found in the form of a thick paste, not unlike peanut butter. Soy miso is a very good source of manganese, zinc, copper, and phosphorus as well as a good source of protein and dietary fiber. In addition, it is an important source of phytonutrient antixodiants, including phenolic acids such as ferulic, coumaric, and kojic acid. HERE you can learn about the different types of miso.

Our favorite Miso recipe: Miso Roasted Pumpkin and Grilled Tofu Over Udon Noodles

That about does it! No longer shall your dishes be bland or lacking in flavor. As always, feel free to experiment, and may your meals be delicious and nutritious!

Image Source: Brian Ochalla/Flickr