5 Healthy Condiments To Kick Up Your Summer BBQ

by Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD

Last Updated: July 2, 2020

Nothing says summer fun like a barbeque with the family, especially during quarantine. Grilling burgers and steaks are a staple of outdoor summertime cooking, and often, the addition of condiments, such as ketchup or BBQ sauce, takes a meal from good to great. What you may not know is that condiments can sometimes contain sneaky added sugars and concentrated levels of sodium. We’ve put together a few suggestions of condiments that you can easily add in to elevate your next grill-out and turn a simple meal into a delectable one.
  1. Guacamole
    Guacamole is a delicious option that can easily be made at home or store-bought. When making it at home, simply combine mashed avocado, garlic powder, diced red onion, diced tomato, freshly chopped cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Try topping burgers, salads or sandwiches with guacamole to boost heart healthy fats, which helps keep LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels low. Eating one-third of an avocado provides nearly 20 vitamins and minerals to help the body work to its highest potential.
  2. Hummus
    Hummus hails from the Middle East and is made by combining chickpeas, ground sesame seeds - known as tahini - garlic, lemon and olive oil. This tasty condiment provides plant-based protein and fiber, which promotes the feeling of fullness. You can enjoy hummus as a yummy veggie dip, use as an alternative to mayonnaise, add to salads, or spread on pita bread.
  3. Pesto
    Our favorite traditional pesto is made by blending fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. The combination of these four simple ingredients creates a delightful flavor that will liven up any dish. Both the olive oil and the pine nuts offer a nutritious serving of unsaturated healthy fats. Pesto is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand and use as a healthy substitute for creamy pasta sauces and dressing. Try using pesto as a base for your next homemade pizza or create a dip by combining it with non-fat Greek yogurt.
  4. Nutritional Yeast
    Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast most commonly used in vegan cooking, and is naturally low in sodium and calories as well as fat and sugar-free. This condiment is high in B-12, a vitamin necessary for nerve function and energy production. About two tablespoons provides 200% of the recommended dietary intake for vitamin B-12 and 6 grams of plant-based protein. Try using it as a dairy-free alternative to create a creamy cheese sauce for pasta or top your baked potato, salad, pizza or grilled veggies to increase flavor.
  5. Tzatziki
    Tzatziki is a yogurt-based sauce primarily used in Greek cuisine, and, in addition to being a delicious condiment, can also provide a probiotic boost to help keep the gut and palettes happy. This sauce can be made by mixing cucumbers, garlic, dill, nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mint, and parsley. Making tzatziki sauce with Greek yogurt will provide approximately three grams of protein per serving and is wonderful when served with grilled chicken, fish or steak kebabs. Also try using tzatziki as a deliciously refreshing dip with vegetable crudités and pita bread.

When searching for healthy condiments, look for ones low in added sugar and packed with nutrient dense ingredients that include heart healthy fats, protein and fiber. Try topping one of your favorite dishes with one of these savory suggestions and share the creation with family and friends.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD

Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD

Victoria is a dedicated dietitian with a love for helping others develop a positive relationship with food, while setting realistic goals. Victoria has professional experience with various conditions such as strokes, diabetes and weight management. She strives to make a nutritious lifestyle attainable for all. You can catch Victoria scratch-cooking at home, trying new workouts at her local gym or spending time with her dog, Jack.