12 Sauces and Condiments That Brighten Up the Blandest Health Foods

Eating should be a pleasure, not a chore


Fermented soybean paste might not sound appealing, but the deep umami flavor of miso can elevate any sauce or dish. 

The easiest way to stick to a healthy eating regimen is to keep your taste buds engaged, but this isn’t always as simple as it sounds. We all have a few go-to recipes, but preparing salads, vegetables, and proteins the same way, day after day, meal after meal, gets monotonous.

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The right sauce or condiment, however, easily overcomes monotony. Dressing food up with tangy, spicy, citrusy, and umami flavors alters the whole complexion of a dish. Condiments like kimchi or pico de gallo add a burst of freshness, while sauces like tahini or miso offer a deep level of flavor without the calories and saturated fat of a mayonnaise or a ranch dressing.

These simple sauces and condiments will actually save you calories because they replace fattier ingredients. A scoop of sour cream on top of chile is easily swapped out for a creamy and cool dollop of tzatziki; and a heavy alfredo sauce can be replaced with a light and herbaceous pesto.

The best part about these sauces and condiments is that they are easily made at home. Whipping up a miso sauce or tahini dressing takes no time, little cooking, and minimal mess. The recipes are also subject to variation, which means they’re easy to customize based on personal taste preferences. (I personally like pouring a blend of miso, tahini, and a squirt of sriracha over a plate of cooked vegetables).


Here are 12 sauces and condiments that brighten up the blandest health foods.