Sauces are an unavoidable part of a meal for most of us, however, they can add unnecessary calories as well as fat. For that reason, it’s best to choose healthy ones that will enhance the flavor while keeping unhealthy ingredients in check.
Ingredients for traditional Italian pesto sauce recipe are basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and a little bit of salt and pepper. As you can see this sauce is green, very aromatic, and with quite recognizable taste. You can even replace some ingredients, for example, some people use walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts, or kale instead of basil. However, the original recipe is proven to be the best, especially if you use fresh basil. As the name says it should be made by mortar and pestle, but nowadays people use blenders and other types of food processors. Pesto is rich in fats, which are good fats from olive oil and pine nuts, while vitamin K comes from fresh basil.
This is yet another traditional sauce that comes from Mexico. The base for salsa is tomato, combined with different spices like ground cumin, salt, sugar, and most importantly green chile peppers. Add some olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and onion and you have everything you need for tasty salsa. Besides tortillas and tacos that can’t be made without this amazing sauce, you can also try to use it with eggs, grilled chicken, or burgers. You will be surprised at how well they go together. Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium, and that’s the main reason why salsa is considered a healthy sauce. All ingredients are vegetables, or vegetable-based, so don’t worry about calories, it is as low in calories as it can be.
Tzatziki is a light and tasty sauce that comes from Greece. It can be eaten just with bread, or as an addition to meat and vegetables. However, it is especially popular as an addition to fried potatoes. The fresh taste comes from Greek yogurt while it gets its slight bitterness from lemon juice. There are also garlic cloves, cucumber, and olive oil which give it some twist. As a special ingredient people also add dill or mint. Greek yogurt is a great source of vitamins D and C, protein, and fiber, and if you decide to make it yourself make sure that you use this amazing ingredient. When it’s done, you should leave it in the fridge for a few hours and serve it cold.
You probably know that tomatoes make a great base for a tasty sauce. The same goes for marinara. It’s an easy Italian sauce that plays so well with pasta and other delicious foods like lasagna or pizza. When it comes to ingredients, it is best to use whole organic tomatoes, onions, and herbs like basil or oregano, and practically that is all. It takes only about 20 minutes to prepare it. This sauce won’t expire for a long time and some say that this is the reason it is called marinara. On Italian marinara means “sailor’s sauce”, because sailors have carried it on their trip as a replacement for vegetables. It is simple and healthy, and you should definitely try to make it yourself.
Even though the only home version of this sauce is considered healthy, this sauce is not commonly made at home for one particular reason. Wasabi is a plant that originates from Japan and it can be hard to get. You can find wasabi sauce in most stores, but in their less beneficial versions because most of the wasabi sauce found in stores contain mayonnaise. The organic components of wasabi are believed to be a strong weapon against cancer. It contains magnesium, vitamins A and C, and calcium. Besides the Japanese dishes, this sauce is also a great addition to pretty much any kind of meat as well as fish. However, some might not like it since it has a strong flavor.
Chutney is the sweet and sour sauce that comes from India. It is made from fruit and vegetables and there are many varieties. Chutney sauce can be customized according to the meat you’re preparing. For example, you can use mango for fish, strawberries, or raspberries for veal, and apricot for kebabs. As for other ingredients, onion, garlic, chili, Curcuma, ginger are great additions for this sauce. Lemon juice or vinegar is usually used to get that sour taste, while the sweet taste comes from fruit and a bit of sugar. Even though it contains sugar it is still considered healthy because the quantity of sugar is pretty small. Thanks to its high fruit and vegetable content, it brings numerous health benefits to the table.
Guacamole is used as a spread and as a sauce, and the main ingredient of guacamole is avocado. Even though avocado is full of fat, those are in fact healthy fats so it is considered to be really beneficial. Besides fats, avocado is rich in vitamins C, B, E, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and it is known to lower the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Those who want to make guacamole at home, remember that less is more. Add salt, lime juice, onion, pepper, and a bit of chili, and that will be enough. Avocado is undoubtedly healthy but still, it contains quite a few calories, so it’s better if you don’t add any unnecessary ingredients.
8. Barbecue Sauce
Most people can’t imagine a barbecue without barbecue sauce. That’s why we decided to put it on our list. However, only homemade barbecue sauce comes into consideration. The store-bought sauce is full of sugar and sodium, making it unhealthy. If you make the sauce yourself you can dose the amount of sugar and salt. Add some ketchup, vinegar, spices like chili, and only a little bit of brown sugar. When it comes to ketchup, find the one with low sugar content. Since ketchup is made from tomatoes, it is rich in vitamins B and C and the antioxidant lycopene. If you want to go a step further don’t use ketchup, cook tomatoes yourself, and make your own base for this sauce.
Tabasco sauce is made with only three ingredients – Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. It is used to spice up every meal, from meat to eggs, and it is also a common ingredient in a number of other products. Tabasco peppers are a variety of chili peppers. As you might already know they contain the chemical capsaicin, which is the reason for their spiciness. Capsaicin is also known to reduce infections and it is a great ally if you want to lose weight since it helps burn calories and accelerate metabolism. Besides that, it is very low in calories, so you don’t have to pay attention to the amount you eat. However, it is really spicy and it is not for everybody.
10. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce comes from traditional Chinese cuisine. Nowadays it is an inevitable part of most Asian cuisines, especially Japanese and Korean, but it has also spread to the rest of the world. It is brown to black, very salty and spicy and it’s in liquid form. It is made with cooked soybeans, roasted grain, and salt brine. Japanese have made their own version of soy sauce called Tamari. The difference is that it is not as salty as soy sauce because it doesn’t contain wheat. Even though sodium is a big part of soy sauce, it is still considered to be healthy because it contains antioxidants, protein, and carbohydrates. You can also find gluten-free and low sodium variants at pretty much any store.