Having a range of sauces and condiments on hand will help to keep your Keto and Low Carb creations fresh, inspired and packed full of flavour. Straight out of my pantry to you, here are some of my favourite Sauces and Condiments to use when cooking. I will be adding to this as we go along. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to these particular brands. I’m sure that you can find equivalents in your local supermarket, Deli, Asian grocer or fruit shop.
Some of these products have higher levels of carbs when you look at the total carbs per 100g, some are lower in carbs, but it’s the serving size that really matters for these ingredients. I always use the Carbs per 100g information to compare between brands. The carb value may look high, but keep in mind, if you are only having a tbsp (20ml) or tsp (5ml) across several serves, the carbohydrate intake may only be a few grams. If you are aiming to eat only 20g per day, the carb level per serve will still need to be taken into account. Before you use a sauce in your cooking, be sure to check it’s ingredients and especially the amount of Total Carb and Sugar in the product. If you are finding your brand is high, then check the other brands available. You will be surprised how different the levels of total carbohydrate and sugar can be between a few brands. If you would like more information on how to read a label, please see the Food & Beverage Labelling page.
Sauces that we use as ingredients are often used to develop balanced flavours in our finished dish. These flavours include sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami, spicy, etc. Many of these products that i talk about below, contain a number of components that may include carbohydrates such as sugar or liquid sugars for sweetening and balancing flavour, and starches for thickening. Salt is used for flavour and as a preservative. Ingredients considered high in Umami are used to develop and enhance savoury flavours, and Spices are to give flavour and provide heat. Here are some of my favourites –
Oyster Sauce – Made from oyster extract, this sauce is a staple in Chinese and Asian cooking. The carbohydrate levels are high at 30g/100g due to the fact that it’s thickened with corn starch which is a source of carbs. Used in small amounts it enhances and balances Asian flavours.
Soy Sauce – Made from fermented soy beans and wheat, Soy Sauce adds salt and flavour to foods with around 13g per 100g of carbohydrate from the wheat and sugar used in the formulation. For more information on Soy Sauce, please look at this link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_sauce
Dark Soy Sauce – Most commonly from a Chinese origin, dark soy is slightly thicker and has a deeper flavour than Light soy. I like to use dark soy for serving with dumplings and noodles.
Light Soy Sauce – Light soy has a lighter flavour and thinner consistency than Dark Soy. I use light soy sauce in recipes for cooking, marinades and seasoning dishes.
Tamari – Tamaris is a low gluten or gluten free soy sauce.
Sushi & Sashimi Soy Sauce – Best served with Sashimi and Sushi has a different flavour to regular soy sauce. Delicious with Sashimi and with seaweed rolls.
Rice Cooking Wine – A clear wine made from fermented rice. Its strong flavour is used in Asian cooking. 0.6g per 100g of carbohydrate
Fish Sauce – Produced from salted fish or krill, fish sauce is used in Southeast and East Asian cuisine. It provides Umami flavour and enhances Asian flavours. I use it mainly in Thai cooking in marinades, dipping sauces and dressings. The Squid brand of Fish Sauce is my favourite and contains 2.1g per 100g of total carbohydrate.
Different oils can be used for different purposes. For more information see the Fats page. Oils can be used for cooking, making dressings, marinades and for drizzling over salads. Oils have no carbohydrate value and provide a lovely flavour to different foods. Some oils are better for different purposed than others, due to their heat stability and their tendency to oxidise or go rancid. Here are some of my favourite oils –
Olive Oil – Olive oil has been used for centuries and comes in a variety of grades. Extra Virgin Olive oil is produced from the first crush of olives. This oil is usually dark, full of flavour and has a bitterness to it. It is most commonly used on salads and is not great for heating as it has a low smoke point. More refined grades of Light olive oil have a higher smoke point and can be used for cooking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil
Sesame Oil – Sesame oil provides a beautiful flavour to Asian dishes, soups and stir-fries. I use sesame oil for the flavour and add it at the end of cooking to give a lovely sesame flavour. A little of this oil goes a long way in stir-fries, dipping sauces and dressings.
Macadamia Oil – Macadamia oil has a light flavour perfect for dressings and drizzling over salads. It can also be used for frying due to its high smoke point.
White Vinegar- I mainly use White Vinegar for pickling but it can be used in dressings as well.
Balsamic Vinegar- Balsamic Vinegar is a dark and intensely flavoured vinegar made from grape must, aged for several years in wooden barrels in the area of Modena in Italy. Its deep flavour works very well combined with good quality olive oil for dipping, salad dressings and marinades. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balsamic_vinegar
Red & White Wine Vinegar – Good quality Red & White Wine Vinegars are essentially sour wine aged in wooden barrels. They have a distinct flavour and are used for pickling vegetables such as mushroom and in dressings, dips, sauces, marinades, and to drizzle over salads. They match really well with herbs in Pesto’s and Chimichurri and give the bite to sauces such as hollandaise.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented apple juice. It has a distinct flavour and can be used in dressings, sauces and hot drinks. There are a lot of claims that drinking Apple Cider everyday diluted with water provides a number of health benefits. You can purchase Apple Cider with or without the Mother. With the Mother, just means that it hasn’t been filtered and it still contains the bacteria used as part of the fermentation. The mother makes the vinegar cloudy in appearance. Clear Apple Cider Vinegar has been filtered and does not contain the mother.
Other Condiments –
Horseradish Cream – Horseradish cream is absolutely delicious and a fantastic accompaniment to seafood and chicken. When I make Crispy Salmon I absolutely must have a big dollop of Horseradish cream to finish off the meal. It’s also fantastic added to cauliflower or potato mash with its horseradish kick.
Worcestershire Sauce – Worcestershire Sauce is a fermented sauce that is used to enhance the flavour in savoury dishes such as shepherds pie, savoury mince or in sauces for steak. It often contains a mixture of vinegars, anchovies, and sugars. Holbrooks is a great brand, with a spicy kick and only 25g of total carbs per 100g. When you are using it by the tsp per serve, this equates to about 1.25g of carbs per serve. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcestershire_sauce
I’ll be sure to add more condiments and sauces to this page as we go along. I hope you found this page useful.
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