Eat Yourself Sexy Australia

Healthy Sauces and Dressings

Wondering which sauces and dressings are actually good for you and won't pack on the kilos? Our Nutrition Expert Emma Sutherland gives you the lowdown.

Pre-packaged and prepared sauces are always high in either salt or calories and when you are trying to stay healthy, sexy and fit it can be a little confusing about what to use. Here are some of my favourites that I use on a regular basis:

1. Make a healthy mayonnaise style dressing by combining one teaspoon Dijon mustard with natural yoghurt and extra virgin olive oil.

2. Use chermoula to marinade your meat and fish. It is a Moroccan herb mix that is made from onion, coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and one that I absolutely love.

3. Use a combination of thyme, oregano, garlic and bay leaves to marinate lamb for a Greek inspired meal.

4. Avocado adds a beautiful creaminess to dressings and I love to blend avocado with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic dressing and dulse flakes. Dulse flakes are a sea vegetable and they make the perfect salt substitute as they are rich in iodine and this keeps your thyroid happy.

5. Blend sheep’s milk fetta with basil, roasted pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil

6. Add tahini to some extra virgin olive oil with a liberal addition of lemon juice and lemon zest

7. Chop up some chillis and add to cooked vegetables as a compound called capsaicin is reported to curb appetite.

What Sauce is That?

Salt is so high in many sauces so remember to use sparingly.

Mirin


Is a rice wine that contains sweet brown rice, water, sea salt and rice koji and is fermented. Mirin is almost 40% sugar and is mainly used to balance out the saltiness of soy sauce in Japanese cooking

Tamari


Is a fermented sauce and contains soybeans, salt and water with 5,400mg salt per 100ml. This is a wonderful wheat free alternative to soy sauce for those with celiac disease or wheat intolerance.

Shoyu


Is a fermented sauce and contains soy, wheat, water and salt. It has 5,400mg salt per 100ml. It is high in “umami”, the Japanese name for the 5th taste alongside sweet, salty, bitter and sour. As it is fermented the proteins found in soy are broken down to be easily digested and absorbable.

Plum Vinegar


Is a pickled plum vinegar and contains umeboshi plum juice, water and salt. The flavour is quite tart as well as salty. Use umeboshi vinegar to liven up salad dressings, homemade pickles and tofu dishes. It adds a pleasant flavour to cooked leafy greens (especially cabbage), cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans.

Oyster Sauce


Traditionally made form teak smoked oysters, water, sugar, cornstarch and salt. It contains 3,810mg salt per 100ml. Be careful that the oyster sauce you buy does not have MSG in it, also seen as the number 621 on the ingredient list.

Teriyaki


Contains mirin, soy and sugar and has 2,896mg salt per 100ml. This sauce is traditionally used as a marinade for meats and seafood.

Fish Sauce


Contains anchovies, salt, sugar and has a whopping 10,127mg salt per 100ml. Adding a little fish sauce instead of using salt helps to bring out the umami or 5th taste in foods.

Black Bean Sauce


Contains water, black beans, spices, salt and sugar with 3,500mg salt per 100ml.

Hoisin


Made from water, cane sugar, miso, cider vinegar, molasses, spices and sesame oil this has 1,034mg salt per 100ml. Hoisin is the sauce used for Peking duck as well as added to Vietnamese soup, or pho.

Do you have a nutrition or diet question for Emma? Ask her now!

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