Eating bland chicken, dry steak, and undressed steamed vegetables gets old quick. Yet many bodybuilders continuously shovel flavorless food down their throats in fear that any and all add-ons will jeopardize their physiques. Along with herbs and spices, condiments used as dips, spreads, and dressings can spruce up dull fare without causing total diet annihilation—especially when they’re homemade. Many store-bought condiments rely on synthetic ingredients and sugar to create a longer shelf life and boost flavor. Unfortunately, those same ingredients can kill your shred.
The DIY condiments we’re offering replace some of those lab-derived ingredients with better options that put you in control. Now you’ll know exactly what’s going onto your food and into your body. To make them, all you need are a handful of fresh ingredients, a blender or food processor, and a dash of patience. No goofy chef’s hat or apron required.
Many BBQ sauces are sugary and contain emulsifiers—additives that keep ingredients from separating. A study published in the journal Nature found that emulsifiers altered the makeup of bacteria in the colon, leaving subjects (in the study, mice) more susceptible to diseases associated with gut inflammation. Our BBQ sauce upgrade relies on natural sweeteners like pureed dates, which provide you with fat-fighting fiber, and a potassium and magnesium boost.
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 cup plain tomato sauce
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 shallots,finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp allspice powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Place dates into a bowl filled with 1/2 cup of hot water, let soak 30 minutes, then blend all ingredients until smooth. Put the mixture into a partially covered saucepan over medium heat and let simmer. Stir occasionally until slightly thickened. Let cool, then transfer to a sealable container.
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