For most younger children, no meal is complete without a healthy dollop of tomato ketchup on the side. But the time will come when their horizons are broadened, and they venture into the wider world of condiments and sauces.
When it comes to adding things to your cooking or your table, there is a whole world of options out there, even if you are vegan, gluten-intolerant or simply health conscious.
Here, we explore how to make your selection of sauces and condiments a little more interesting, whilst keeping the ingredients in mind too.
Typically, a condiment is a spice, sauce or preparation which can be added to a meal for a specific flavour.
Most of us will have ketchup, vinegar or mayonnaise lined up on the table, but there are many more to choose from that can help to take your dish from zero to hero.
Whilst some condiments, such as mayonnaise, do contain animal products, there are many that do not.
Barbecue sauce, ketchup, hoisin, mustard and soy sauce are often fine to add to your plate, safe in the knowledge that they are vegan-friendly (although you should always check the ingredients just to be sure).
However, if you simply cannot enjoy a sandwich without your mayonnaise, then try the Plamil Egg Free Mayonnaise with Garlic. It has no eggs, no milk, and it is gluten free, as it is made from a blend of sunflower oil, water and soya, making it is suitable for everyone.
Mustard is another store cupboard staple which is free of animal products. It packs a huge punch of flavour whether it is on your chips or in a sauce.
Whilst horseradish sauce usually includes cream, the main ingredient is actually a vegetable and so it can also be worked into a wide number of recipes for some heat and tang.
Traditionally, the gravy on your Sunday dinner is made from meat juices, but if you are looking for a vegan option, try the Marigold Health Gluten Free Organic Gravy Powder which is vegetarian and lovely!
A sauce is essential with so many dishes, and there are now some amazing gluten free and vegan sauces to keep everyone happy.
Pasta sauces are easy vegan options, as many of them are vegetable based.
Simply use a good tomato base and add chillies, herbs and nuts to give them plenty of wonderful flavours.
If you are not quite ready to make your own, then the Mr Organic Basilico Pasta Sauce is a yummy vegan, gluten free sauce.
Take a look at our recipe for a ‘Lentil and tofu bowl with smoky romesco sauce’ for some perfect inspiration.
Often, a good hit of flavour can be delivered with the use of a dressing. A vinaigrette is an easy addition to any salad, whilst a replacing mayonnaise with a vegan alternative or vegan sour cream makes a gorgeous ranch or Caesar dressing.
Cheese is one sauce base that vegans cannot make the most of usually, but choosing the right vegan cheese means you can whip up an irresistible cauliflower cheese, nacho dip or macaroni and cheese, so vegans and those with dairy intolerance do not have to miss out.
For a sweet treat, The Groovy Food Company Organic Agave Chocolate & Raspberry Sauce is the perfect accompaniment for any dessert.
When it comes to starting any recipe from scratch, you can adapt it to be vegan with a few small switches.
The Orgran No Egg substitute can be incorporated into most recipes to make your cooking or baking a hit whilst avoiding animal products or allergy triggers. Each pack contains the equivalent of 66 eggs, so you will have everything you need whenever you are in the kitchen.
Cooking for anyone with special dietary requirements can seem complicated when you start reading the back of most packets.
However, every meal can be made delicious with the right sauces and condiments and there are now increasing numbers of delicious alternatives that take away all of the unwanted ingredients without losing any of the flavour. Time to click ‘Add to basket’!