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6 Healthy Condiments and Spices for Summer Grilling
Thai Peanut Sweet & Spicy Curry Rub
A rub is a finely ground powder that you literally rub onto meat prior to cooking in order to fully wrap the food with flavor. As the meat cooks, it absorbs the rub and forms a thin crust. Spiceologist makes an assortment of unique rubs, but their Thai Peanut Sweet and Spicy Curry Rub ($12, spiceologist.com) really stands out. It has only five ingredients, all of which are familiar and easy to identify: Dehydrated peanut butter, Thai red curry, coconut palm sugar, coconut flakes, and Himalayan pink salt. The Himalayan salt is key, as it has more minerals than regular table salt, including calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, says Debi Zvi, R.D.N. The gluten- and dairy-free spice works great on chicken, beef, pork, or even vegetables, so give it a rub and get grilling.
Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper
The first three ingredients in Dangold's Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper ($9, dangoldinc.com)—roasted garlic, black pepper, and red bell peppers—all contain different health benefits and are full of flavor. According to a 2014 Nutrition Research and Practice meta-analysis, garlic powder significantly reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors, specifically total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels. Black pepper has been shown to increase bioavailability of curcumin and green tea catechins, allowing them to be more easily absorbed in your body. (Both have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.) As for the red peppers, another study published in the International Journal of Food Properties examined capsicum annuum and capsicum frutescens, two types of red pepper, and found that they have plenty of antibacterial properties you can benefit from.
Mixed Spices BBQ
Pereg's Mixed Spices for Bar-B-Q ($4, pereg-spices.com) contains cumin, paprika, garlic, salt, allspice, and coriander, but allspice is the real winner as a Journal of Food Science study found that allspice essential oil played a role in negating the effects of E. coli, listeria, and salmonella. Use the mix on its own, or make a personalized rub by combining 1/2 cup of the stuff with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in an airtight container.
Avocado Oil Cooking Spray
To ensure that meats and veggies don't dry out during grilling, spray them with Pompeian Avocado Oil ($6, pompeian.com), as Zvi says it has the highest smoke point so you can cook at higher temperatures without the oil becoming smoky and carcinogenic. If you're cooking on propane or charcoal grill grates, be sure to only spray the oil on food, not directly on the grill, for best results.
Cali-Belgique IPA Cali-Dijon Mustard 2.0
Fun fact: Stone Brewing—yes, the beer company—also happens to make delicious condiments. Namely, the Cali-Belgique IPA Cali-Dijon Mustard 2.0 ($5; stonebrewing.com, which only contains five calories per teaspoon even though it's infused with Stone Belgique IPA, a 6.9 percent ABV Belgian-style beer. This mustard isn't bland or dull, either, thanks to the turmeric, red wine vinegar, garlic, and paprika that's packed into every bottle.
Grilling Seasonings Vegetable
Simply Organic produces USDA-certified organic spices, and you'll find more than your fair share of options at your local grocery store. The Grilling Seasonings Vegetable (simplyorganic.com) contains organic onion, garlic, bell pepper, sea salt, black pepper, organic cumin, coriander, oregano, and cilantro, making it the perfect topping for flavorful seafood for those of us opting to go meat-free for a meal.