We love talking about seasons around here.
Seasons make life more fun. More special. Seeing the trees blossom wouldn't be as special if I saw it 365 days a year.
Most of the seasons have definitive beginnings and ends.
Summer cookout season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I think most of us would agree on that.
It's the time of year to head outside and fire up the grill.
When most people prepare for a cookout they are usually focused on the main course, whether that is steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, or even that potato salad.
What I think often gets overlooked is the condiments. That is missing an opportunity to take the cookout to something fun to something memorable.
We are going to help you find the best condiments for your cookout this summer season.
For this post we are defining condiment as anything that you add after cooking in order to increase the flavor of your food. This can include sauces, spreads, syrups, spices, and finishing salts.
True Made Food Products
True Made is all about making yummy condiments that will enhance your food without having to consume a ton of sugar. Did you know many condiments contain as much or more sugar than ice cream (source)? Yikes!
True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup
What cookout doesn't have a bottle of ketchup? The issue with nearly all the ketchup on the market is that it is full of added sugars. Those tomatoes aren't bringing enough sweetness for our palates so everyone adds in more sugar.
An easy way to reduce your sugar consumption at this year's cookouts is by giving True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup a try. They offer a no sugar added ketchup. The sweetness comes from apples and a vegetable puree made of spinach, butternut squash, and carrots. So not only are you getting a ketchup sweet enough for your tastes, your getting more veggies.
My wife was incredibly impressed by this ketchup. In fact, she called it the best she ever had. So does sugar have to be in ketchup? No, it doesn't!
True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup is a great choice for those following a Paleo or Whole 30 program/diet.
True Made Foods Pitmaster BBQ Sauce
Made in the Kansas City style, True Made Foods Pitmaster BBQ sauce is amazing and has 70% less sugar. They use the vegetable puree for sweetness again, so they can reduce the amount of brown sugar in the sauce.
The sauce has a strong tomato flavor with the right amount of sweetness and a subtle, not too strong smokey flavor. The consistency is not too thick or too thin.
I do love making my own BBQ sauce (like this peach one) but if I am going to with a pre-made one this would be at the top of the list.
True Made Foods Vegetable Sriracha
Another place you might be getting extra sugar in your diet is from Sriracha. You may not think of it as containing sugar but look at the ingredient list of a lot of bottles and you'll find it there.
True Made Foods calls their Sriracha - Veracha. Clever.
Veracha has a medium level of heat, not as much of a punch in the face like Sriracha can. I personally like to be able to taste my food, not just be hit with heat, so it's alright with me.
TBJ Gourmet Foods
The next couple items on our list are from TBJ Gourmet. They are going to help add bacon to your cookout without needing to cook any actual bacon.
TBJ Classic Bacon Jam
Let's get any lame puns out of the way. This is my jam.
TBJ Classic Uncured Bacon Jam is what you'll want to spread on a burger this cookout season. It's the convenience of the bacon flavor without the added step of cooking bacon.
The bacon used is uncured which means it doesn't contain added nitrates or nitrites except those naturally occurring.
TBJ Smoked Bacon Salt
Another way to add the flavor of bacon is with this Smoked Bacon Finishing Salt. Have a jar of it on had at your cookout for people to add to their meat or even veggies..
I love the smokey flavor of this salt and it does taste like bacon.
Spice it Up!
Our next two items are great for adding heat or spice to whatever is coming off your grill.
Flat Iron Co. Pepper Flakes
These are pepper flakes worth having! Flat Iron Pepper Company has created these signature blends that don't just provide heat but have great flavor as well. Great to have on hand for your guests that want the heat.
You can see right on the label what type of pepper is being used which I really like.
Check out the recipe for a creamy pepper flake sauce for chicken I made with these pepper flakes.
Burlap & Barrel Zanzibar Black Peppercorns
Don't leave the peeper in the kitchen when you have a cookout. People can grind it on to their burgers before adding the rest of the condiments.
I am recommending this Zanzibar Black Pepper as I am super excited about it right now. Its the best black pepper I have tried. Really nothing you are going to find at the grocery store is going to match up.
The Zanzibar Black Peppercorns have a robust, fruity flavor. It's sold by Burlap & Barrel who are in the business of single origin spices. They deal directly with the growers and have some of the most unique spices you can find.
Don't Forget Dessert
It's summer. Its hot. You are going to want ice cream. And now that I saved you from eating ketchup full of sugar, you can feel better about having that ice cream. The ice cream needs it's condiment too. Here is a favorite:
Jessica's Organic Strawberry Syrup
Never tasted anything that comes close to the true strawberry flavor of Jessica's syrup. Why? Because it contains real strawberry, not artificial flavoring.
And it's even made with organic berries. Get some good vanilla bean ice cream, put the syrup on top and call it a day - add some nuts and it's a sun-day!
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I was provided with free products to try for this blog post. All the opinions represented here are my own.