I remember the first night after I decided to cut the sugar out of my diet. I worked really hard on dinner and to just put the finishing touches on what I was cooking, I grabbed my canister of Garlic Salt to sprinkle on the food just before my wife and I were embark on our Sugar Free Journey. After I seasoned the food, I happened to take a quick look at the ingredients because I was trying to get into the habit of reading the ingredients of everything I was eating. I fully expected to see a grand total of 2 ingredients, garlic and salt. Imagine my surprise when nestled right between those 2 ingredients on the list was the one thing I was trying to avoid, sugar. Who puts sugar in Garlic Salt?
But it was an important lesson because it drove home 2 things. #1 Sugar is in EVERYTHING! Even things you wouldn’t think it would ever possibly be in. And #2 Assume nothing, read everything. You don’t know where it’s hiding.
So now I was on the hunt for spices that contained no sugar but made my food taste awesome. Here are the 3 I think everyone should have in their kitchen.
This is actually a spice I avoided for a long time. Down here in Texas, we have these businesses called Fruterias. They are kind of like fruit stands but they don’t just sell whole fruit, they cut it up and sell it like you would sell ice cream sundaes. (It’s a little hard to explain if you’ve never been to one.) But after they prepare the fruit, they sprinkle Tajin all over it and if you are Hispanic, you and your entire family think it’s the best thing ever.
I never enjoyed the taste on my fruit but I soon discovered that Tajin is absolutely incredible with veggies also. Tajin is basically Chile Lime Salt so imagine Chili Powder mixed with salt and some kind of powdered lime. It single-handedly turned Brussels Sprouts from something I would actively avoid, to something I now eat at least once a week.
Not only is it good on veggies, but It’s amazing on beef as well. Sometimes I get the really cheap steaks from Walmart, knowing that a little butter and Tajin will make the worst steak taste great.
Here in the Southwest, you can usually find Tajin in the produce aisle at the local supermarket. If it’s not available where you are, you can get a bottle from Amazon here.
#2 Goya Adobo
Goya Adobo is another spice blend that I probably wouldn’t know about if I didn’t live so close to the Mexican border. It’s a blend of Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Garlic, and Tumeric that is my go-to seasoning when I grill outside. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to cut the ends off of fresh green beans, then put them in a ziploc bag with some olive oil and a generous helping of Adobo. Then I put them in the vegetable wok I have for my grill and grill them over open flame until they are black in places. So unbelievably good.
This is another spice that goes well with meat also, particularly chicken. I like to rub it all over chicken quarters before I oven bake them. I’m told it goes well with fish also but I’ve never actually tried it. There are actually about 8 different varieties of Adobo but I’ve only tried the basic one with pepper.
Around here, Goya products usually have their own section at the grocery store so you can look for it where ever your store sells the Mexican food. You might find it with the other spices but I’ve never seen it there. Or you could buy it from Amazon by clicking here.
#3 Outer Spice
I had never heard of Outer Spice before about a year ago. They reached out to me through my other blog and sent me a few samples. Holy moley, do they have an amazing product!
Outer Spice is a blend of 15 different herbs and spices and adds an amazing taste to whatever I put it on. The first thing you notice about it is how big the pieces of spice are in the mix. Most spice blends are uniform powders but with Outer Spice, you can actually see the individual herbs and spices that make up the product. And because the pieces are so much bigger in the blend, it doesn’t take much to add a huge punch of flavor to your dish.
Outer Spice has really become my breakfast spice, if you can believe that. I like to stir-fry a half an onion, a carrot and a little kale in some butter or olive oil and eat that with an egg and a piece of bacon. Outer Spice goes in that stir-fry every morning and adds an amazing flavor. I also have rubbed it all over a roast before I put it in the crock pot and enjoyed it there as well.
If you would like to get your own bottle of Outer Spice, in either regular or spicy, you will need to order direct from their website by clicking here.
UPDATE: Looks like they are no longer around. So sorry to hear this! I have a new recommendation though, you need to try out Redmond Real Salt’s new line of seasonings. All of them made from real salt, not that heavily processed Morton’s crap.
So those are the 3 spices I think everyone should have in their kitchen when going sugar free. Just because you are cutting out the sugar doesn’t mean your food needs to be bland! Make sure you have what you need to get the most flavor out of your food.
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