Low-oxalate living doesn’t have to mean tasteless, bland meals. Although your diet may be limited, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo a little spice and seasoning. Like many other things in your low-oxalate life, there are rules for enjoying spices, seasonings and condiments in your meals. Not all spices and seasonings are created equally when it comes to low-oxalate dining, and we’re sharing four accoutrements to spice up your life and help you maintain your low-oxalate diet.
Hot sauce is one of the most versatile choices for adding oomph to your meals. Using a base of chili peppers, hot sauce recipes also may include vinegar, salt, capsaicin or other vegetables and fruit. There are hundreds of iterations of this taste-bud tingling treat, with specific flavor profiles depending on the addition ingredients in the sauce. Try it on eggs, chicken or broccoli.
Black pepper is one of the most ubiquitous seasonings in the kitchen, but for those on a low-oxalate diet, white pepper is a better choice. The difference between the white pepper and black pepper is in the processing: black peppercorns are picked when almost ripe and dried in the sun; the outer husk on the white peppercorn is removed, leaving the inner seed. Black and white pepper have similar tastes, although white pepper has a subtle hotness not found in black pepper. Try white pepper in Chinese dishes using Bok Choy, or in mashed cauliflower.
Garlic is a darling of the culinary world because of its adaptable flavor profile. Raw garlic has a pungent and incredibly hot taste, but when roasted or cooked, garlic mellows considerably, providing a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. From stir fries to pasta dishes, this low-oxalate herb is a favorite in many types of world cuisine and pairs well with onions, beans, pork and seafood.
Mace, a cousin of nutmeg, was a favorite for decades until nutmeg and cinnamon stole its thunder as the go-to warm spice. If you’re on a low-oxalate diet, nutmeg and cinnamon are both spices you should consider limiting or avoiding – which is why mace should take its rightful place in your low-oxalate spice rack! Mace has an incredibly deep flavor profile: a mix between nutmeg and coriander, the essence of cinnamon and a twinge of floral. Try mace in sweet dishes like peach cobbler, or on savory meals like chicken and pork.
Keep in mind this simple rule – one that can apply to almost anything in life: everything in moderation. Although these are considered low-oxalate spices, using them in moderation can help you better control your sodium intake, oxalate intake, and other nutritional considerations. Go forth and spice up your meals!