Description: The vast expanse of organic condiments includes delicious selections of chopped, pureed, whipped, extracted, mashed or blended vegetable, herb, oil, nut, bean and seed items.

What to look for: Items containing high-quality ingredients that are not too heavy on the oil, preferably made by small companies. There are many unique varieties found in this day and age, with hundreds of items to choose from. The number of salsas or hummus variations found in the natural marketplace today is, well, potentially overwhelming. Try them all in good time, and take a risk on some of the more unusual items such as raw seed and nut spreads, and items like cultured vegetables which make a great condiment. See both fermented foods and nut butters for more ideas and information, and the recipe section for recipes on easy-to-make-at-home options. Enjoy the process of discovering a million ways to spread and dip your way to healthy bliss. Choose freshly-made products from the cold case, if available, rather than products which are likely over-processed, found in both jars and cans.

Uses: Spreads, dips, appetizers, snacks, side dishes, garnishes, sandwich fillings, or stand-in sauces spread over veggies, grains or pasta.

Where to find: Grocery stores, natural food stores, and online resources; preferably buy fresh products found in the cold case.

Avoid: Inorganic, refined ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavors, too much oil and not enough substance, over-sweetened items, and those that are canned, bottled, or in jars, choosing freshly-made versions whenever possible.