In my previous post, I discussed how sodium can have a negative impact on our health. However, there is always the argument that salt adds flavor. But salt is the old way of thinking, and there are plenty more options for spicing up the foods in our life. Time for you and your significant other to say “Bye Bye” to the salt shaker and start playing the field with your spice rack. Who knows what beautiful new flavor relationships lie ahead?
How to Swap the Salt
Flavor does not automatically come from salt, which means there are plenty of ways to add flavor to foods without even knowing salt wasn’t invited to the party. Leave the salt in the shaker for these heart smart swaps:
- Fresh/Dried Herbs and Spices
- Onions, shallots, and garlic
- Make your own salad dressing
- Sandwich Makeover (use low-sodium meats and increase the veggies)
- Citrus and tropical fruit juices (lemon, lime, orange or pineapple)
- Use coffee grounds to make a rub for meats in place of salt & pepper
- Salt-free seasonings (Mrs Dash or McCormick make salt-free options)
- Low-sodium broths, including vegetable broth
- Wine and beer make fantastic flavoring options in sauces and gravies
- Avoid salting water before boiling foods
- Have roasted, salt-free nuts and add your own seasoning or spice
- Low sodium or salt-free spice blends, marinades, dressings, and rubs
What about Coarse Salts?
Coarse salts that have larger crystals, including kosher, sea salt, and himalayan salt, are often touted as “healthier options”. While these options still do contain a higher amount of sodium, they also contain trace amounts of minerals including magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The argument for coarse salts is that because the crystals are larger, we wind up using less compared to fine table salt. While they may be a better option if salt must be used, moderation should still be exercised when using coarse salts.
In the end, the fresher the food, the less need there is to flavor with salt. Fresh vegetables and fruits typically require little extra flavoring due to their natural taste. Raw nuts and legumes don’t require the added salt we have become accustomed to – learn what their natural flavor is. The style we prepare foods, including roasting, grilling, and broiling, can bring out natural flavors without the need for added salt.