Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Too Salty?

I'm a salt addict! When I was younger, I would shake salt on my food until you could actually see the crystals. Nothing was (or is)ever too salty for me! I've improved a bit, but still need to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet due to water retention issues. 

Salt Alternatives (it's a real stretch, if you ask me...) 

(Based on an article from the January 2011 issue of Prevention magazine. I've paraphrased their suggestions and added my own comments in italics.)

Vinegar and lemon juice have the same ability as salt to bring out the flavors of ingredients, while adding an extra twist. The acidity of tomatoes also enhances flavors. Maybe, but not quite like salt...  

Onions and garlic are the quintessential flavor boosters. True, but it's still better with salt.

Herbs and spices jazz up bland food, while adding few (if any) calories. This can be as simple as grinding a bit of fresh black pepper or as fancy as chopping fresh cilantro or basil. Salt would kick it up another notch, though.

Peppers and pepper sauces add heat and give the tongue something to do besides search for salt. But when my tongue searches for salt, it expects to find some.

I'm sorry, but in my mind, "salt alternative" is a paradox. Those two words are mutually exclusive: there is no alternative to salt- not a good one anyway! But I'll keep trying...

Types of Salt

(also according to Prevention magazine)

When you do use salt, you should know that the three main types- table salt, sea salt and kosher salt- all contain nearly the same amount of sodium per ounce, according to Prevention magazine. A few characteristics follow:

Table salt
  • refined
  • treated to prevent clumping
  • often iodized
  • least expensive
Sea salt:
  • flavor depends on body of water it's from
  • often milder than table salt
  • usually sold in flakes rather than grains
  • can be very expensive compared to table salt
Kosher salt:
  • larger crystals
  • less processed than table salt
  • costs just a bit more than table salt, so is an inexpensive alternative to sea salt
If you have a favorite salt alternative, or if you're a salt addict like me, tell me about it. If, like my husband, you don't give a hoot about salt, I don't really want to hear from you this time!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for reading! Your thoughts are important to me because I am writing for you.