We can all agree that a lower-sodium diet is what we’re going for – but how exactly do we get there? Certainly, we still want our food to taste good, and something has to replace those sodium sprinkles on our daily dishes.
Certainly, there are several sodium replacements on the market; but, these offer mixed results in terms of health benefits. Scientists and nutritionists have not yet found a “magic bullet” in terms of what can replace salt on our palates (we’ll examine all of the replacements on the market and their advantages and disadvantages in a series of posts, coming up).
In the meantime, though, the really good news is that you don’t necessarily need a sodium replacement for flavor at all when there are so many “salternatives” to make our food taste great.
It’s time to get creative, and think like a chef. You just need a few ingredients in your cupboard: the truth is that many flavours are better, richer and more complex than salt, and can easily be added to your food.
The following should get you started:
Tasty leafy plants like basil, chives, or more rarified tastes like chervil or savoury can add depth to your sauces and flavor to your salads and roasted meats. Recently food addiction doctor Mike Dow appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show to explain how herbs can replace salt, and which herbs pair well with which foods. Click here to watch his slideshow
Once, civilizations went to war over the scarcity of cinnamon, cassia, turmeric, turmeric and cardamom – now, they’re as close as your nearest store.
Allum sativum, commonly known as garlic, tastes great in many forms – these include the bulbs roasted in the oven, the cloves crushed fresh, chopped or sliced, or sautéed, and the flowers and scapes are great in salads. For the most salt-like consistency, try dried garlic powder scattered on cooked foods. And not only is garlic flavourful and delicious, it’s also great for you and rich in antioxidants!
For that added crunch that you’re used to from sea salt flakes, try seeds – toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and ground pumpkin seeds are great in salads, on meats or sprinkled on top of casseroles, and are rich in nutrients.
Try an oil infusion to add flavour – chile, basil, garlic, or other flavoured oils are great drizzled over foods – shop for these in specialty grocery stores, or make your own!