No Salt Needed: Tips for Adding Flavor Without Adding Sodium265
with Suzanne Klein
Chief Yummy Officer
Healthy Eating Salt-Free
Who says going salt-free can’t be delicious? Whether you are avoiding it for health or preference, putting down the salt shaker doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice great food. Enhancing taste can be as simple as heightening our basic flavors like sour, sweet, and savory.
Our Test Kitchen Assistant Ashlee Redger is a culinary student at Johnson & Wales who is enrolled in a program that focuses on nutrition. Check out her expert tips for eating well on a low-sodium diet.
|Test Kitchen Assistant Ashlee Redger|
1. Use Acidity to Your Advantage
Citrus can be a wonderful addition to salt-free dishes by creating strong, bright flavors in any dish, from appetizer to dessert. California Citrus Rub can be used on chicken and pork or can be whisked into a vinaigrette to dress salad greens or grains–like our Triple Rice Salad with Herbs, Fruits, and Nuts. For a unique dish that is equally suited for a weeknight meal as it is for a dinner party, try poaching salmon or trout in water or stock that is simmering with a few tablespoons of Citrus & Savory Brining Spices sprinkled in.
Tomatoes also contain a fair amount of acid that can heighten flavors. Chimichurri Steak Dressing & Marinade is delicious as a beef rub or marinade and contains the classic garlic-and-herb flavor of a classic chimichurri mixed with Tomato Powder that works to add a natural sweetness to the blend.
Try these recipes that use acidity to enchance flavor:
- Triple Rice Salad with Herbs, Fruits, and Nuts made with our California Citrus Rub
- Grandpa Kolaras’ Stifado made with our Tomato Powder
2. Umami Equals Tastiness
Umami is a flavor that gets its name from the Japanese word for “savory.” There are many natural ingredients that can be added to dishes to bring out this pleasant impression, including tomatoes, beef, and the classical French mirepoix (diced carrots, onions, and celery). Mushrooms have particularly prominent umami flavors. Dehydrated Porcini Mushrooms can be used to make delicious broths or as add-ins in soups, stews, or gravies. For rich, layered flavor that can be conveniently sprinkled on veggies, pasta, or directly into your favorite sauce, try out the Herbs in Duxelles Seasoning.
Try this recipe that uses umami to enchance flavor:
- Easy Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai) made with our Dehydrated Oyster Mushrooms (Note: For a low sodium version, just cut the salt out of this recipe and use a low- or no-sodium chicken stock in place of boullion cubes.)
3. Garlic, the Great
Garlic is perhaps the ultimate crowd-pleaser than can add character to a dish. For a little added nuttiness and sweetness that develops from the roasting process, Roasted Granulated Garlic can deepen flavors without any added effort. For even more ease, use Onion & Garlic Tableside Sprinkle to season meats and soups or add the final touch to sauces.
4. Like a Little Heat?
Get your endorphins going by adding some spiciness to your cooking! Add layers of flavor by using the salt-free variety of our Cajun Blackening Seasoning to sprinkle on fries, sautéed vegetables, or to blacken steak, chicken, or fish. If you want to switch up your usual flavors, the Barrier Reef Caribbean Seasoning combines citrus, brown sugar, and warm spices to be the perfect pair with pork, poultry, fish, and green vegetables. It also makes a wonderful sweet and savory scone (which can be made salt-free by eliminating the salt in the base dough).
5. Think Outside the Sprinkle
Find unique places in the cooking process to maximize taste. When boiling grains, pasta, or vegetables, add whole spices in Muslin Bags to the water to impart flavor to the finished product. Our Shrimp & Crab Boil spices aren't just for seafood – simmer it with the water when cooking rice for a savory side dish. Highlight mashed sweet potatoes by adding Chai Spices in with the diced sweet potatoes in the cooking water.
6. Go Back to Basics
Let the flavors speak for themselves by using dried herbs to create complexity in your dishes. Dill Weed can bring delicate brightness when used in dips, to finish soups, or sprinkled over savory baked goods like crackers. On the other end of the spectrum, Organic Cracked Rosemary has a deep, piney flavor that works well with roasted beef, lamb, or chicken. For more intricate flavors, try the quintessential French blends, Herbes de Provence and Fines Herbs,or the Italian all-purpose blend Cantanzaro Herbs.
Try this recipe that uses dried herbs to enhance flavor:
- Easiest Ever Slow Cooker “Roast” Chicken which can be easily customized with your favorite salt-free seasoning blend
Do you have a go-to salt-free recipe? Submit your recipes to our test kitchen so we can share them with our Savory friends and family.