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No Salt Needed: Tips for Adding Flavor Without Adding Sodium


with Suzanne Klein
Savory Spice Team
January 20, 2017
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Tags: Ashlee Redger Healthy Eating Salt-Free
No Salt Needed: Tips for Adding Flavor Without Adding Sodium

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

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

Tomatoes also contain a fair amount of acid that can heighten flavors. Chimichurri Dry 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:

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 Duxelles.

Try this recipe that uses umami to enhance flavor:

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.

Try this recipe that uses garlic to enhance flavor:

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 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 Mix 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).

Try this recipe that uses heat to enhance flavor:

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 Seafood 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.

Try infusing flavor with this salt-free recipe: 

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, 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:

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.


Comments on this Article

(guest), on March 03, 2017

Great hints! Been doing this for years, and whenever we eat out, the food is ALWAYS too salty! so we don;t eat out a lot

(guest), on March 25, 2017

I have to be careful with sugar, I see there is sugar in your spices, how much sugar do you use? I am always looking for new tasty spice to use instead of salt / sugar.

suzykklein (registered user) on March 27, 2017

Hi Nina - We make several sugar-free seasonings, which you can browse here: https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/cart/spices?nutrition[]=21&producttype=blends None of our straight spices (like cinnamon, garlic, rosemary etc.) contain added sugar. The amount of sugar we add to some of our handcrafted spice blends varies. The ingredients will be listed on the product label and on the website page for that product. You can also click Nutrition Facts on any spice blend product page to see the sugar content per serving. Hope that helps!

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