January 26, 2012

Greatist Low-Sodium Advice

Low-Sodium Time

You know what I love?

I love when I see non-sodium related blogs and websites talking about a low-sodium lifestyle.

And a few weeks ago, the latest in online Health and Fitness — Greatist — offered 21 Lower-Sodium Solutions to help slash high-salt continent from one’s life.

And for a bunch of food and fitness writers who do not have to keep the diet themselves (and admittedly love pretzels with mustard), they really hit the salt-shaker on the head.

Some of my favorites?

Eggs for baking soda
This superfood an do more than round out a morning omelet. Depending on the recipe, one egg has the leavening power of roughly half a teaspoon of baking soda. But beware: This sub requires a little experimentation so dessert doesn’t end up tasting more like quiche than cake.

Pureed vegetables for canned soup
Holiday meals are never complete without a good old green bean casserole, but the sodium-filled soup base leaves more to be desired. Swap in pureed veggies for canned or condensed soups— they’ll add flavor and an extra dose of vitamins and minerals. Plus, with a little vegetable stock added, they can make a great solution for the classic canned soup lunch!

Flavored vinegars for meat marinades
Experiment with new flavor combinations to season meat without the salt. Fruit-infused vinegars (like pomegranate or fig balsamic, perhaps?) make great marinades.

Balsamic vinegar reduction for salty sauces
Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil (use a non-reactive pot) and simmer until it’s reduced by about half. Use as a flavorful, mildly sweet topping, sauce, or garnish.

But there’s one more low-sodium swap I want to add to the bunch.

Time for convenience.

A little bit of time can add a whole lot to a low-sodium meal.

Time allows your taste buds to adjust; to forget about the salty spark they expect and to suddenly notice all the natural flavors they didn’t know where there.

Time lets you slowly stir up a browned butter and mushroom pea risotto, giving every grain a chance to soak up the citrus, wine, and umami flavors melting in the pot.

Time lets you plant your own chard, watch it grow, and relish in its harvest.

Time gives roasted radishes, peppers, tomatoes, and other root vegetables a uniquely sweet flavor and a silky texture.

Time transforms red lentils and onions into a smooth, Indian sauce.

Time makes faux-miso marinated fish and molasses soaked ribs impossibly juicy.

Time let’s you actually pause long enough to sit with loved ones and enjoy a full meal. Appetizers, sides, mains, and dessert. All eaten slowly. All eaten without rush.

Of course convenience is great. Especially when on the go. But you’ll quickly realize that getting rid of the packaged goods and plastic wrap isn’t such a bad thing after all. And that (with a little bit of time) you can make anything without all that salt.

Chow on.

Benita September 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

You are really great for making sodium a near extinct necessity for healthy living. I love that you have alternatives for very tasty dishes. I love sauces and I know that sauce is not gonna taste good without salt, right? But with your tips, I certainly enjoyed it and shared it with my friends on our gathering. Time is really an important ingredient for making your dishes taste better. Thank you for your insight!

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