Did you know that this week is actually, officially #saltawareness week?
It is! And you’re already steps ahead with the amazing SALTERNATIVES we’ve been exploring that boost the natural flavor of your food and wow all your friends. At the same time. No shaker necessary.
Before we get to a quick collage of our favorite salt-free salt swaps, lets also just take a moment to review the difference between salt and sodium. Because they are not the same thing.
Table salt contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride. And while we generally think of the salt shaker as the only source of sodium, sodium also exists in most whole foods, from cantaloupe to eggs. It also hides out in a lot of unlikely places, like sandwich bread, milk, and even medication.
According to the latest dietary guidelines, it is recommended that the majority of Americans should consume less than 1,500mg of sodium a day. Or a little over 1/2 teaspoon of that table salt. And let’s just say, most people (nine out of ten Americans according to the American Heart Association) eat at least double than that. Sometimes by lunch.
But most of this over-sodium consumption does not come from the salt shaker at home. It’s the processed, prepared foods, and restaurant meals that are actually responsible for 75% of the sodium we eat. Which is why the best and easiest place to start lowering sodium is by ditching all the canned foods and frozen dinners, and to start cooking with fresh ingredients.
But you knew that.
As for the shaker, though, why not try a sprinkle of something more exciting. Like any of the salt-free spices (cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder) or blends (jerk, curry, shichimi togarashi).
Or SALTERNATIVES that harness the savory, umami, and nutty flavors found naturally in other ingredients. Like lentil dust; dukkah spice mix; all of the Mrs. Dash salt-free blends; and my salt-free version of Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic Mushroom Powder.Then, I challenge you to mix them into popcorn and savory streusel toppings and explore the world beyond salt.
Then, whatever spice or blend or alternative you choose, be sure to sprinkle it on homemade crackers. Mix them into yogurt dips. Melt them in oil and pour them onto popcorn.
Or make a savory streusel for your next frittata. Because you can.
As always, though, be sure to check with your doctors and dietitians to understand to come up with the sodium/salt plan that is right for you, your health, and your body.
Then, get ready to taste something new.
LOW-SO SAVORY MUSHROOM SPICE STREUSEL
makes enough streusel topping for 6 savory egg muffins
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp chilled butter
- 2 Tbsp salt-free Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic Mushroom Powder **
- 1/4 tsp salt-free baking powder
Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until well combined and crumbly. Then, place on top of savory muffins or mini egg muffins for final 10 minutes of cooking.
** SALT-FREE NOM NOM PALEO MAGIG MUSHROOM POWDER
- 1 cup dried porcini mushroom
- 2 Tbsp salt-free garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Place ingredients in a spice grinder or small food processor and pulse until you’ve created a very fine powder. Let the mushroom dust settle for a minute before opening the grinder or processor. Keep in an air-tight container for up to a month. Then use in any cooked dish/recipe (aka: do not sprinkle and eat the raw powder). Enjoy and send a note of thanks over to Michelle for her genius.