How to Add Flavor Without Using Salt

Overview

According to the Salt Institute, a teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2.4 grams of sodium. But the National Academies' Institute of Medicine states that a healthy daily intake of sodium for most adults between the ages of 19 and 50 is only 1.5 grams. Too much sodium can lead to excessive fluid retention and high blood pressure so put that salt shaker away and try these nutritious, flavorful alternatives instead.

Step 1

Dress a salad without using salt. Bypass store-bought salad dressings, which contain salt and sometimes MSG. Instead squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over your greens and drizzle with olive oil. Or try a classic vinegar and oil combination. Sprinkle with unsalted sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts or roasted almonds.

Step 2

Mashed potatoes don't need salt. Try adding low-fat milk, unsalted margarine and one of the following: roasted garlic, curry powder or paprika.

Step 3

Cook rice, couscous or any pasta in water only. While it's cooking, sauté one medium chopped onion and one cup sliced mushrooms in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the rice, couscous or pasta is done, thoroughly blend in the onion-mushroom mixture. To make it a meal, mix in peas, unsalted garbanzo beans or black beans.

Step 4

When you're preparing a Mexican recipe, such as guacamole or filling for tacos and burritos, omit the salt and instead add cumin and lime juice. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over just about any Mexican dish.

Step 5

Flavor soups, stews and casseroles with a blend of your favorite spices, such as cumin, curry, ginger and paprika. In some recipes, cinnamon works well. Add chopped raw garlic or garlic powder and an onion that's been finely chopped in a food processor.

Step 6

For your favorite spaghetti sauce, instead of using salt, rely more on garlic, onions, oregano, thyme and rosemary.

Step 7

Before cooking meat, including fish and poultry, marinade for at least an hour in freshly squeezed citrus juice--lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tangerine or a combination of these. Instead, try a marinade made from olive oil, vinegar, pepper and your favorite spices.

Step 8

When making oven-baked fries, sweet potato spears or onion rings, sprinkle with garlic powder and either cumin or curry powder.

Step 9

Spruce up any scrambled egg or omelet dish by adding chopped onions and your favorite spice, such as ground mustard seed, curry or paprika.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always go easy with spices and other ingredients you're not familiar with. If you put too much in, you can't undo it, but you can always add more later. When first trying unfamiliar herbs and spices, sample small quantities and watch for allergic reactions.

Things You'll Need

  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vinegar
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Citrus fruit
  • Low-fat milk
  • Unsalted margarine
Keywords: spices, flavor, herbs, garlic, onion, oil, lemon, lime, curry
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