Salt is a natural-born enhancer—its versatility is incredible: From increasing the boldness of a savory tomato sauce to delicately complimenting the rich buttery sweetness of caramel, salt has been a star in the kitchen for generations. But according to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes twice as much sodium as the daily 1,5000 milligrams (mg) recommended. Part of the reason why: Salt is a tricky bugger that’s hiding around every corner and in the contents of almost everything processed that we consume.
Think you're packing too much of the salty stuff into your diet? We spoke with Jessica Goldman Foung—creator of the blog Sodium Girl (who, might we add, has been living sodium-free since college!)—for six salt-free switches to make today. See what she had to say below!
1. Shiitake mushrooms: The natural umami found in shiitake mushrooms makes for a super quick and easy stock to use in risottos, soups, and your favorite seasonal crock pot dishes!
2. Canned pumpkin: Swap tomato sauce with canned pumpkin (or butternut squash) next time you’re looking to freshen up your favorite pasta dish. Try experimenting with different spices and seasonings, like Mrs. Dash’s new table blends, for an extra tasty boost!
3. Fruit jam: “Instead of bottled steak sauce—some of which can have over 500mg per 2 tablespoons—which is one-third of the recommended 1,500mg per day diet—mix berry jam with apple cider or balsamic vinegar. You can heat it in a pot with a few extra spices or keep it simple. Either way, it's easy and sodium-free.”
4. Matzoh crackers: This salt-free snack has a light texture and a nice crunch to perfectly compliment that hummus you packed in your lunch this morning! Another option: Throw a few in the food processor and try them in Jessica’s low-sodium version of graham cracker crust!
5. Chickpea flour flatbread: Nosh on this! Sodium-free and ready in less than 15 minutes. Pair it with Jessica’s Toasted Pumpkin Seed Ricotta Spread for a perfect dinner party appetizer.
6. Molasses: Instead of marinating your meat in sodium-laced teriyaki or soy sauce, combine dark flavorful molasses, rice wine vinegar, with the light sweet tang of apricot jam and a dash of salt-free garlic powder. It’s absolutely delish and mimics its salty competitor to a tee.