15 Feb 2017

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Add Flavor Not Salt!

A big challenge for many dealing with high blood pressure or those trying to avoid developing problems with their blood pressure is how to make food taste good and decrease the amount of sodium used. Sodium is generally used as not only a flavoring, but also a preservative. Hence food manufacturers rely on it to extend their foods’ shelf life. Before we ever get the food to our kitchens to prep and prepare, the food has already been altered with sodium. Here are some tips to help make our food, not only healthier, but tastier:

  • Fresh is best!
    • Use food that has not been processed.
    • Add fresh herbs to cooked and raw foods and toasted seeds and nuts for crunch and nutty flavor .
    • Make your own pasta sauces and salad dressings with high-quality, great tasting ingredients and you’ll need less salt.
    • Cook it yourself – most of the sodium in our diets comes from prepared foods and restaurant meals.
  • Flavors are carried by water, fat and alcohol – use all three in your cooking to get the most flavor from food.
  • Roast, sauté, or grill your vegetables, poultry, and fish – any cooking technique that browns your food creates more flavor than water based cooking like poaching or steaming.
  • Add dried herbs, spices or spice blends to soup, stews, poultry, or fish early in the cooking process to allow the flavors to develop fully.
  • Acidic liquids enhance flavors so you can use less salt. Make food sparkle with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice or a splash of good vinegar.
  • Choose no-salt-added canned foods such as tomatoes, beans, tuna, and salmon and look for lower-salt processed foods such as crackers, pasta sauce, salad dressings, and deli meat.
  • Use high salt foods in small quantities – cheese, olives, soy sauce, capers, anchovies, pickles, mustard and other condiments.
  • Dilute the sodium in prepared or packaged foods that you like by cooking them with vegetables like potatoes.
  • Drain and rinse canned vegetables with fresh water to remove packaged sodium.
  • Salt your dish at the end of the cooking process or even at the table. Salt gets absorbed into starchy food like grains and beans. A pinch of salt on top of the food has more impact on your palate than salt dissolved into the dish.
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