Hi Everybody, Debbie Benson here...
This is where I can tell you about what I know, what I have found out, and here I can also rant a bit.
Since I was a little girl I have been aware of sodium, both high and low levels, as you learned in my first Season-It Newsletter 3 Tips That Help A Low Sodium Diet. Starting Benson's Gourmet Seasonings has been a dream come true.
As I learn and find helpful information, tips, products, recipes, and websites, I will share the information with you here. Then, you can follow-up and do your own research and make your own, more informed decisions regarding your health, or the health of a loved one. Knowledge helps you and gives you the power to make better decisions.
It's not just about what you don't do or can't have. It's also about things you can or should do or add to your diet that can make a difference. Here we go...
Did you know just one tablespoon of soy sauce
A bulb of garlic is called a head or a whole head of garlic.
Each of the wedges is called a clove of garlic or a garlic clove.
1 clove of garlic = a teaspoon.
- Prepare the garlic and use it. Don't chop the garlic too far ahead of time as it starts oxidizing and turning bitter. You may have noticed on most cooking shows, they chop the garlic and it goes directly into the pan. This is best way for the best flavor.
How you store garlic makes a difference in the flavor and health benefits
- Store garlic in a cool dry place. Not in the refrigerator and don't freeze it as freezing deadens the flavor. Stored properly, fresh garlic will keep a month or more.
How you purchase, store, prepare and cook garlic, makes a difference in the flavor and the health benefits.
Purchase the freshest garlic, as it has the best taste.
I love garlic both for the health benefits and for it's flavor. You might have noticed, all of the seasonings have garlic in them.
"Mise en place" simply translates "In it's place". This is an important cooking term and is used by all well trained chef's and cooks. You'll see this done on cooking shows in restaurant kitchens, bakeries, food trucks and hopefully your kitchen.
Whenever you begin a recipe, you set out what what you will need, everything in its place.This includes cooking equipment, pots and pans, food processor, bowls, cooking utensils, measuring cups and spoons, etc.
This is a cooking term. The little browned bits on the bottom of your pan when cooking, is called fond. Deglaze the pan by adding a liquid. Usually something like (water, wine, juice, tomatoes, milk, broth or stock) to loosen those browned bits. Then continue by scraping them off the bottom (usually with a spoon or spatula).
Most of the sodium we get from our diets is not usually from the salt shaker, but from processed foods like canned foods, microwave foods and a really big source is fast foods. So to start lowering our daily sodium intake we must learn to cook differently.
This means learning to cook from fresh ingredients, from scratch and cooking without salt. Now you think if you take the salt out of the recipe and fix it the same way it will be ok. Maybe not exactly the same but it should still taste good.
Raw onion, whether it sliced or diced, adds both flavor and crunch to fresh salsas, salads, sandwiches and burgers for example, but sometimes they are too strong. Tip: After you cut them, place in a sieve or colander and rinse briefly under the tap with cold water. The water washes away the strong sulfur juices which will mellow both the pungent flavor, aroma and hopefully no more tears. This is quick and easy and it works.
Learn more low sodium cooking tips:
Save on your daily sodium intake, just by using unsalted butter instead of salted. You can save quite a bit of additional sodium and it tastes better. You might not think this is a big deal but it adds-up, especially when cooking for holidays or special occasions.
You will find most brands of salted butter have a different amounts of sodium. Usually the cheaper the brand, the more sodium. You will notice this when reading the amount of sodium per serving. Unsalted butter has 0 mg of sodium per serving where as salted can go from around 30 mg per serving to 90 or 100 mg per serving (usually a tablespoon) sometimes even higher.
Make your food more colorful. You've heard it said "We eat with our eyes first". Sometimes we get tired of eating the same thing all the time. Just by adding more colors, the whole dish changes. Plus you are adding not just color but also flavor and nutrition.
Try starting with colorful bell peppers.
Since yellow trays today are associated with chicken and only chicken, this helps avoid cross contamination and helps with inventory control. But what prompted this color for chickens? Many associate yellow with baby chicks however you want yellow chickens for the best flavor and these yellow trays help reflect the yellow color.
Look for yellow chicken.
One of the most basic and most important
flavor builders is a French cooking term or technique called a mirepoix. This one cooking technique will help you a lot to create more flavorful food. All of you should know about it and start using it when cooking, especially for a low sodium diet.
What is a Mirepoix ?
It’s a combination of chopped aromatic vegetables, traditionally onions, carrots and celery.