When learning to cook a low sodium diet, the challenge is not just learning how to get flavor into food without using salt. It’s learning how to get that salty flavor or a nice salty edge to their food they are missing. How can you get the salt taste that is missing? One of the best ways is to learn to add foods and seasonings with a tangy or tart flavor, like lemons, vinegars and tangy fruits like pomegranates.
Here are 4 tips to help achieve good flavorful low sodium results with a salty edge:
- Use a variety of salt free seasonings. Especially salt free seasonings with a lemony or citrusy edge to them. You need good quality salt free seasonings. They also need to be fresh seasonings for the best results. You need more than one, as you will get tired of the same flavor on everything pretty fast. Something you try today and may not like, try using it again in a few months and you might really like it. Your taste buds will change when you cook without salt.
- Use fresh lemons, limes, or most any citrus fruit. This is one of the best flavor tips for getting a salty flavor without using salt. Fresh lemon is one of the closest natural flavors to salt. You taste salt and you pucker-up then you taste fresh lemon and pucker-up also. Just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to most food with brighten with a salty taste. Not too much lemon juice or it may become too lemony instead of with a salty edge. Experiment with the amount of lemon needed. The regular lemons work best here, not Meyer lemons as Meyer lemons are sweeter. You can also add a strip or two of fresh lemon peel to water when cooking to help flavor the water without salt. Try this especially when poaching fish, or chicken, even vegetables. Add fresh lemon zest to recipes, even at the end of cooking. A little freshly grated lemon zest sprinkled on top of foods like vegetables at the end of cooking is very nice. Be sure to use just the yellow part of the peel and not the white pith. The pith is bitter, not sour and doesn’t taste very good. The key here is to use fresh lemons.
- Try using different vinegars. Almost any vinegar will work except seasoned rice vinegar, as it usually contains salt. There are so many kinds of vinegars; apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar and so many kinds of herb vinegars. Tarragon vinegar tastes surprisingly good to most folks, with a nice hint of a salty taste. Try making your own homemade mayonnaise with this vinegar. Different brands taste different, so you may need to try several until you find one you like.
- Find foods with a tangy or tart flavor like pomegranates or berries like raspberries. Try sprinkling fresh pomegranate seeds or fresh raspberries on a green salad or a fruit salad. Pomegranate juice, fresh pomegranate juice if possible, is is a great addition to perk-up salads and salad dressings. You may have seen or tried a Raspberry Vinaigrette. Pomegranate molasses (sometimes called pomegranate syrup) is also a wonderful ingredient added to salad dressings, as well as many sauces especially a barbecue sauce. It is important to read the labels for the sodium content or make your own. Some pomegranate syrups have salt added but most do not and are available in many larger grocery stores, supermarkets and many ethnic markets especially Armenian or Mediterranean markets.
Apply these simple flavor tips and you will be amazed how flavorful your low sodium food can be, now adding that missing salty edge you have a more enjoyable low sodium diet.