It seems that there are lots of news and magazine articles out about reducing the salt content in our diets. As innkeepers we always ask about dietary restrictions as we travel the country taking care of guests for Bed and Breakfast owners. So, how do you keep the flavor and reduce the salt? Use herbs and spices in your recipes.
The herbs and spices naturally contain very small amounts of sodium but add lots of flavor. Remember, the cheeses found in your recipes usually contain salt, so there probably isn't any reason to add any additional.
Now the herbs can be used in either the fresh or dried form. For the fullest flavor, fresh herbs work best, so, if you can, plant a small herb garden. Just make sure that the herbs are chopped finely. Some of our favorite herbs are basil, chives, dill, oregano, parsley (Italian or flat leaf), rosemary, sage, thyme and depending on the dish, maybe some mint. Any of these herbs can be used successfully in main dish egg entrées or in side dishes such as potatoes. One thing to remember is that dried herbs will give you a more pungent flavor.
Some of the spices we use are nutmeg, allspice, clove, cinnamon, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. If you are using the onion or garlic in dried form, make sure they are not onion or garlic salt. That would defeat the purpose of reducing the sodium content. The spices can be used either in whole or ground form depending on your recipe. We use the spices in our egg dishes, fruit sauces, side dishes and baked goods (breads, cookies, or scones). In fact, you will find that just about all of our egg dishes have at least some nutmeg.
Be creative, let your taste buds experience new flavors. It is fun to play around to find just the perfect addition to that old family recipe or to one that you have acquired from someplace else.
Lynda and Howard Lerner
Michael’s Vegan Black Bean and Rice Soup
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