If you read my last post, I talked about dietary salt and why you should greatly reduce how much you consume. But for many of us, our taste buds can be used to a lot of salt and that can make eating salt-free rather bland. The good news is that when you ditch the salt, your taste for it will lessen over time and then you will begin to experience the great taste of real food. The even better news is that there are some tasty salt-free additions that you can add to your food to make it taste amazing. Here are my top five:
Roasted Garlic – Roast unpeeled garlic in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. After it has cooled remove the skin. Roasted garlic is fantastic in salad dressing and any savory dish really.
Tomato Paste – I use this in my lentil soup. Yum! Try to find it in glass and not cans because of potential BPA (bisphenol-A) exposure. BPA is a chemical linked to many very bad health effects. If you must buy it in cans, look for BPA-free cans.
Dried Tomatoes – That’s right, dried and NOT sun-dried. Sun-dried tomatoes can have added sodium and preservatives. You want to look for unsulfured and unsalted dried tomatoes that have been air dried and not sun dried. Because air drying is faster, it allows for no preservatives to be used.
Roast Peppers – You can go crazy here! You can roast everything from bell peppers to jalapenos. I put them under the broiler on high and rotate them as they get brown and soft. Keep an eye on them, though, because they can burn very quickly. Once they are evenly brown and soft, remove from the broiler and cool. Once cool, peel them and remove the seeds. These are so good in salads, soups, and even hummus.
Nutritional Yeast – This is deactivated yeast and it provides a nice cheesy flavor. This is amazing if you avoid dairy as I do. I use it when I make kale chips and love it sprinkled on top of black bean pasta with marinara. Try it, you will be hooked! Just be sure to buy a brand that has not been fortified with synthetic B-vitamins. The good stuff contains those naturally. My favorite brand is Food Alive Nutritional Yeast. You can find it at vitacost.com.
So, give these flavor enhancers a try and get ready for a whole new world of flavor. You will love living salt free, I promise. Share what salt free flavors you use in the comments.