Salt is a kitchen staple! It is used to season food, it can be added to recipes to reduce bitterness, compliment sweetness and generally enhance flavours! Saltiness is one of the basic human tastes and an essential nutrient! Salt and pepper are often present on dining tables the world over so everyone can personalize the flavour of their food!
Salt is also an effective preservative. It was our primary method of preservation before the invention of fridges! It works by creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria by drawing out moisture, this is called curing. You can cure fish, meats and vegetables!
Salt is used a lot in baking, especially in bread and pizza dough recipes!
The sodium in salt can contribute to high blood pressure for some people. Our bodies need sodium, but only a small amount, you should eat no more than 2.3g per day.
If you are looking to lower your salt intake there are a few things you can do to make this easier…
Start by slowly reducing rather than stopping altogether. Swap out salty snacks for some fruit and adding a little less while cooking! In time your taste will adjust and you will find overly salted food too much.
A surprising method to reduce your salt intake is adding lemon juice or vinegar to your cooking. Lemon juice and vinegar are great at balancing flavours allowing you to add less salt! This method is surprisingly effective, and we definitely recommend you trying it for yourself.
Approximately 75% of the sodium we ingest comes from processed and restaurant foods. You can try cooking more and eating out less! Its better for you and better for your wallet! Also, don’t forget to check food labels!
Types of salt
- Kosher salt – It’s flakier, coarse and it comes in larger granules. Most kosher salt doesn’t contain iodine.
- Sea salt – Comes from… you guessed it, the sea! It is made by evaporating sea water, and it contains minerals from where it was collected like; zinc, potassium and iron. Other types of salt that come from the sea are Celtic sea salt and Fleur de sel.
- Himalayan pink salt – Pink in colour and usually comes in large granules. It comes from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Mountains of Pakistan, it is harvested by hand and contains a huge amount of minerals (84 including; calcium, copper, fluoride, iodine, manganese and zinc to name a few!).
- Kala namak – Another salt from the Himalayas, Kala namak is also known as ‘black salt’. It is made by mixing raw salt with charcoal, herbs and bark, it is the fired in a furnace for 24 hours while sealed in a ceramic jar. Kala namak also has high levels of sulfur and iron!
- Black Hawaiian salt or Lava salt – Is harvested from the sea near the volcanic Hawaiian islands. It gets its colour from being blended with charcoal and comes in course large granules.
- Smoked salt – is smoked for about two weeks over an open wood fire, it has a brown colour and a strong smokey taste!
- Low sodium – This is for people who suffer from high blood pressure. However, if you suffer from kidney disease or you are taking blood pressure medication you should stay away from this option as it contains a high level of potassium which may be harmful.