Add More Flavor, Not Salt

The CDC still ranks heart disease as the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. One of the key risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. One thing that we can do to help our blood pressure is to lower our sodium intake.

Living in Louisiana we love for our food to be full of flavor and the first seasoning we usually reach for is the salt. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Here are some great tips for boosting flavor without salt.

Add Acids

Citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, and vinegars play an important role in healthy cooking. Acids act a little like salt in that they help bring out the natural brightness of foods and work to meld flavors together.

Spice Everything Nice

Spices are a great way to add flavor and character to a dish without adding calories, fat, and salt. Spices can add a unique flavor profile to any dish—a simple chicken breast becomes Tex-Mex chicken when you add cumin and chili powder, Jamaican chicken with a little cayenne, cinnamon, and allspice, or Moroccan chicken with some ginger and coriander. While herbs can be used fresh or dried, spices tend to be dried and jarred, enabling you to build a diverse collection over time. While dried herbs and spices don’t “expire”, per se, they start to lose their flavor after about 6 months. Be sure to date your spice jars and replace them every 6–12 months for maximum flavor.

Add Flavor on a Budget

Jarred herbs and spices can be pricey! Check the international foods aisle for cheaper (and smaller) packages of some common spices. Or find a local store that sells herbs and spices in bulk—they are typically MUCH cheaper, and you can buy just what you need!

Herb it Up

Nothings brings a little extra life and flavor to a meal or dish like some fresh herbs (not to mention some powerful nutritional benefits from vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!), without adding any extra fat, calories, or salt. Next time you harvest or buy fresh herbs (such as basil, cilantro, rosemary, or thyme), give them a good chop, and mix them with a little oil. Add some of the herb infused oil to veggies or meats before grilling and store the rest in ice-cube trays in the freezer so you have ready-to-use marinade or seasoning oil on hand all winter long! You can usually use either dried or fresh herbs in a recipe. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh—use 1 teaspoon of dried herb for every tablespoon of fresh (and vice versa). If you are cooking with dried herbs, add them to the dish earlier in the cooking process so they have time to release their flavor. For fresh herbs, add toward the end of cooking process.

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9/15/2022 6:28:45 PM
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