If you’re like most Americans, you’re consuming twice the daily recommended amount of sodium. Here are some creative, salt-free ways to infuse more flavor into your everyday meals.
These are best added at the end of cooking to finish and brighten a dish, for example, chopped parsley for soup or ribbons of basil for pizza or pasta. Note: Dried herbs are more concentrated, so when using fresh, triple the amount called for in the recipe.
• Use when fresh are not available and food needs to simmer for any length of time—giving flavors time to develop. Crush herbs in the palm of your hand before adding to food to release their aromatic oils.
• Create ethnic flavor profiles with pre-made, salt-free seasoning blends, or prepare your own by mixing a medley of the items within each of the groups below.
ASIAN: Bay leaves, chiles, cilantro, coriander seeds, curry powder, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lime, mint, red pepper flakes, turmeric
CHINESE: Five-spice powder, fresh ginger, garlic, low-sodium tamari, mirin or sweet rice wine, rice vinegar
FRENCH: Basil, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme. You can also buy herbs de Provence, which is a combination of these herbs and, sometimes, lavender.
GREEK: Bay leaves, citrus (such as lemon), rosemary, thyme
INDIAN: Cardamom seeds, chiles, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder, garlic, ginger, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, saffron, sesame seeds, turmeric
ITALIAN: Basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, tarragon
LATIN: Chiles, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin seeds, oregano, sesame seeds
MIDDLE EASTERN: Allspice, cilantro, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, marjoram, mint, oregano, sesame seeds
MOROCCAN: Cilantro, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, mint, red pepper flakes, saffron, turmeric
* Substitute the equivalent amount of kosher salt for iodized—it has 25% less sodium.