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Seasoning Sans Salt

A dash of seasoning techniques that put salt on the sidelines.

A little bit of salt won’t do you any harm. In fact, your body needs a bit of the stuff to stay well balanced and healthy. However, eating too much salt can lead to some rather serious health issues, so you should do what you can to avoid pouring teaspoon after teaspoon of salt on your foods.
If you find yourself starving for more flavor in your food, leave the salt in the cabinet and reach for one of these alternatives.

Homemade Meals

One of the fastest ways to rack up your salt intake is to eat at fast food restaurants or to bring home lots of prepackaged foods filled with preservatives. If you find yourself eating out of a can or a to-go bag on a regular basis, find ways to stop supporting your local fast food joint and begin supporting your good health by preparing your own meals. It takes extra time, but in the long run it will be less costly on your pocketbook and your health.

Caramelized Onions

They look great in most meals and taste even better. To make them, grab a handful of large onions, dice them well, and sauté in four tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the concoction frequently until the onions are browned. The process takes about an hour, but you can refrigerate them and pull them out to add to anything and everything from meats to soups and beyond.

Burnished Veggies

Want to add some flavor and color to your favorite meals? Grab some carrots or Brussels sprouts and toss them in the oven at 375 degrees with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. After 20 minutes, give the veggies a visual check. If they have browned edges, remove and enjoy. Otherwise, flip and continue cooking.

Simmering Juices

No, you don’t want to drink excessive amounts of fruit juice (especially if it has added sugar), but you can use your favorite juice to spruce up any food that needs an extra hand. To start, simmer a cup of juice (apple or orange juice works well). Once it simmers down to half its original amount, pour it over your food of choice, and enjoy!

Wine Bits

Prefer a fine wine to fruit juice? No problem. After you’ve done a bit of cooking, don’t just scrape the scraps left on the pan in the trash. Instead, scrape the bits up and leave them loose in the pan. Then pour in a cup of your favorite red wine, crank the heat up to high, and let the wine reduce to half its original amount. Take the mixture off the stove and pour it over your meal. Whether you’re flavoring rice or potatoes, meat or vegetables, it’s as good as it sounds.

Zesty Citrus

If you’ve done much cooking, you’ve probably had a few opportunities to use a zest of some sort. When looking for a salt-free choice to flavor foods, zest is a great choice. Just grate the skins of lemon, oranges, or limes, and add it to your food. You can even combine one or more zests for a new burst of flavor. Just be sure the fruit was grown without pesticides or other chemicals that could put you in harm’s way.

Oily Enhancement

Need to impress someone on the fly? Combine some thyme, rosemary, or other herbs to a bit of warm olive oil. Let the mixture sit long enough to steep and apply to your food. Then take what is left over and put it in the refrigerator to use when needed. This works particularly well on meats and vegetables.

How Much Salt Is Too Much?

It is suggested that healthy individuals eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt. For those with high blood pressure or other pre-existing conditions, 1,500 milligrams of sodium is a daily maximum.

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