Low sodium cooking may seem daunting at first. How do I make my food taste good without salt? Does all low-salt food taste like cardboard?
Fear not, salt-free cooking is a great way to explore new flavors and seasonings, and we’re here to guide you through it. By grabbing a few dried herbs (some may already be lurking in your pantry) and throwing them together in a jar, the only limit to flavor is your imagination.
Spice blends are a fun and creative way to add flavor to food while cutting out the salt. Bonus: having a few on hand is a real time-saver when you want to kick a dish’s flavor profile up another notch. Did we mention DIY blends are super easy and inexpensive to make? Especially if your grocery store has bulk spices. Many herbs and seasonings come dried and pre-ground, so all you have to do is measure them out, put them in a container, and give it a good shake. Read on for some of our favorite blends, as well as a few tips and tricks for using and storing them.
Feeling spicy? Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, chipotle, and chili powder all bring some heat to your blends. Easy does it with the cayenne pepper, however, a little goes a long way! Try out this recipe for a basic blend with a kick, or this one for killer tacos!
Travel to new places without leaving the kitchen!! With so many blends unique to different cultures, the spice world is your oyster. Curry powder is a great place to start and can be used with vegetables, proteins, and grains. We are also big fans of this Moroccan seven spice mix.
Looking for a does-it-all seasoning? Dried herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil are good building blocks. Punch up the flavor with the addition of onion or garlic powders, celery seed, or mustard powder. Even “sweet” spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg can bring depth to your blends. The combinations are endless, but if you’re looking for some inspiration here’s a blend that’s sure to pair well with many meals.
Tips & Tricks
Now that you’ve got your spices all blended up, put them to good use! The great thing about spice blends is that they are versatile and can be used in multiple dishes. Start simple by putting blends into dishes you’d normally prepare, then take it to the next level and pair them with foods you might not initially think of. That spicy taco seasoning? Try throwing it on some chicken for a balanced latin-inspired dinner. Take your vegetables to the next level by sprinkling some Moroccan seven spice mix on them, tossing them with olive oil, and roasting. Blends with citrus-y flavors (lemon or orange peel, rosemary, thyme) bring something special to fish and poultry dishes. Rub just about any spice blend on a roast before popping it in the oven, your friends and family are sure to think you’re a kitchen genius.
If you’re searching for some more inspiration on how to use your blends, we like this handy chart, which has recipes and tips on what to pair your blends with.
Once you’ve concocted some delicious creations, pop them in an airtight container (we’re partial to jars with airtight lids). They’ll last up to a year in a cool, dry place.
Still feel like something is missing without the salt? Hold tight, it takes 90 days for tastebuds to change. Give your new cooking style a solid 3 months while you adapt, then you’ll find how tasty low-sodium cooking can be!
Changing cooking and eating can habits can be a big task, but the Brook Experts are here to help. Ask us for our Salt-Free Spice Blends Brook doc in the Expert channel for more printable tips & recipes.