Low in Salt Big on Taste

P1090334There is no doubt that generally there is too much salt in our diet. The main problem is the sodium content which is really high in normal processed table salt or ‘added’ salt in processed food products. This is what gives it the negative health impact. Maldon or similar quality salts (which are specified in the recipes on this blog) still have a high sodium content but are a purer cleaner product. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to say that salt is ‘good’ for you, but I can’t. What I can say though is that salt is necessary to our diet and if you are going to use it make it a good one and try not to buy food with added salt. Better add your own which is of good quality.

P1090329There have been so many misconceptions about salt that most people think that it is bad for you.  The fact is that salt is the most important component in alkalising the blood and tissues.  Your salt intake is essential especially if you follow a unprocessed, vegetable based diet.

Being a chef, seasoning is everything to me.  It is very easy to lean on salt and overcompensate what the natural textures and flavours bring to a dish. In cutting back my personal salt intake I am using the following seasonings to satisfy my salty desires but with a 90 per cent cut back in the amount of salt I consume.

Gomasio

There is nothing new about gomasio, it is a big part of Japanese seasoning and more pertinently to this blog and the ‘macrobiotic’ diet. Accounting for health and taste it is made with a ratio of any thing from 5:1 to 15:1. I am in between this at 10:1 which I think works as a credible replacement for salt. I have also done a salt free version with wakame, a dried seaweed available from healthfood shops and some supermarkets. Unhulled sesame seeds are not the white ones which are common in Asian shops, they are darker in colour found in any health food shops or the healthy section in a supermarket. If you can’t find unhulled then do the pumpkin and sunflower seed version. The white sesame seeds contain little if any nutritional value.

Classic Gomasio

150g unhulled sesame seeds
15g good quality sea salt

Method

IMG_0530Grind the salt with a pestle and mortar . Mix the salt and sesame seeds together in a bowl. In a dry pan toast the mix off, not too much, just until aromas start to become apparent. Next transfer the mix to the pestle and start to work it with the mortar. Start by bashing it then grinding round and round until you have a coarse powder. If you don’t have one then just pulse it in whatever machine you have, don’t over do it with the machine as it will release all the oils and go really thick so you can’t sprinkle it.

Wakame and sesame gomasio

150g unhulled sesame seeds
25g dried wakame

Scrunch up the wakame so its in small pieces and toast off in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Add the sesame seeds and toss together toasting for another minute or so then grind the mix following the instructions above.

Sunflower and Pumkin seed seasoning (omega rich)

P1090326Grind the salt first then mix the seeds and the salt. Lightly toast until the seeds start popping, When in the mortar you bash to break it up rather than grinding round and round it like the sesame gomasio. Rather than grinding you are breaking down until you have a consistency that you can sprinkle.

All of the above have a long shelf life. Put into a jar or a sealable container and incorporate into your meals and snacks.

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