Cutting out the salt to make dishes healthier is no new concept; however, cooking without the salt can be a challenging and daunting task. That’s why we compiled this list of five quick tips for serving low sodium menu items.
Use herbs and spices to add flavor instead of salt.
To make dishes flavorful, you don’t have to go straight to the salt and pepper. Instead try adding herbs and spices to give dishes full, exciting flavors. Really want to kick things up? Try hot peppers, citrus zests, and exotic imported spices to add flavor without adding sodium.
Rinse canned vegetables, beans, and meats.
Canned vegetables, beans and meats contain added sodium for preservation. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned ingredients before use, or select no or low sodium canned foods.
Use fresh vegetables and meats whenever possible.
You just can’t beat fresh when preparing low sodium meals. To keep costs low and offer your diners exciting selections, try cooking seasonal dishes that make the most of what’s fresh, local and flavorful.
Hold the sauce.
Condiments such as ketchup, salad dressings, sauces and mustards can contain high levels of sodium. Leaving condiments off dishes, or keeping them on the side and using sparingly can reduce sodium content.
Balance high sodium selections with sides with little or no added salt.
While some dishes will never taste quite right without a healthy dose of salt, you can counteract a higher sodium selection with sides that are sodium low or even free. Try steamed vegetables or fresh fruit to repair sodium content for a meal.
Loving salt is an acquired taste. We’re not born loving salt; we just learn to love it ~ which is good and bad news. Changing habits (especially habits formed over our entire lives) is challenging, they can be changed. Cooking with, and eating dishes with less sodium can be filling and fulfilling, it just may take some time, practice and willingness to try new things!
Betsy Craig brings 20 years of food service industry experience to MenuTrinfo, LLC a menu nutritional labeling Company. Her commitment to the betterment of the food industry and her desire to affect the dining public are the driving forces behind her new company Kitchens with Confidence, LLC.