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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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I think I shook some readers up with my recent post on salt and all its possible health implications.

So, what if you love salt - does that mean your food has to be a bland, amorphous blob of stuff? No!

I've done the research for you (and for myself, of course, since I am salt-averse, after all) and here are some suggestions.

*Add balsamic vinegar. I am now eating a low-salt version of soup, and adding balsamic vinegar really wakes up all the flavors. It almost tastes salty. Honest

*Use cheese - but sparingly. I love sprinkling my salads with cheese - but almost all are high in salt. Instead, I use a
microplane(a small grater-like tool) and the most pungent cheese I can find. It falls softly atop whatever you are grating it over, like delicate snowflakes. A little goes a very long way.

*Use a "salt substitute" to shake things up. While at Pritikin, I found one in the gift shop and brought it home. It's by Natural Fine Foods, Inc. and called, appropriately, "Shake-It Table Blend." It contains onion, garlic, tomato granules, crushed red peppers, basil, oregano, orange peel, thyme, dill, mustard seed, parsley, lemon pepper, celery, cumin and coriander - all healthy spices on their own. I brought it with me last night to a restaurant and sprinkled it on my (unsalted) fish and it was surprisingly flavorful and more than adequate.

*When you cook, think about adding these spices to these foods to bring out their flavor and eliminate the need for salt (courtesy of the NIH):
Beef: Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme
Lamb: Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint
Pork: Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano
Veal: Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano
Chicken: Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme

And for veggies:
Carrots: Cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary,sage
Corn: Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley
Green Beans: Dill, curry powder, lemon juice, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme, green onions, pepper
Peas: Ginger, marjoram, onion, parsley, sage
Potatoes: Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage

Also, try Penzeys Spices which have a line of no-salt herb blends.

You may also want to read my colleague post, "Less Salt, Longer Life?"

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