Eating healthy is a goal for many, but that is hard to keep up if the food does not taste good, right? Flavor is important! It is especially needed to keep to the healthy eating habits you are creating. Seasoning your food well is a great way to add flavor without diminishing the healthy elements.
I wrote about the simple and quick way of creating flavor with compounding butters and oils here as one flavoring technique. But, another quick way to add distinction without a lot of effort is to use seasoning salt. But, those premixed seasoning salts? Most of them on the market shelves have some detrimental ingredients.
Why Toss The Premixed Seasoning SaltHere is why you should consider deleting premixed seasoning salt from your grocery list:
Some ingredients in them are not needed and harmful. Preservatives, anti-caking agents and MSG in many pre-made seasoned salts are not chemicals our body needs and could be harmful. The levels of sodium and sugar in them can be quite high as well.
They are made with undesirable refined salts. Regular white table salt has been bleached, and who wants bleach in your seasoning salt? I wrote about swapping out regular table salt to unrefined pink salt here and why you would want to consider that simple switch. Unrefined salts usually have less sodium as well.
The taste can fall flat. If on the store shelf for a long time, premixed salts can lose potency and flavor. Unless they are dated, you do not how long ago it was created. If the flavor is bland, you may end up using more than you should as well adding sodium levels to your food.
How and Why To Use Your Own Quick Seasoning SaltYou can whip up one of your own seasoning salts in seconds and alter it just how you like it. Here are a few ways to use it:
- Use as dry rub before grilling for a nice crust
- Add to olive oil as a quick dip or marinade
- Add to soups, stews, and chiles that have not been heavily salted already
- Sprinkle on roasted or grilled vegetables and in mashed or baked potatoes
And, making your own reaps these benefits too:
Herbs and spices are jam-packed gems of phytonutrients. Win. Win. Flavor and lots of vitamins. Read more about just how much here and here.
Making your own mix is cheaper than buying premade. You make as much as you need and eliminate waste as well.
You control heat level and flavor profile. Want more kick, amp up the pepper then.
Making your own is better for you. Choosing unrefined salt and organic herbs and spices offers health benefits like exposure to minerals and phytonutrients without pesticides.
One Salt, Three WaysHere are a three ideas on how to take that salt and create more flavor!
Starting with 2 tablespoon of unrefined pink salt, add in the rest of the following ingredients (adding more of what you like and less of what you don't). Mix well to create the flavor profile of choice. Each mixture makes enough to season a dish or two you are making.
1. Looking to add a little smokey Mexican bite to those beans or tacos? Then add this to the salt:
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest (optional: dry in low oven for five minutes)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- pinch of ground red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3. Want something a bit spicy and complex for that grilled wild-caught salmon or organic chicken thighs? Can't get simpler than rubbing on this mixed in the salt first:
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
How to Season Best With SaltHow you apply your seasoning can make a big difference in flavor. Here are simple steps to season with salt or seasoned salt to extract the most flavor:
1. First, ditch the salt shaker. Create your seasoned salt in a small bowl or other small vessel and keep your unseasoned salt that way as well. Salt shakers don't work well in distributing the salt evenly.
2. Taking from the bowl of salt, pinch the salt or seasoned salt between your fingers.
3. Raise your hand with the salt in it high over the food you are to season. The higher the better!
4. Sprinkle back and forth over the food and keep moving. The higher you are with sprinkling, the more evenly it is distributed. Go back and get more pinches as needed. But, go lightly the first time as you can add more seasoning later as well.
5. Try not to miss a spot!
Do you have a favorite recipe for seasoning salt? Please add a link in the comments!
mortar photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/harryharris/1955412721/">harry harris</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>