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5 Ways to Add Flavor to Your Food Without Adding More Salt

Dec 20, 2018

Essentially every recipe – regardless of how healthy it might be – calls for salt to some degree. And yes, it does make many of the food we eat taste even more delicious by enhancing flavor and amplifying sweetness, but unfortunately, too much of it can become detrimental to our health. If you’re trying to cut back on your daily salt intake, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you can season your food without adding any sodium. The good news? There are plenty of ways to make your meals at home taste delicious with different types of no salt seasoning! Here are some of our favorite ways to add flavor to everyday dishes without adding salt.

1. Spices

As we all know at Eat Clean, spices and seasonings can add a ton of flavor and variety to virtually any dish! In addition to being sodium-free and tasty, spices are some of the top sources of disease-fighting antioxidants in our diets. If you’re just starting out in the salt-free zone, play around with the spices and seasonings in your cabinet until you get a feel for the flavors you like. Some seasonings work better than others on certain dishes; for instance, what tastes delicious on seafood may not taste as good on poultry or beef. Here are some of our salt-free go-to’s:

2. Fresh herbs

A handful of fresh herbs can pack a punch of flavor and brightness to just about any dish. Herbs can be used either dried or fresh, though dried herbs are generally quite a bit more strong than fresh herbs. Pro-tip: crush dried herbs in the palm of your hand before adding them to food to release their aromatic oils and enhance the flavor they bring to your cooking! Some of our favorite herbs to add to most dishes include basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, thyme, and rosemary; and the best part is, they’re all packed with antioxidants that fight off illness.

3. Lemon juice or zest

Lemon juice is filled with essential vitamins, and the acidity from the citrus instantly brightens most flavors that are already in the food. Squeeze it on anything from pasta to salads before serving, or add a little fresh zest to a sauce while the dish simmers. Added bonus: lemon is packed with numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system and increased iron absorption. If you’re not a fan of lemons but still want that citrusy flavor, try adding in some lime juice or fresh orange zest to your dish.

4. Onion and garlic

Nothing beats the pungent flavors of onion and garlic – especially when they’re combined! Similar to herbs and spices, aromatics like garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and scallions can seriously boost the flavor of a dish. You can start any meal by sautéing a little in the pan or pot with some olive oil, and your end result is automatically going to taste better. A good rule of thumb is to try adding more than the recipe calls for if you’re leaving out the salt.

5. A splash of vinegar

A handful of fresh herbs can pack a punch of flavor and brightness to just about any dish. Herbs can be used either Like citrus, vinegar can really brighten the flavor of a dish, which is again especially useful if you’re looking without salt. Different kinds of vinegar have different flavor profiles as well — red wine vinegar is sharp and tangy and best for salads or leafy greens while balsamic vinegar is a bit sweeter and richer and works well on most meats. Add a splash to a pan sauce for chicken or toss some roasted vegetables with a little and see which you prefer.

For more recipe ideas and cooking tips, visit our other blogs or check out the rest of our Spices & Seasonings collection!

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