Fresh Ingredients

More herbs! Less salt!

Believe it or not, there’s a holiday for that! Join us, August 29 to celebrate More Herbs, Less Salt day! Seriously. It’s a thing.

Here’s why.

If you’re like most Americans, you’re consuming twice the amount of sodium recommended each day, according to the American Heart Association.

While our bodies need a small amount of salt, too much can lead to serious medical problems such as high blood pressure, kidney disease or stroke. It is recommended that we consume no more than 1,5000 mg of salt per day.

Using herbs in your home-cooked meals, though, can help bridge the flavor divide between salt and no salt.

Think about it this way – reduce salt (not eliminate salt) to add flavor.

“Herbs do not replace salt,” said Beth Haskell, Owner of Kelsick Specialty Market. “You can enhance the flavors, but you cannot cut salt totally out and expect to have the same flavor profile. Moderation is definitely the key when it comes to salt.”

Beth believes in using herbs to enhance the flavors of the meals they cook and freeze in their very own kitchen at Kelsick and planted a garden to grow natural, organic herbs.

Their garden (complete with a rain barrel) contains thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, chives, lemon balm, sage and three varieties of basil. In addition to growing herbs for their own use, Kelsick sells an abundance of dried herbs and infused oils.

So how and where do you add the herbs?

Beth loves adding rosemary to pork or lamb. She also enjoys a mixed salad made from whatever herbs are available in her garden, chopped up and tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and oil and vinegar.

Looking for other ways to use herbs in your own meals? Check out these flavor profiles and what herbs work well to compliment the cuisine.

For Asian cuisine: Bay leaves, chilies, cilantro, coriander seeds, curry powder, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass lime, mint, red pepper flakes and turmeric.

For Chinese cuisine: Five-spice powder, fresh ginger, garlic, low-sodium tamari, mirin or sweet rice wine and rice vinegar.

For French cuisine: Basil, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

For Greek cuisine: Bay leaves, citrus (such as lemon), rosemary and thyme.

For Indian cuisine: Cardamom seeds, chiles, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder, garlic, ginger, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, saffron, sesame seeds and turmeric.

For Italian cuisine: Basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley and tarragon.

For Latin cuisine: Chiles, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin seeds, oregano and sesame seeds.

For Middle Eastern cuisine: Allspice, cilantro, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, marjoram, mint, oregano and sesame seeds.

For Moroccan cuisine: Cilantro, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, mint, red pepper flakes, saffron and turmeric.

Sources:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/About-Sodium-Salt_UCM_463416_Article.jsp

http://www.familycircle.com

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