Herbs for Salt Substitute

snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)December 22, 2006

My doctor has put me on a low salt diet for my blood pressure. I have heard that there are many herbs and spices that can be used as a salt substitute. Marjoram is one that I have tried that seems to work well on some things. Does anyone have any suggestions for others?

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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

There really isn't a substitute for salt, but since many people find no-salt diets very bland (for a few days!), herbs will give that little bit of extra flavour you'll be looking for. Give it a week or so, and you won't need anything but the natural flavour of food, which is wonderful! You don't have to stick like glue to the recipes below. Basically, just select which herbs you like, and wing it.

Herbal Salt Substitute (1)
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup dried savory
1/4 cup dried savory
1/4 cup dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried marjoram

Grind all ingredients together.

Herbal Salt Substitute (2)
3 tablespoons dried basil
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
3 tablespoons dried parsley
3 tablespoons dried thyme
4 1/2 teaspoons dried chives
2 1/2 teaspoons dried paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

Grind all ingredients together.

Bouquet Garni
Tie the herbs together securely at the stalk end with the twine or thread. Immerse in the cooking liquid. Remove before serving.Use to flavour soups, stews, casseroles.

(1) parsley, bay, sage

(2) parsley, mint, chives

(3) parsley, fennel, thyme, bay

(4) parsley, tarragon, bay, chives

(5) parsley, lemon thyme, bay, savory

(6) parsley, lovage, marjoram, bay

(7) parsley, rosemary, sage

(8) thyme, rosemary, oregano, bay

(9) fennel, dill, bay

Fines Herbes
1 sprig fresh parsley, minced
1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced
1 sprig fresh chervil, minced
1 fresh chives, minced

Combine all ingredients. Use in vegetable soups, potatoes, butters. Add 2 recipes of this to 1 cup of unsalted butter. Blend and use on potatoes, rice, pasta, fish, or bread.

Herb and Flower Blend
4 cups finely flaked dried lovage or celery leaves or mixture of both
4 cups finely flaked dried parsley
2 cups dried chives
handful each of dried chive flowers and calendula petals
1/2 cup pulverized dill
1/2 cup pulverized dried vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, or onions)

Mix all ingredients together.

Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon lavender flowers
1/2 teaspoon oregano or basil
1/4 teaspoon sage

Combine all ingredients. Add some to butter, to soups, on potatoes, on rice, pasta, fish and bread. Rub some on an oiled chicken and roast as usual. Cut up red, yellow and green capsicums, eggplant, zucchini, squash, leeks (shallots or any onion) into bite sized pieces. Pour a little olive oil over and sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Stir to mix the oil and herbs evenly. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes.

Herb Mixture for Beef Dishes
3 tablespoons dried summer savory, or 2 tablespoons winter savory
3 tablespoons dried basil
3 tablespoons marjoram
3 tablespoons dried parsley
3 tablespoons dried chervil

Crush all the leaves together, mix well, and bottle tightly. Use 1 teaspoon of the mixed herbs as flavouring.

Herb Mixture for Pork Dishes
3 tablespoons dried summer savory, or 2 tablesoons 3 tablespoons dried basil winter savory
3 tablespoons dried sage
3 tablespoons dried rosemary

Crush all the leaves together, mix well, and bottle tightly. Use 1 teaspoon of the mixed herbs as flavouring.

Vegetable Blend
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1 1/2 teaspoons dried red chilli flakes

Combine all ingredients. Use in stirfries with a little lemon juice, or on any cooked vegetables, especially carrots, green beans or snow peas.

Aromatic Seasoning Mixture
Pound together in a mortar:
30g nutmeg
30g cloves
60g mace
60g peppercorns
30g dried bay leaves
90g basil
90g marjoram
60g winter savory
90g thyme
15g cayenne pepper
15g grated lemon rind
2 cloves garlic

Push through a fine wire sieve and store in dry bottles.

Poultry Seasoning Mix
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients.

Quatre Epices (Parisian Spice Mix)
Combine
1 part ground nutmeg
1 part ground ginger
1 part ground cloves
2 parts ground white pepper

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:10PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Daisy,

Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 10:03AM
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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

Thanks so much Daisy. That's just what I was looking for.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 12:19PM
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justaguy2(5)

The recipes are terrific, but for those not looking to grow or buy all their own I have noticed recently that the spice/seasoning section of the local grocery is stocking herb blends and they are sold in disposable, clear grinders.

Kind of a neat idea, particularly when in a hurry and one wants the zip of some herbal goodness.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 3:22PM
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lori_londonuk(zone 8-9)

Not a herb, but a touch of lemon juice is supposed to make it easier to taste the natural salt in food. I empathise as I have been cooking low-salt foods for my husband in order to lower his blood pressure. Finely chopped shallots are also said to be useful. You do adjust to the difference in taste after a while: one day you'll eat something not cooked by yourself and find it overly salty.

Check with any herb/spice blends whether salt is added, by the way... with some shop-bought seasonings it sometimes is, which defeats the object. Many will be fine, you just need to make sure.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 7:55AM
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digit(ID/WA)

Bob, I agree with the others here - - avoiding salt will get easier the longer you stay away from it.

I have been in the same situation as Lori except for different genders. My wife shouldn't find it difficult to avoid salt since I can do it voluntarily.

What seems to me to be the best herb for unsalted dishes is cilantro. Its flavor can be wonderfully enhanced with green onions, a couple sprigs of mint, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Steve

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:23PM
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sdrawkcab(7)

if you like spicy stuff, find a good low or no sodium hot sauce and you can put it on everything from eggs to pasta to add a zing.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 9:44AM
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tetrazygia

Garlic and salt may not taste alike, but at least for me extra garlic makes up for lost flavor in low-sodium foods. And, of course, the more spices the better :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 1:02AM
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amazon(6)

Good food dosn't need salt, it only hides the flavor of the food. But if you need more flavor go with the stronger spices, red pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme. Be careful with hot sauces most are loaded with salt.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 2:03PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Recently, doctors are now aware that salt really doesn't affect blood pressure very much. Excesses will increase calcium output, and that can cause a rise in BP. Avoid ptoassium chloride, for two reasons, 1, its terrible tasting and 2 its dangerous to have high levels of potassium as your heart can stop. Most everything you buy has added salt. MSG is a substitute that can help some, as its not the same kind of sodium base. But MSG has an effect on some people too, so it should be used sparingly. Mrs. Dash has a few salt free spice blends that offer some decent flavor. To make your own garlic salt, buy a big container of granulated garlic from Costo or BJ's or other club, and add your own amount of salt, like 10 parts garlic to 1 part fine salt. The result is very low salt and lots more garlic flavor. Adding granulated onion also helps, as does good paprika. But now we are starting to het into the low/no salt spice/herb blends. Sea salt, higher in necessary minerals is usually a bit better for you compared to regular refined salt. If you live near oceans, don't use any salt that also contains iodine.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:46AM
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WATKISRASHELLE_YAHOO_COM

SEND MORE INFORMATION TO ME

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:07AM
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cog_yahoo_com

ksrogers wrote, "Recently, doctors are now aware that salt really doesn't affect blood pressure very much."

Not only is this flat-out wrong, it is dangerous and irresponsible to post in response to someone who indicates their doctor has put them on a low salt diet for [elevated] blood pressure."

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:25PM
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