Food

4 Ways Use Less Salt in Your Recipes

Using less salt in your cooking can be a challenge. Because salt brings out the flavor in food, dishes can sometimes taste more bland when you cut back. 

While there isn’t a direct replacement for salt, you can try other tactics to make flavors pop. Instead of focusing on how you’re leaving something out, think of how you can enhance what you do have. 

Here are four of our favorite ways to enhance flavor, without added salt:

  1. Use citrus: Citrus fruits like lemons or limes work well to make your recipes shine – Rachael loves lemon in just about anything! Try squeezing lemon over freshly roasted veggies or a pasta dish for brighter flavors. Rachael also loves charring or grilling lemons before she adds them to her recipes (Cut in half and place on your hot surface until golden) to caramelize the flavor and add smokiness. Citrus zest also works well, too!
  2. Experiment with vinegars: Like citrus, vinegars are acidic and add big pops of flavor to your dishes. From light champagne vinegars to deep balsamics, they are versatile and affordable ways to punch up your food. Try them in salad dressings, marinades, or even lightly drizzled over bowls of soup.
  3. Toast your spices: Before you cook with spices (especially whole ones like cumin or peppercorns), heat a small, dry, non-stick skillet to medium and add them to the pan. Use a spatula to toss them for a few minutes, until they become even more fragrant. Then, remove from the heat and follow your recipe as written. 
  4. Use kosher salt: This tip works best for simply cutting back. Rachael notes that finer salts (like table salt) slip through your hands more easily, so you might be more likely to add too much. And when you measure table salt in, for example, a teaspoon, there’s actually more in there than if you were using kosher, because it’s ground smaller and is more dense. Science!

Do you have any tips or tricks to add? Share your kitchen secrets with us on Facebook or in the comments below!

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Rachael Ray