Do you want to reduce the amount of salt that you use in cooking? Or perhaps you've simply forgotten to stock up and need an alternative? Salt is though of as an essential in the kitchen - it is in fact a natural flavour enhancer and eliminating it completely is not advised. But here's a handy guide to choosing table salt alternatives.
Is salt bad for you?
The answer is no. The question to ask yourself is: is too much salt bad for you? And in this case the answer changes. Yes, too much salt is bad for human health. For this reason it must be used wisely and intelligently, considering that many foods are already naturally flavoursome. An alternative is salt substitutes, which are often healthier.
How much salt should you use?
The World Health Organisation recommends the use of no more than 5 grams of salt per day, which corresponds to 2 grams of sodium. In simple terms, you shouldn't intake more than a teaspoon.
Salt substitutes: aromatic herbs
Aromatic herbs are a very valid substitute for salt from a gustatory point of view.
Which ones to choose? Sage offers a very pleasant and intense taste, as does thyme. But other herbs that best replace salt are:
- Dill: sweet aroma and pungent taste
- Rosemary: spicy and refreshing
- Coriander: citrus and spicy flavour
Salt substitutes: spices
In the vast world of spices, we find many substitutes for salt. Starting with smoked paprika which has a pungent and intense flavour. Cinnamon and curry are also excellent, the latter is a mix of spices and not a single spice as many believe.
Salt substitutes: pepper and chilli
Giving dishes a spicy taste is certainly a valid way to reduce or replace salt. Black pepper, with its pungent flavour, pink pepper berries, with their citrus scent, and lastly, chilli pepper, will give your dishes the right kick without having to add too much salt.
Other salt substitutes
Among the other salt substitutes we find gomasio, a mix of toasted white sesame and spices perfect for flavouring vegetables and salads. Nutritional yeast is also excellent, which thanks to its umami flavour recalls that of aged cheese. You can also find flavour in vinegar, and in the sweet and sour notes of the balsamic vinegar, but be careful not to overdo these ingredients.
Other alternatives to salt come from the garden and include dried tomatoes, with an umami, sour and pungent taste; capers that have a strong flavour that can give a boost to raw and cooked dishes; anchovies, which come from the sea with its saltiness, are also excellent when used with vegetables and meat. Finally, two other alternatives to salt are soy sauce, which however contains a lot of sodium, and coconut aminos, a substance obtained from coconut which has a savoury and very decisive flavour.
Find out how to replace salt with the infographic below.