Salt Life: My 5 Favorite Salts and How I Use Them
This blog post is overwhelmingly inspired by my love for salt. If you're slightly taken aback by this comment, I'm not surprised. We hear a lot about the dangers of too much sodium and limiting salt intake. And first, I want to point out that diets high in processed food do contain a great deal of sodium. According to the CDC, 90% of Americans consume too much salt. This is based on a recommended daily serving of 2,300 mg per day for adults.
Here's the thing...when you have a well-balanced mostly plant-based diet, incorporating salt can be the perfect way to add essential nutrients into your recipes. The amazing taste of different salts is a great way to experiment in your cooking. Salt can also be used in other ways, soaking salts like Epsom are great for your skin and can help relax achy muscles after a long day. Below I've listed my five favorite salts and how I use them.
- Sel Gris Du Paludier Sel Marin Naturel de Guerande Recolte a la Main (Gathered by hand)
- Why I love it: This salt is absolutely my favorite for cooking. It absorbs well and has a wonderful flavor. A little goes a long way. I find that it is easy to over salt with this kind so add a little and taste test before adding more. This is also a perfect salt to use in baking, I find that it gives a wonderful balance to sweetness. What's great about this salt is that it also contains other essential nutrients. You may notice that this salt seems slightly damp, it's a trademark of this salt.
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- Why I love it: You have probably seen this around if you already aren't using it. It is amazing for cooking and has lots of health benefits. The pink and red colors throughout come from the different mineral and iron content. Interestingly, Himalayan sea salt has less sodium than table salt per serving. It contains minerals such as sodium chloride and sulphate, magnesium, calcium and potassium (plus, many more!). Use it for cooking or if you have large amounts---drop 1/2 cup in a warm bath for a good soak!
- Kosher Salt
- Why I love it: Kosher Salt should be a staple in your kitchen. I keep a small bowl near my stove for cooking. I like to keep it handy at all times. It is a large grain salt that has a light taste and is perfect for seasoning any food. This salt is also perfect for rimming your margarita glass. Add spices like habanero or jalapeno for an added kick.
- Smoked Sea Salt
- Why I love it: If you haven't tried smoked sea salt, you must. It really is amazing the flavor that comes out of just a pinch added to a meal. Sprinkle it on your favorite dishes as a final touch and your guests will be wondering what you added!
- Epsom Salt
- Why I love it: Technically not a salt, BUT it is called Epsom Salt so I'm including it. It is actually a compound of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate can both be absorbed through the skin, so when added to a warm bath it helps alleviate muscle soreness and reduces inflammation. This one has so many uses, foot soaks, natural exfoliant, and can even be used around the house for cleaning. I love to put 1-2 cups in a bath after a long workout or add about 1/2 a cup to equal parts coconut milk and exfoliate my skin.
- Bonus: Rochelle Salt
- Recently I learned of Rochelle Salt. And technically it is not a favorite because I haven't used it (though it is probably an ingredient in some products I use). But, I wanted to include it because, well, my name is Rochelle, and it actually has a pretty neat history. It is named after the port city in France, La Rochelle. Rochelle salt is a combination of cream of tartar and sodium carbonate. Known by other names such as Polychreste salt and Seignette's salt. This salt has piezoelectric properties---basically when a crystal of the salt is pressed it creates electricity---awesome.
- My Real Favorite: As my amazing partner's nickname is Salt, he really is my favorite. He's perfect to have with me at any meal, and always spices up my life.
I hope you learned a bit today, and are excited to venture into the world of salts and find your favorites. Leave comments below telling me about how you use salts, and your favorites.