Doable Challenge: Cut the Salt in Your Condiments

In the weeks since we started July’s Doable Challenge: Slash the Sodium, I’ve challenged you to use herbs and spices and citrus and vinegars in place of extra salt and also invited you to join me in choosing lower- sodium canned goods. Now I want to talk about condiments, which can be a sneaky source of excess sodium in one’s diet. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the salt in your favorite condiments. Here are a few, below, to help you join me in choosing a condiment or two to de-salt this week. Mayonnaise: Since store-bought mayo tends to be high in sodium, Jessica Goldman Foung, creator of Sodium Girl and author of Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook: How to Lose the Salt and Eat the Foods You Love, says she often substitutes tangy Greek-style yogurt. You can also make own mayo, which allows you to control the added salt. Or use a creamy spread that’s naturally low in sodium, such as hummus or other bean spreads (made with low-sodium canned beans or ones you cooked yourself), Carrot and Yogurt Sauce, or some mashed avocado. Ketchup: As Foung notes in her cookbook, there’s not much more to ketchup than tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and pepper, so there’s no reason it has to be loaded with sodium, as many store-bought ketchups are. Try Epi’s Homemade Ketchup recipe, using low-sodium canned tomatoes and tomato paste, and you’re in business. Mustard: The good news with mustard is that you can make it yourself in about two seconds with zero salt, simply by mixing mustard powder, such as Colman’s, with water. With just a bit more effort, you can make Homemade Mustard or Hirsheimer’s Hot and Sweet Mustard (pictured). Hot Sauce and Salsa: While store-bought versions of both of these condiments tend to be high in sodium, they actually require very little salt when you make your own. So search Epi’s database for salsa recipes and simply omit or cut down on the added salt, or use chopped chiles and a bit of vinegar or citrus in place of hot sauce. Soy Sauce: The first step here is to replace regular soy sauce with a reduced-sodium version. But since even reduced-sodium soy sauce is high in sodium, Foung recommends replicating the umami flavor that soy sauce provides with other umami-rich ingredients, such as mushrooms and garlic. Appearance and mouthfeel also come into play in dishes like her Tamarind Teriyaki Chicken Skewers in which the color and viscosity of soy-based teriyaki sauce are mimicked with a sauce that includes tamarind paste, brown sugar, molasses, and rice vinegar.

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