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Tips and Techniques


Salt

Imagine that it's a flavor conductor for your food symphony. Salt not only has its own flavor, it amplifies the flavors of the foods it's sprinkled on. It's the most universally used seasoning in the kitchen. But that's not to say you should use the salt shaker with abandon. Salt is our main source of sodium, a mineral that plays crucial role in the body regulating fluids and blood pressure. But too much sodium may cause high blood pressure.

Your body only needs 500 milligrams of sodium each day. Yet most Americans eat a whopping 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams a day. Sodium is a frequent ingredient in processed foods, especially convenience foods, so always read the food label to learn the sodium content. The American Dietetic Association, one of FoodFit's resource associations, says to aim for 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day. The government guideline is the same. To get an idea of what that means, a teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium.


Salt Tidbits



If you accidentally oversalt a dish when you're cooking, toss a raw potato into the pot. It will save the day by absorbing the saltiness.



Always add a small amount of salt when you're making a dessert to draw out the sweetness of the sugar. Most recipes will call for it but some mousses and soufflés don't because it's considered understood that the cook will add pinch of salt.



Add salt when you start cooking so it has a chance to blend in and draw out the flavors of the foods. If you wait until the end, dinner will just taste salty. This method doesn't apply to cooking beans or grains.


Season each part of your dish to taste as you prepare it. That way the final product is more likely to please your palate.
Sea salt and kosher salt blend faster and better than table salt.


Worth Their Salt

Iodized Salt
Table salt with iodine, which is removed during processing, added back for nutritional reasons.
 
Kosher Salt
A chef's darling because it's easy to pinch. It looks like salt shavings. Kosher salt is additive- free and the taste is milder than other salts.
 
Sea Salt
It comes from sea water that's evaporated into crystals by wind and sun. Because of its high mineral content, it has a complex, saltier taste than other varieties.
Table Salt
Refined, fine grain salt that has chemicals added to keep it from clumping or otherwise being affected by the weather.
 
 

 

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