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My Quest to Lower Sodium Without Sacrificing Flavor

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Working with school districts to improve their lunch programs while reducing sodium and improving taste may seem like "Mission Impossible". But there are important lessons to be learned that may assist other chefs looking to do the same thing with their own dishes.

I have introduced various USDA standard recipes, and by working with the schools' Foodservice Directors, we have had great success thus far by substituting Diamond Crystal Kosher salt for standard iodized salt. Even though many of these Directors have never used kosher salt for the schools, after I bring a sample and show them the crystal-like flake, texture and let them taste the pure flavor themselves... they love it! It provides a much milder, melt-in-the-mouth feel and tastes so pure because it has no preservatives...it is fabulous!

Has switching from iodized salt to Diamond Crystal kosher salt made a difference? You bet it has! We have been able to reduce the sodium content of most recipes by at least 25%, and in some recipes up to 60% or more. For instance, our schools were getting many student complaints about the bland taste of a kid favorite – "Mac and Cheese". We made three major changes to the recipe:

• Switched from a whole-grain pasta to a tricolored/whole-grain mix
• Made a sauce conversion by adding pureed cottage cheese with fresh herbs
• Replaced iodized salt with Diamond Crystal Kosher salt

This dropped the sodium levels tremendously per 4 oz serving! In addition, Diamond Crystal Kosher salt also has vitamin K, which protects against muscle degeneration – something very important for growing children who are developing their muscles. Best of all, the kids love it and are so happy to have one of their favorites back!

This is just one example of many where switching out iodized salt for Diamond Crystal Kosher salt has made a huge difference in improving taste while reducing sodium levels. One other added bonus is that by substituting Diamond Crystal salt and kicking up the recipes with fresh herbs, we have been able to reduce the fat content of the recipe as well.

This is indeed something to keep in mind as we all set out to create healthful, delicious dishes without sacrificing taste!

Bon Appetite!

Guest Blogger: Chef Idalee
post #2 of 11

A pound of iodized salt has the same sodium content as a pound of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt so if you are lowering the sodium content by switching out types it is because you are actually using less salt. A teaspoon of iodized salt weighs 2240 milligrams, it takes 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal Kosher to hit 2240 milligrams, so at 1 teaspoon you are using 1/2 the salt. Using 1/2 teaspoon of iodized salt would also lower the sodium content the same amount. Just keep in mind that both methods, however, will alter the flavor profile of the finished product.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Janet View Post

Working with school districts to improve their lunch programs while reducing sodium and improving taste may seem like "Mission Impossible". But there are important lessons to be learned that may assist other chefs looking to do the same thing with their own dishes.

I have introduced various USDA standard recipes, and by working with the schools' Foodservice Directors, we have had great success thus far by substituting Diamond Crystal Kosher salt for standard iodized salt. Even though many of these Directors have never used kosher salt for the schools, after I bring a sample and show them the crystal-like flake, texture and let them taste the pure flavor themselves... they love it! It provides a much milder, melt-in-the-mouth feel and tastes so pure because it has no preservatives...it is fabulous!

Has switching from iodized salt to Diamond Crystal kosher salt made a difference? You bet it has! We have been able to reduce the sodium content of most recipes by at least 25%, and in some recipes up to 60% or more. For instance, our schools were getting many student complaints about the bland taste of a kid favorite – "Mac and Cheese". We made three major changes to the recipe:

• Switched from a whole-grain pasta to a tricolored/whole-grain mix
• Made a sauce conversion by adding pureed cottage cheese with fresh herbs
• Replaced iodized salt with Diamond Crystal Kosher salt

This dropped the sodium levels tremendously per 4 oz serving! In addition, Diamond Crystal Kosher salt also has vitamin K, which protects against muscle degeneration – something very important for growing children who are developing their muscles. Best of all, the kids love it and are so happy to have one of their favorites back!

This is just one example of many where switching out iodized salt for Diamond Crystal Kosher salt has made a huge difference in improving taste while reducing sodium levels. One other added bonus is that by substituting Diamond Crystal salt and kicking up the recipes with fresh herbs, we have been able to reduce the fat content of the recipe as well.

This is indeed something to keep in mind as we all set out to create healthful, delicious dishes without sacrificing taste!

Bon Appetite!

Guest Blogger: Chef Idalee

Hmmmmm......Let's see......six mentions of a name brand salt.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Janet View Post
 
 It provides a much milder, melt-in-the-mouth feel and tastes so pure because it has no preservatives...it is fabulous!

 

Why would salt contain preservatives? It *is* a preservative.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Diamond Crystal salt weighs 50% less than iodized. You cannot compare liquid volume to solid volume and although a "pint" is a pound the world around, it is the volume of that item that makes the difference. For example, a pound of water(liquid) will take up less space than a pound of rocks(solid). A pound of butter will take up less space than a pound of Rice Krispies cereal. Hence, although a pound of Diamond Crystal salt is a bigger crystal than iodized, it's weight is 1/2 the volume of iodized. It is a purer salt with regards to flavor profile and healthier in that you do not need to use as much in a recipe to achieve the flavor, grain, or texture as iodized. I hope this is helpful.
post #6 of 11

Set up 2 (1 cup) measures of water. Put a teaspoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt in one. Put a teaspoon of iodized salt in the other. Bring both to a simmer. Cool. Taste. Evaluate for yourself.

 

Take a tablespoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt and put it in a spice grinder. Grind and then measure the amount of teaspoons of salt.

 

The sodium content of a tablespoon of Crystal Diamond Kosher salt will be 1/2 as much as the sodium content of a tablespoon of spice grindered Crystal Diamond Kosher salt.

 

Why do you say that you can't compare liquid volume to solid volume. Volume is volume. A cup of water is a cup. A cup of rocks is a cup. A cup of air is a cup. Weight is weight. Same scenario with water, rocks, air. Weight and volume are not interchangeable.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Good catch! In saying ‘preservatives’, chef Idalee mis-spoke--or mis-wrote. it should have used the word ‘additives’. And of course you are absolutely correct: salt is a preservative. Thanks for paying attention.
Janet
post #8 of 11

Why not buy non iodized salt and skip the more expensive kosher stuff.?? When using iodized the iodine had a flavor.

Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #9 of 11

i use himalayan rock salt in everything at home. The same for the restaurant, but i also use a local salt from the murray river in australia. I have no idea of the sodium levels in himalayan rock salt, but i know it's packed full of minerals and has no preservatives.

post #10 of 11
I am in the UK. You can buy low sodium salt in supermarkets and Booker's wholesale catering suppliers.
post #11 of 11
I'm british. I've never used kosher salt. I use Maldon Sea Salt And fleur de sel.
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