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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Celebrate More Herbs - Less Salt Day! - August 29th

Dear Folks,

August 29th is More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Let me first say that salt (or fat) is not a bad thing, it is how we use it that comes into question.

The prosperity of post World War II began a succession of ‘time saving’ services and products which were mostly a good thing, but literally and figuratively took us away from our roots of having a small kitchen garden or herb pot out side the back door.  Entire generations followed, hooked on salt substituting for taste through frozen TV dinners, fast food, and prepared meals in a box.

Very simply, if you season first with herbs and spices you will get the real taste of the food popping in your mouth.  Then if you need to add salt, do so but to taste, not recipe.

There are exceptions.  Most starchy cooked or baked foods (like bread or pasta) need some salt, but even there you can try halving the salt and substituting herbs and spices which will really make the flavor stand out.

Like baked potatoes (Russet or Sweet)?  Try this the next time you are going to bake, roast or grill them.

Have ready a fresh lemon cut in half and finely minced rosemary (fresh or dried - fresh is best if you have it).

Cut open the cooked potato, sprinkle with the lemon juice, follow with a sprinkle of rosemary and taste - you may not miss the butter or salt this tastes so good!

Not sure what herbs or spices to use with what food?

Here is a simple tip.

Your nose is a gate way of determining ultimate flavor (sense of smell and taste differs from person to person) – put a small amount of an herb or spice in the palm of your hand.   Rub and sniff.  If you like it add another, and rub together, sniff again and determine if you like the combination.  You can stop with each separately or continue to add a couple more different herbs/spices to create your very own ‘go to’ blend for everything.  Trust me, if you do not like the smell of an herb or spice you may not like the taste, but if it smells good to you it will taste good on your food.

My personal “go to” flavor combinations are:

Rosemary, garlic and black pepper

Lime, basil and black pepper.

The picture is of three different types of basil - possibly the most loved herb in the whole world, literally.  From top to bottom - Sweet Italian, Lime (really, it has the scent and taste of lime with a light basil flavor) and Thai an incredible combination of basil and tarragon flavor.

Make this day your personal creating day to add more flavor and less salt to your meals.  Your family and you will benefit all the way around.

More Herbs, Less Salt Day = Happy Cooking!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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