Regardless if you used a lot of salt in your food or just sparingly, salt contributes flavor. However, if you need to eliminate salt from your recipes, then you know how bland food can suddenly taste. Therefore, here are some ideas on how to flavor homemade soup when trying to eliminate sodium from your diet that can help.
To get maximum flavor from the fresh vegetables that you may have just thrown in to soup once browning the onions and garlic, you might try roasting those vegetables. The reason roasting those fresh vegetables instead of just adding to the soup as it starts to cook is because the heat caramelizes the sugars in the vegetables for a sweeter and more pronounced flavor.
Start making a soup base from scratch using water instead of prepared broth or bouillon cubes that contain an abundance of salt. Using water may take more time than breezing through with seasoned broth or bouillon cubes, but the flavor can be remedied with vegetables, herbs, etc.
Canned vegetables or canned beans that you might typically have thrown into your soup have an abundance of sodium. Yet, you can also drain and then rinse those vegetables or canned beans thoroughly first to get rid of some of the sodium. According to a study at the University of Tennessee’s food science and technology department cited in Today’s Dietitian, it was shown that draining the water alone from canned beans for instance will eliminate 36% of the sodium. Nonetheless, if you go a step further and drain and then rinse with water, you can remove 41% of that salt.
Using some citrus can help fool the taste buds. Try replacing the salt with half the amount of lemon, orange or lime juice instead. What this does is brighten up the flavor to enhance the taste.
Dried herbs and spices are convenient, but you can get much more flavor using fresh herbs and spices. When you’re trying to eliminate as much sodium from your daily life, you may be surprised at how something like double the amount of fresh basil can do to perk up a bland soup.
Speaking of dried herbs and spices, they still can contribute flavor as long as they are still within their shelf life. Otherwise, they can lose a good portion of their flavor. This is why you need to check expiration dates or toss ones that you had a few years.
Utilize cayenne pepper and hot sauce adds some spicy heat that can also improve the flavor of salt-free soup. At the same time, cayenne benefits the digestive system and helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Still, you may have been thinking of buying a salt replacement such as NoSalt among others that have potassium chloride, which can mimic the taste of salt. You need to be careful and check with your doctor first if you are on medications, especially for your heart or kidneys. The reason is some heart medications may be ones such as potassium-sparing diuretics that could cause an excess that could lead to heart palpitations or dangerous heart arrhythmia. Likewise, someone with chronic kidney problems also may not be able pass excess potassium from that source as well.
Though you may miss that flavor of salt at first, these tips that I shared will definitely help make that transition easier. Do you have any tricks for making healthy, low-sodium soup? If so, please share in the comments.
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