Creating a healthier menu can be a challenge, but not impossible. Creative flair and innovation with the use of reduced salt products and naturally low salt, flavour rich ingredients like herbs and spices, easily give you the lower salt edge allowing you to design recipes that tick all the boxes for your health conscious customers.
CONSIDER THESE TIPS:
Change your techniques
- Increase the acidity in a dish to replace some or all of the salt. A small amount of lemon juice, vinegar, tomato juice or reduced wine will balance and enliven other flavours, without registering as sour or acidic on the tongue.
- Brown or caramelize foods to boost flavour without the addition of salt.
- Try oven-roasting vegetables with olive oil or fruit salsas to serve over meat or fish.
Enlist the help of your ingredients
- Take advantage of seasonal offerings and make them abundant on the plate. Peak-season fruit and vegetables are the most flavourful.
- If you use frozen, canned or other prepared foods, investigate lower sodium, reduced sodium, or no-salt-added versions.
- Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some sodium before serving.
Select your method
- Instead of steaming fish, try pan-frying it with a small amount of oil. That all-important Maillard reaction between sugars and proteins always works to build flavour.
- Other cooking techniques that add lots of flavour include braising, grilling and roasting.
- Most people are familiar with the technique of marinating proteins to add flavour, but vegetables can also be marinated. This really helps layer on the flavour.
- Lock in flavour with sous vide, the technique of cooking ingredients in a vacuum-sealed pouch, usually for a long time at a low temperature.
- Use precious specialty ingredients like truffle oil to finish a dish. Before serving meat or potatoes, drizzle on some nut oil for a robust addition that will hit the taste buds first.
Good to know
- People who smoke are less sensitive to salt than those who don’t smoke. If you or members of your kitchen staff are smokers, caution them against using a heavy hand with the salt shaker.