What’s the best way to use up an abundance of summer vegetables? Pizza, obviously. And in as much time as it takes to order delivery, you can make a summer pie that’s bursting with flavor and able to satisfy hungry guests. Bonus points: This pie is gluten-free, meat-free and dairy-free too. So what’s the trick?
Tag: low sodium
Let’s talk a little about low-sodium pickles. It turns out that a lot of what our taste buds (and our hot dogs) expect is not just the salty lick of the brine, but the tangy kick of the acid. Which means, with the right ingredients and strong spices, you can make a low-sodium pickle (or relish!) that meets palate approval.
Ever wondered what that “high-fiber” cereal is actually providing in the way of fiber? (And is it less impressive than the box labeled “fiber-rich”?) Or ever considered how many calories are in a “low-calorie” sports drink?
In order for a food company to splash words like “high in fiber” across its packaging, the product must adhere to specific guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also regulates claims at the other end of the spectrum: Foods that boast being “low in” or “free” of something (such as sodium), must also meet requirements. Here’s a cheat sheet of what’s behind the buzzwords.
If you’re searching for a side dish that cools things off and heats them up at the same time, this is the recipe. Two star ingredients of the warm-weather months, corn and watermelon, take a zingy turn with the help of traditional street-corn chili-powder seasoning and a quick pickle. With just a few minutes of prep work, you’ll create a colorful salad that highlights the sweet flavors of watermelon and corn, all balanced by a spicy surprise. Also nice: The salad offers a refreshing counterpoint to traditional barbecue fare.
As blood pressure and health care costs for chronic disease continue to rise, the Food and Drug Administration is preparing to issue new guidelines on sodium. Americans currently take in about 3,400 milligrams (or 1½ teaspoons) of salt each day, a number well above the 2,300 milligrams per day (or 1 teaspoon) recommended upper limit. By advising food companies and restaurants to reduce sodium level in foods, the FDA hopes to lower the incidence of high blood pressure, strokes and other medical problems.
Talks of salt reduction have been swirling since 2010. Although the new salt guidelines were originally slated for release in 2013, the FDA told the Associated Press this week that the agency will be ready to issue the guidelines “relatively soon.” The FDA’s limits on sodium are expected to be voluntary, yet many food companies and retailers are planning to or have already cut back on salt in their products. Food giant ConAgra says it has already made a 20 percent reduction, while Walmart plans on slashing sodium by 25 percent in many products by next year. Subway restaurants have also claimed a 30 percent salt reduction in the chain’s offerings.
Summer is a perfect time to experiment with one of the best flavor boosters beyond the spice rack: fire.
Grills, of course, are great for burgers, chicken and hot dogs. But hot grates also bring out something special in fruits and vegetables, lending a smoky essence (and some sexy grill marks!) to everything they touch. And much like salt, a little heat releases the mouth-watering scent of ingredients, enhancing the flavor of a dish without the extra sodium.
So while you have the kebab skewers out, have some fun. Here, a Caprese salad gets a low-sodium twist with grill-friendly paneer in place of the usual, saltier mozzarella. Just thread everything on a stick, and then head to the barbie.
With spring in swing, it’s the time to welcome warm weather but also a bounty of new ingredients — like spicy radishes, buttery lettuces and beans and sweet peas. Which means you can give your spice rack a break and make natural flavors the star of the meal. And this month I’m excited to highlight a recipe that puts some of April’s arrivals to good use.
In this Easter and Passover-worthy salad, fennel, endive, mint and lamb provide all of the seasoning you need — no salt necessary. Fennel offers an herbaceous, licorice-like taste. The endive brings a welcome bitterness. The juicy lamb provides a natural salty kick. And a little fresh mint, lemon juice and olive oil add the right touch of sweet and sour to balance it all out.
For those on low-sodium diets, here’s a tasty trick: Grab some citrus. Just like a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange will perk up any ingredient from leafy greens to proteins, not to mention grab the attention of your taste buds. And while you might not expect it, these fruits are at their best and brightest during winter, so now is still the perfect time to play with their tangy flash of flavor.
Did you know that about 10-15% of the population is salt sensitive? That means when those folks eat too much salt, their blood pressure rises. Excessive salt intake is also a contributing factor to heart disease. Because we can’t usually pinpoint who exactly has a salt sensitivity, you may not even know you’re at risk for high blood pressure. To play it safe, pay close attention to where sodium lurks in your diet.