5 Herbs to replace the salt

When it comes to great food, sometimes it’s not about the stars of the show but about the supporting cast – those ingredients that add a depth of fresh and full flavor to the overall creation.

Healthy Food

Q:  My doctor has recommended watching my sodium intake.  What are good herbs to use in place of salt to season dishes?

When it comes to great food, sometimes it’s not about the stars of the show but about the supporting cast, like herbs.  This is especially true when it comes to using herbs to replace some of the salt in your meals.  Herbs and other flavorful supporting ingredients like citrus can help add to the overall flavor of the dish while enhancing the flavors of the various ingredients and helping you to control sodium intake.  

Herb-flavored choices are usually easy to find at restaurants and a good place to start looking for ideas to incorporate herbs into your meals at home.

Some of our favorite herbs to help boost the flavor of your menu choices without adding salt are:

Basil – This bold herb can be found in everything from salads to sandwiches to pasta and pizzas for a classic Italian flavor.

Thyme – This herb comes in several varieties, including lemon and spicy orange.  Whichever variety you choose, thyme is a good addition to dishes like roasted vegetables and is often found at restaurants in chicken dishes.

Dill – This fresh-flavored herb broke out of the pickle jar a long time ago.  Chefs often pair this distinctive herb with ingredients like juicy salmon, sweet roasted carrots or creamy new potatoes to add flavor with less salt.

Chives – Leek’s cousin, chive, often flavors foods such as potatoes, soups and meats as a fresh garnish.

Rosemary – This herb is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking and is often found in breads and pork dishes to add flavor. 

With such a crowd of herbs in markets and on the menu, it’s hard not to include them in every meal.  Try something new today and replace added salt with the vibrant flavors of herbs.  Get started at home with recipes like this Pan-Seared Tilapia with Lemon Chives & Capers from Cuisinicity and this Guiltless Grill Caribbean Salad from Chili’s, or stop by a Healthy Dining restaurant to order a dietitian-recommended menu choice, or even a Sodium Savvy choice.