Whether you’re a health guru or just starting to cook for yourself, it’s likely that you have a package of table salt. There are a few reasons why people are straying away from using standard table salt. Some feel that it is too processed, others are concerned about sodium intake, and many people feel that there are better alternatives on the market. While sodium should be consumed in moderation, it is hardly as evil as many paint it to be. In fact, sodium plays an important role in maintaining the body’s hydration levels, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure. Whatever your reason for limiting sodium may be, there are plenty of alternatives that still supply a healthy amount of sodium, but are not table salt. There are spice blends, aromatics, salt-free seasonings, sauces, and fragrant herbs that all will lend their own unique flavor to your cooking. So if you’re looking to ditch the salt shaker, check out these 15 salt alternatives for flavor enhancing and cooking!
The Spice Hunter Chef's Shake Blend
Everyone needs an all-purpose spice blend in their kitchen. One that can act as a salt replacement and can be used in dishes that don’t call for a specific blend of spices, but could still benefit from a boost of flavor. According to a number of reviewers, The Spice Hunter Chef’s Shake Blend, is definitely worth looking into with many describing it as their “go-to spice blend.” It contains many ingredients but is primarily composed of onion, black pepper, garlic, carrots, orange peel, and tomato. Reviewers report using this mix on salads, dinner entrées, and classic breakfast dishes, with many stating it “goes great on everything.” You can get one two-ounce jar of this salt-free blend for a little over $7.
Maine Coast Kelp Granules
Maine Coast Kelp Granules is a salt alternative made from just one ingredient: organic raw kelp. These kelp granules deliver iodine similar to iodized salt, but without as much sodium. Reviewers are reporting that this product adds a nice flavor to dishes, doesn’t taste fishy, and is very versatile, with reviewers adding it on everything from salads to chia puddings. To try it out for yourself, you can get one 1.5-ounce package for about $6.50.
Havista Dried Porcini Mushrooms
According to the manufacturer, Havista Dried Porcini Mushrooms simply need to be rehydrated in hot water to remove any grit before you can add their distinct flavor to your cooking. As for the quality of these mushrooms, they are loved by some reviewers, with comments saying that these mushrooms added great flavor and are very earthy and strong-tasting. However, a few reviewers did not have as pleasant results, stating that the mushrooms were bitter. If you’d like to test it out for yourself, you can get one 1.5-ounce package for a little under $6.
Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is known as a natural preservative and can be a wonderful salt substitute. It also enhances the taste of a spicy food. While you can certainly get fresh lemons from the grocery market, for convenience sake, you can also invest in a product like Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice. This product is comprised of 100 percent natural lemon juice. As reviewers have relayed, this product does not contain any preservatives like many of the lemon juices on grocery shelves do, has a nice lemony flavor that isn’t overly strong, and can be used for marinades, dressings, baking, and essentially anywhere you would use lemon juice. You can get one 16-ounce glass bottle for $9.50.
Spicy World Green Cardamom Pods
Cardamom is a well-known substitute for salt as the taste of it is bold and strong, especially when it is combined with cumin and coriander seeds. Spicy World Green Cardamom Pods can be used in a variety of ways. You can cut open the pods, remove the husks, and grind the pods into a fine powder using a coffee and spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. You can sauté the pods in their entirety on a saucepan with a little bit of oil, or you can simmer the pods in a liquid-y dish like a stew. Reviewers are reporting that these cardamom pods are good quality, extremely aromatic, and very fresh. You can get one 3.5-ounce bag for a little over $6.
Simply Organic Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known, especially in countries like India and other parts of Asia. Cinnamon sticks are a good salt alternative since they have the ability to provide flavor easily, regulate blood sugar level, and even lower cholesterol. Simply Organic Cinnamon Sticks, for example, are organic and kosher. Reviewers are saying this product is fresh-tasting, good quality, and a good size for the price. You can get one 1.3-ounce bottle for about $3.
JADA Spices Chicken Salt
Don’t be alarmed by the chicken silhouette on JADA Spices Chicken Salt, this salt alternative is in fact vegan. Made with sea salt, turmeric, onion powder, and garlic powder, this seasoning is gluten-free, soy-free, and MSG-free. JADA Spices says this can be an alternative to table salt and chicken bouillon. Reviewers are reporting that this seasoning “tastes exactly like chicken bouillon, goes wonderfully on roasted vegetables, and isn’t overly salty. You can get one 4.5-ounce jar for $9.
Mantova Infused Olive Oil Pack
Infused oils are a great way to combine the freshness of herbs with the savory goodness of olive oil. Mantova Infused Olive Oil Pack, for example, comes with four organic extra virgin olive oil bottles infused with the following ingredients: chili, lemon, basil, and garlic. Reviewers are reporting that these oils add a fresh burst of flavor to dishes, are high quality, and are nicely packaged and therefore make for a great gift. That being said, a few reviewers have said that while the flavors of these oils are strong, the oil itself is average quality. If you’d still like to give them a try, you can get this four-pack for about $34.
Spicemode Indian Spice Rub Combo
Add some fragrant Indian spices to your cooking with Spicemode Indian Spice Rub Combo Pack. This variety pack comes with three different varieties of seasoning: Vindaloo Fire made with cumin, peppercorn, and chili flake; Masala Herb made with garlic, lemon, zest and spearmint; and Tandoori Smoke made with paprika, coriander, and cardamom. This gluten-free product is handmade and does not contain any artificial flavors, additives, or preservatives. One reviewer describes the taste as “the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.” The nice packaging doesn’t hurt either. At $30, each artisan jar comes out to about $10.
Mrs H.S. Balls Original Chutney
Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, chutney is a wonderful way to enhance the flavors of a dish, especially curries, without using salt. Mrs. H.S. Ball’s Original Chutney is made from sugar, water, vinegar, peaches, apricots, sulphur dioxide (as a preservative), starch, salt, color, and spices. Reviewers are reporting that this African-made chutney is flavorful, goes well with “almost everything” from potatoes to veggies, and many feel that it may just be the best chutney ever. To see if you feel the same, you can get two 16.6-ounce bottles for $10.25.
Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
While nutritional yeast seasoning is mostly known for providing cheesy flavor to whatever you add it to, which is awesome on its own, what some people might not know is how nutritious this seasoning actually is. For example, just one tablespoon of Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning has three grams of protein, one gram of fiber, and pretty impressive amounts of vitamin B2, B6, B1, B12, thiamine, and zinc. It is also gluten-free, salt-free, and kosher. Reviewers are saying that this product is tasty, healthy, and a great way to sneak vitamins into your meals. You can get one 4.5-ounce container for about $7.
Add a little Latin flare to your cooking with Amy’s Salsa. This salsa has no MSG, no trans fat, no preservatives, and no unpronounceable ingredients and fillers. It comes in mild, medium, and black bean and corn. This particular Amazon posting is for the Medium variety, which is made from organic tomatoes, organic onions, jalapeño peppers, organic cilantro, organic lime juice, sea salt, organic garlic, and spices. Reviewers are saying that this salsa is fresh-tasting, zesty, and nicely textured. You can get one 14.7-ounce jar for a little over $5.50.
Woodstock Farms Sesame Tahini
Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds with a consistency similar to peanut butter. It is used commonly in Mediterranean cooking and can sometimes include salt and sugar. Woodstock Farms Sesame Tahini uses just one ingredient: organic sesame seeds. They also keep the mixture unsalted and sugar-free. Reviewers are reporting that this tahini is flavorful, not too heavy, and a healthy alternative to salted peanut butter. One reviewer also points out that the oil and tahini itself separate, so simply mix them together before using and keep on a cupboard as opposed to the refrigerator. You can get one 16-ounce jar for about $11.
Eden Mirin Rice Cooking WineRice cooking wine has been enjoyed by the Chinese for thousands of years. This cooking liquid is made by a fermentation process involving yeast that transforms the sugars from glutinous rice into alcohol. When products like Eden Mirin Rice Cooking Wine is used, the alcohol evaporates and a wonderful flavor and glaze is left. According to reviewers, there are a lot of imitation mirin products in the U.S. market today, but Eden Mirin is not one of them. Because this naturally-sweet cooking wine is hard to come by, it is a bit on the expensive side at $11 for a ten-ounce bottle, but if you want the authentic stuff, this seems to be one of the few options you have.
McCormick Herbes de Provence
Bring a little bit of France into your kitchen with this blend of herbs that traditionally grow in the region of Provence. McCormick Herbes De Provence has all the usual herbs found in the French blend: thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, basil, fennel seeds, and lavender. Reviewers are reporting that this blend is fragrant, fresh-tasting, and good quality. Just beware, if you’re searching for more reviews before hitting the buy button, know that on Amazon, reviews for all of McCormick products are consolidated, so you’ll have to filter by product. You can get one .65-ounce bottle for about $10.
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