This Will Change How You Cook Your Favorite Meals!
Exquisitely packaged gourmet artisanal salts have gained quite a bit of popularity over the last ten years and for good reason!
The addition of these multi-colored and flavored salts adds a whole new dimension to many of our “old standby” recipes. They even inspire us to create new and exciting dishes just so we can accent them with our newly purchased blend! And all of this kitchen creativity is great, except for the fact that these gourmet salts come with a high price tag and often contain unwanted ingredients that can have a detrimental effect on your health. Solution? Make your own!
A few reasons why you should make your own Flavor-Infused Salt:
- Much less expensive than the store bought.
- You can be assured that you are getting only sea salt and natural flavorings, and no anti-caking agents such as sodium aluminosilicate, or synthetic iodine.
- You can choose the variety of salt; just be sure to choose an all natural unprocessed variety.
Courser salts work best due to their texture and appearance. Himalayan Pink and Celtic Sea Salts are great options and come with health benefits to boot! Both contain trace minerals which are important for metabolic functions in the body and maintaining proper immune, adrenal, and thyroid function. (For additional information be sure to read The Truth About Sea Salt.)
Flavors: Anything goes! Think fresh herbs, spices, citrus peels, tea leaves, dehydrated vegetables.
Flavor enhancers must be dried and ground, flaked or finely chopped.
Here are two methods for drying fresh herbs and citrus peels:
- Air drying: Remove any dirt from fresh herbs by shaking and then gently wash and remove any wilted leaves. Dry them as best as you can to prevent mold and mildew. Tie the stems together with string and hang the bouquet upside down in a dark, warm, dry, well-ventilated place. They can be covered with a paper bag as long as there is enough room for air to circulate. Allow the leaves to dry until they crumble to the touch, approximately 2-4 weeks. Store dried herbs in an airtight container.
- Oven drying: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread herbs evenly over paper. Citrus peels from lemons, limes, and oranges can be grated or thinly sliced and placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in a 150 degree oven and keep the oven door slightly ajar. Herbs are done when they crumble to the touch, 1-3 hours. Store in an airtight container.
Once dry, flavor enhancers can be crushed or ground in a spice grinder or by using a mortar and pestle.
Store flavored salt in an airtight container. (Small glass spice jars are very inexpensive and can be found in most kitchen stores.) It is best to allow the infused salt to sit for at least a day before using. May be stored for up to 6 months.
Infused salts are a great compliment to salads, soups, raw and steamed vegetables. They can also be used as a rub when grilling vegetables, fish or poultry. Try sprinkling some on a freshly made batch of organic popcorn to give it a real flavor boost!
Here are a few suggestions:
- Citrus infused: 1/4 cup salt + 1 tsp. lemon peel + 1 tsp. orange peel. (Great with fish, chicken, and vegetables. Can even be used to line a margarita glass!)
- Chili lime infused: 1/4 salt + 1 tsp. dried lime zest + 1 tsp. red pepper flakes. (Gives corn on the cob a real kick!)
- Rosemary citrus infused: 1/4 cup salt + 1 tsp. dried rosemary + 1 tsp. dried lemon zest. (Use as a rub for grilled chicken.)
- Basil infused: 1/4 cup salt + 1-2 tsp. dried basil. (Amazing sprinkled over a freshly sliced tomato!)
- Lavender infused: 1/4 cup salt + 1-2 tsp. dried lavender. (Who doesn’t love a little salted dark chocolate? Add a hint of lavender and it becomes a dessert to savor!)
- Flavor combinations are limitless! Use your imagination and be sure to let us know what you come up with!
Have fun making your own Infused Salt!