5 Ways To Add Flavor To Low Sodium Meals

Cravings can sabotage your best efforts to prepare satisfying low-sodium menus. Worry not, though! Try using these techniques to keep a watchful eye on sodium intake without sacrificing taste.

Fresh Herbs

Lean on fresh herbs to add a depth of flavor. For best results, toss herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, and mint into salads, use them to garnish pastas, or stir them into soups and stews before serving. You can even combine them with citrus and olive oil to make a gremolata!

Dried Herbs (and hardy fresh herbs)

Whereas fresh leafy herbs add an immediate burst of flavor, dried herbs and hardier varieties of fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, lemongrass) release their true potential once cooked. Wonderful additions to soups, stews, or roasted meats, they can also be infused in oils for finishing dishes. Many pre-made herb blends contain hidden sodium, so making your own ensures better flavor and lower sodium!

Spice It Up

Spice isn’t just about heat—it’s first and foremost about flavor. Heavyweights in the spice division, cinnamon and nutmeg, along with fennel and coriander seeds, are all fragrant, aromatic spices that add flavor without heat.

But Sometimes Spice is Nice…

A zing to the senses, fresh ginger is a hallmark in Asian cuisines, adding flavor and a soft undercurrent of heat. If you’re looking for something stronger, fresh chilies such as jalapeño, poblano, or serrano will wake up your taste buds.

Add Acid

The acid in vinegar does double duty by tenderizing tougher, longer cooking cuts of meat (such as brisket, short ribs, or pork butts), and by adding intense flavor to sauces. This same principle applies to citrus. Marinate tofu, poultry and pork in lemon and orange-based dressings before grilling, roasting or pan sautéing. Orange pairs particularly well with beef and is popular in Asian stir-fries.