More Herbs Less Salt Day August 29th 2023, History, Celebrate and Cooking

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More Herbs Less Salt Day August 29th 2023, History, Celebrate and Cooking

More Herbs Less Salt Day August 29th 2023, History, Celebrate and Cooking

“More Herbs, Less Salt Day” is an observance that promotes the use of herbs as a flavorful alternative to salt in cooking. High salt consumption can lead to health issues like hypertension and heart problems, so this day encourages people to reduce their salt intake by using a variety of herbs to enhance the taste of their dishes.

Herbs not only add depth and complexity to food but also come with potential health benefits due to their natural compounds. Some commonly used herbs include basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro, mint, and parsley, among others. These herbs can be used fresh or dried, and they bring unique flavors and aromas to a wide range of dishes, from soups and salads to main courses and beverages.

By participating in “More Herbs, Less Salt Day,” individuals can experiment with different herbs in their cooking, discover new flavor combinations, and reduce their overall salt consumption for better health. It’s a great opportunity to explore the world of culinary herbs and embrace healthier eating habits.

History of More Herbs, Less Salt Day

This day was established in an effort to lower the typical person’s dietary intake of sodium. Sodium is a common element in many convenience foods that have already been prepared, in addition to the salt that is typically sprinkled on top of meals. This implies that many people consume more sodium than they realise in their diets.

The ideal day to start watching your salt intake and experimenting with various food flavours is More Herbs, Less Salt Day.

How to Celebrate More Herbs, Less Salt Day

“More Herbs, Less Salt Day” is a wonderful opportunity to explore the world of herbs and experiment with new flavors in your cooking. Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate this day:

1. Learn About Herbs: Take some time to research different herbs and their flavors. Learn about their culinary uses, health benefits, and how they can be incorporated into various dishes.

2. Try New Recipes: Look for recipes that use fresh or dried herbs as the primary source of flavor. Experiment with dishes like herb-infused oils, marinades, salads, soups, and stews.

3. Cook a Herb-Centric Meal: Plan a meal where herbs take center stage. Create a dish that uses a variety of herbs for flavor, such as a pasta sauce with fresh basil, oregano, and parsley.

4. Visit a Farmers’ Market: Explore your local farmers’ market to find a wide range of fresh herbs. This is a great opportunity to discover new herbs you might not have tried before.

5. Start an Herb Garden: If you have space, consider starting your own herb garden. Growing herbs at home allows you to have a readily available source of fresh flavors for your meals.

6. Herb Pairing: Experiment with herb pairings that complement different types of dishes. For example, mint can work well in both savory and sweet dishes, while rosemary adds a delightful aroma to roasted vegetables and meats.

7. Host a Herb-Tasting Party: Invite friends or family over for a herb-tasting event. Prepare a selection of dishes, each featuring a different herb, and encourage everyone to discuss the flavors they perceive.

8. Replace Salt with Herbs: Challenge yourself to use little to no salt in your cooking for the day. Instead, rely on herbs to provide flavor. You might be surprised at how delicious your dishes turn out.

9. Share Your Creations: If you’re active on social media or have a blog, share your herb-inspired recipes, cooking tips, and experiences with the hashtag #MoreHerbsLessSaltDay.

10. Educate Others: Spread awareness about the importance of reducing salt intake for better health. Share information about the risks of excessive salt consumption and the benefits of using herbs in cooking.

Start Cooking at Home More Herbs

Cooking at home with more herbs is a fantastic way to celebrate “More Herbs, Less Salt Day” and to incorporate flavorful and healthy ingredients into your meals. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1.  Plan Your Menu: Decide what dishes you want to cook. Consider incorporating herbs into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Choose recipes that you’re excited to try and that feature a variety of herbs.

2. Choose Your Herbs: Select a range of fresh herbs that complement your chosen dishes. Some popular herbs to consider are basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro, mint, parsley, dill, and chives. You can use one herb or create herb combinations.

3. Gather Ingredients: Make a list of the ingredients you’ll need for your chosen recipes, including the herbs. Check your pantry and fridge to see what you already have and what you need to purchase.

4. Prep Your Herbs: Wash and dry your fresh herbs thoroughly. Remove leaves from the stems and chop them as required by your recipes. For dried herbs, measure out the appropriate quantities.

5. Cook with Herbs: Follow your chosen recipes, adding the herbs at the specified times. Herbs can be added during cooking, used as garnishes, or incorporated into sauces, dressings, and marinades.

6. Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different herb combinations and adjust quantities based on your taste preferences. Some herbs are more potent, so use a lighter hand with those.

7. Start with Simple Dishes: If you’re new to cooking with herbs, start with simpler dishes like salads, pasta dishes, or roasted vegetables. As you become more comfortable, you can explore more complex recipes.

8. Balance Flavors: Remember that herbs are meant to enhance the overall flavor of your dishes, not overpower them. Use herbs to balance and complement other ingredients.

9. Keep Notes: Take notes on what worked well and what you enjoyed about each dish. This will help you recreate successful recipes in the future.

10. Share and Enjoy: Share your herb-infused creations with family and friends. Embrace the joy of cooking at home and savor the flavors you’ve created.

11. Continue the Habit: “More Herbs, Less Salt Day” can be a starting point for a healthier cooking habit. Aim to incorporate herbs into your cooking on a regular basis to reduce the need for excessive salt.

12. Explore Global Cuisines: Herbs play a crucial role in various global cuisines. Explore different culinary traditions to discover new and exciting ways to use herbs in your cooking.

Grow Some Fresh Herbs in the Garden

Growing your own fresh herbs in a garden is a rewarding and sustainable way to have a ready supply of flavorful ingredients at your fingertips. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Choose a Suitable Location: Select a spot in your garden that receives adequate sunlight. Most herbs require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

2. Prepare the Soil: Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter. You can improve the soil quality by adding compost or well-rotted manure.

3. Select Herbs to Grow: Choose herbs that you enjoy using in your cooking and that are well-suited to your climate. Some popular options include basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and chives.

4. Choose Planting Method: You can start herbs from seeds, seedlings (young plants), or cuttings. Seedlings are a convenient option for beginners, as they provide a head start.

5. Planting: Follow the planting instructions on the seed packet or plant label. Space the herbs according to their growth habits and the eventual size of the mature plant.

6. Watering: Herbs generally prefer consistent moisture but don’t like to be waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry.

7. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the herbs. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

8. Pruning and Harvesting: Regularly pinch back or prune your herbs to encourage bushier growth. Harvest leaves as needed, starting from the top of the plant. Avoid removing more than one-third of the plant at a time.

9. Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for pests like aphids and diseases like powdery mildew. Practice good garden hygiene, and consider using natural pest control methods.

10. Fertilization: Herbs generally don’t require heavy fertilization. You can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer according to the package instructions.

11. Winter Care (if applicable): Some herbs are perennial and will survive the winter, while others are annuals and will die off. Research the specific care requirements for the herbs you’re growing in your region.

12. Continuous Learning: Gardening is a learning process. Pay attention to how your herbs grow and adapt your care based on their performance.

13. Share Your Bounty: If your herb garden thrives, you might have more herbs than you can use. Share your fresh herbs with friends, family, or neighbors.

14. Experiment in the Kitchen: As your herbs grow, incorporate them into your cooking. Experiment with different combinations to discover your favorite herb-infused dishes.

Cut Back on Salt with Some Simple Tips

Reducing your salt intake is a positive step towards better health. Here are some simple tips to help you cut back on salt while still enjoying flavorful meals:

1. Cook at Home: Preparing meals at home gives you full control over the ingredients and seasonings you use. You can choose to use less salt and opt for more herbs and spices.

2. Read Labels: Pay attention to food labels when shopping. Choose products with lower sodium content. Look for “low-sodium” or “no added salt” options.

3. Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients in your cooking. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats have naturally occurring flavors that can be enhanced with herbs and spices.

4. Herb and Spice Blends: Create your own herb and spice blends to add depth to your dishes. Experiment with combinations like Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme), Mexican spices (cumin, chili powder), or Indian curry spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander).

5. Lemon and Vinegar: Acidic ingredients like lemon juice and vinegar can brighten up flavors without the need for excessive salt.

6. Opt for Fresh Herbs: Use fresh herbs as a salt substitute. They add color, aroma, and taste to your dishes. For example, try using fresh basil on your pasta or rosemary on roasted vegetables.

7. Limit Processed Foods: Processed and packaged foods tend to be high in salt. Try to limit your consumption of these foods and focus on whole, unprocessed options.

8. Rinse Canned Goods: If you’re using canned beans or vegetables, rinse them under cold water to remove excess salt.

9. Gradual Reduction: If you’re used to a salty diet, start by gradually reducing the amount of salt you add to your meals. Your taste buds will adjust over time.

10. Cook with Less Salt: When cooking, start with less salt than a recipe calls for. You can always add more if needed, but you might find that you need less than you thought.

11. Choose Low-Sodium Broths: When using broths or stocks, opt for low-sodium versions or make your own at home.

12. Limit Soy Sauce and Condiments: Soy sauce, ketchup, and other condiments can be high in sodium. Use them sparingly or choose reduced-sodium versions.

13. Experiment with Umami Flavors: Umami, the fifth taste sensation, can be enhanced with ingredients like mushrooms, tomatoes, and certain cheeses. These can provide a savory taste that reduces the need for extra salt.

14. Mindful Eating: Eat slowly and savor each bite. This can help you enjoy the natural flavors of your food and prevent overseasoning..

Try Out Some No Salt Seasonings

Using no-salt seasonings is a fantastic way to add flavor to your dishes without relying on sodium. Here are some no-salt seasoning options you can try:

1. Herb Blends: Create your own herb blends using dried herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Mix them together to create a versatile seasoning mix.

2. Citrus Zest: Grate the zest of citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. The zest adds a bright and tangy flavor to your dishes.

3. Homemade Spice Mixes: Create custom spice mixes using a combination of ground spices like cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and more.

4. Chili Powders: Experiment with different chili powders, such as mild ancho chili powder or smoky chipotle powder, to add depth and heat to your dishes.

5. Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast has a cheesy and savory flavor that can be used to mimic the umami taste of cheese. It’s great on popcorn, pasta, and roasted vegetables.

6. Seeds and Nuts: Toasted sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts can add crunch and flavor to your meals.

7. Garlic and Onion: Use garlic powder and onion powder to add savory depth to your cooking.

8. Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley are excellent for adding vibrant flavor without salt.

9. Vinegar and Lemon Juice: Acidic ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice can brighten up dishes and enhance flavors.

10. Soy Sauce Alternatives: Look for low-sodium or no-sodium soy sauce alternatives, like coconut aminos or tamari, to provide a savory kick.

11. Spicy Pepper Flakes: If you enjoy heat, add red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper to your dishes for a spicy kick.

12. Dried Mushrooms: Ground dried mushrooms can add a rich umami flavor to your dishes.

13. Homemade Salsa or Salsa Verde: Fresh salsas made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice can add a burst of flavor to various dishes.

14. Fresh Ginger and Turmeric: These root spices add warmth and depth to dishes while providing potential health benefits.

15. Roasted Garlic: Roast whole garlic bulbs and use the creamy roasted cloves as a spread or mix into dishes.

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