Sodium may be necessary for optimal health, but much like everything else, it should be consumed in moderation. Many staples to the American diet are full of unnecessary salt, particularly prepackaged, over-processed convenience foods. The prevalence of sodium in the foods we eat every day can make lower your intake difficult.
However, eating less salt isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. The biggest way to lower your sodium intake is to avoid buying those prepackaged foods and start using fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and herbs or spices.
Below are three recipes that are low in sodium, high in taste and nearly as easy as the convenience foods in the market.
Breakfast-Start the day off right
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Meal and food options are very abundant in the stores and also very high in sodium or sugar, sometimes both. For a savory start with relatively low sodium, the following recipe tastes great, can be customized to differing tastes and is very simple and quick to make.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ Cup fresh onion, finely chopped
¼ Cup fresh bell pepper, finely chopped
½ Cup fresh shredded potatoes
3 Eggs, well beaten
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and peppers until the onions begin to turn translucent.
Add the shredded potatoes and continue to cook until the potatoes just begin to brown and become tender. Be sure to keep stirring occasionally.
Pour beaten eggs over the potato mix and stir to coat evenly. Allow eggs to cook until set, stirring 2 to 3 times to ensure even cooking. About 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh basil or parsley to taste.
Lunch-To keep you going
Finding low sodium foods for lunch can be difficult to say the least. Staples, such as lunch meats, and salad dressings can be packed with sodium. However, pack this tasty in the lunch box and the worries of salt overload disappear. Add vanilla Greek yogurt for a wonderful dipping sauce.
Strawberry & Cream Cheese Sandwich
1 Tablespoon cream cheese
¼ Teaspoon honey
2 Slices whole-wheat bread (low sodium)
2 Medium fresh strawberries, sliced
1/8 Teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
Mix together the cream cheese, honey and orange zest until it’s well blended.
Spread the cream cheese mixture on on side of each slice of bread.
Place the sliced strawberries on top of the cream cheese and top with the second slice of bread.
Dinner-Ending the day in style
At the end of the day, things start winding down and thoughts turn to dinner. Open any cookbook and there will be hundreds of detailed and complicated recipes that will take a lot of time to cook. This wonderful dish will satisfy the empty bellies, while remaining low in salt and short on time.
Baked Pork Loin
1 Pound lean pork loin roast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon basil
1 Teaspoon parsley
1 Teaspoon oregano
1 Medium garlic clove, minced
1 Medium sweet onion, sliced in rounds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line deep sided baking dish with foil, leaving enough over hang to cover roast and place sliced onion in a row on top of foil.
Set roast on top of onion slices and evenly sprinkle with the basil, parsley, and oregano.
Drizzle olive oil over top of roast gently to avoid washing off seasonings. Sprinkle minced garlic over top.
Fold edges of foil over to form a pouch.
Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reads at least 160.
Let roast rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serve with the juices from the foil.
Salt may be a flavor booster, but flavor can be added through using fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices. Eating a low sodium diet doesn’t mean giving up tasty meals, it means rethinking the meaning of flavor.