Thursday, August 26, 2010

Using Herbal Salt Substitutes

Sorry this is a day late, not as good with computers as I thought I was!

I am using this Blog to share my knowledge, ideas and especially my recipes for using herbs in your daily life.

So, as promised, here are a few great ways to use salt substitutes. If you missed the last blog, see the side bar for a link where we presented several easy-to-make and use Herbal Salt Substitutes.

Of course with a salt substitute you can add them any place you would normally use salt, but as herbal combinations they have a variety of other uses as well. When eliminating salt, one has to pay attention to places you use it and add to your daily consumption that can be eliminated. Simple things like tossing a pinch or two into spaghetti cooking water is an example. When you have salt substitutes on hand you can use these instead. Like any blend using oregano or basil can be the “salt” in your cooking water. Or if making Rice a bit of unsalted butter mixed with a dash of salt substitute can add a unique flavor to a sometimes plain side dish.

Using a salt substitute as a meat rub instead of salt and pepper can increase juiciness and cut down on sodium. For beef, mixes with garlic are good. For lamb, use those with rosemary or chives. For pork anything where spices prevail is perfect.

This simple recipe for herb butter is easy to adapt and use with salt substitutes and you can then put it on bread, vegetables, corn on the cob or enhance grilled fish.


• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

• 1 tablespoons dried herb salt substitute blend, finely crumbled.


Place the butter in a small bowl. Add the herbs and mix together with a fork until the butter and herbs are well-combined.

Transfer the butter to a small ramekin to serve. If you prefer, cover and chill until firm. Butter may also be placed on wax or parchment paper, wrapped and shaped into a log, and frozen for later use.

Salt substitutes can also be used to create flavorful vinaigrettes to use on a green salad. The herb taste will transform any salad into something special. Don't be afraid to experiment, any herb-based salt substitute will work.


• 1/2 shallot, minced

• 1 Tablespoon herb substitute blend of your choice

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

• 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (herb vinegars will work here too!)

• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the olive oil. Gradually add the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Use within three days.

Now here are a few other formulated recipes for you to experiment with as well:

Grilled red potatoes

• 3 lbs. small red potatoes, washed and halved

• 3 TB. olive oil

• 1-2 tsp. any salt substitute, but one with garlic, onion or rosemary works best

Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with the SALT SUBSTITUTE. Mix to coat. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. OR, before seasoning, place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes to partially cook. Drain, oil and season. Once the potatoes are partially cooked, place in a grill basket or wrap in foil in a single layer and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning once. Serves: 6

Simple Cucumber Salad

• 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

• 1 large yellow or sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced

• 1-2 tsp. Salt Substitute (those featuring tarragon, dill or chives work best)

• 1/4-1/2 tsp. Ground white pepper


• 1 part cider vinegar (1/4 Cup)

• 2 parts white sugar (1/2 Cup)

• 3 parts heavy cream or half & half (3/4 Cup)

Place the cucumbers and onion in a serving bowl. Add the herbs and pepper and toss to combine. In a separate bowl, mix together the cider vinegar, sugar, and cream and stir to combine. Add to the serving bowl and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, mixing occasionally to mingle the flavors. Serves: 4-6

Slow cooked Turkey

• 1 turkey breast (6-7 lbs.)

• 1 Cup apple cider

• 2 Bay leaves

• 2 Tbls Salt Substitute, those with parsley, sage, chives or thyme will all work with this recipe

• 1 1/2 tsp. Black pepper, use fresh cracked if you can

Wash and dry the turkey breast and place in a slow cooker. Pour the apple cider in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the BAY LEAVES. Combine the seasonings and rub over the top of the turkey breast. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the turkey breast is done, usually 4-5 hours. The resulting spicy juices are a great low-fat gravy to serve over mashed potatoes. Serves: 10.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have other tips for using a salt substitute, please share.

These recipes are just one aspect of the Backyard Patch. To read our herb research, or see a listing of our 200 + herbal blends for cooking, tea and bath, including salt substitutes visit the Backyard Patch on-line at

Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh

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