Knowing how to neutralize salt in food is an actual life skill because we have all found ourselves in an oversalted food situation. It is worse when you have guests over who cannot bring themselves to just leave the food you so painstakingly prepared.
Salt in the kitchen is mostly used to add flavour, a little goes a long way. Both sea salt and table salt can serve the same purpose.
The difference between table salt and sea salt is in their processing, taste and texture.
Sea salt is obtained by evaporation of ocean water by the sun or through a process. When this is done, traces of some minerals such as zinc and potassium remain mixed up with the sea salt. These minerals add colour and flavour to the sea salt.
The coarseness of the sea salt ranges from small crystal particles to large particles.
Table salt is mined from salt deposits underground. This salt undergoes a lengthier process compared to that of obtaining sea salt.
This process removes minerals that can be a health hazard to the body.
Though they both have the same nutritional value, sea salt is considered healthier.
Sea salt is more popular because of its unique flavour and minerals such as zinc and potassium that have sophisticated flavour profiles.
It also retains the minerals and nutrients that can be lost in a refining process like that of obtaining table salt.
OTHER USES OF SALT IN FOOD
The scope of uses of salt goes beyond basic home cooking and food production. These are some additional uses of salt.
Salt is used to preserve food. It preserves food by squeezing out water from the food, thereby limiting microbes’ activity in the food.
Salt is basically used as a seasoning to improve the taste of food.
As a flavour, salt can also enhance the natural flavours of some foods. It controls sweetness and neutralizes other flavours like bitterness. For example, taking salt with lemon reduces bitterness.
In making bread, the quantity of salt added will dictate the final texture of the bread. Salt enhances the tenderness of processed meats such as ham by facilitating the binding of moisture by protein.
It also gives processed meats a firm texture.
Salt regulates the rate of fermentation by suppressing the growth of bacteria and moulds.
FUNCTIONS OF SALT IN THE BODY
Salt helps in the transmission of nerve impulses and maintenance of plasma volume.
Sodium is an electrolyte just like calcium; it controls the electrical charges coming in and out of the body’s cells.
Sodium ions are important in the contractions of muscles, including the heart. Chlorine is an important element in the digestion process.
Hyponatremia is a medical condition that is caused brought by having very little salt in the blood. Aged people and athletes are prone to hyponatremia.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Much as salt brings out the flavour of food, don’t assume that having more of it means more benefits. Nothing can be further from the truth.
This may, in turn, lead to cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
Studies suggest that patients with chronic kidney disease are sensitive to salt. Excess salt may trigger an increase in high blood pressure.
HOW TO NEUTRALIZE SALT IN FOOD NATURALLY
These are some of the ways you can neutralize salt in food.
1. ADD LIQUIDS
This is the most common way to neutralize salt in your food. You can start by adding water bit by bit as you taste until you feel its right.
If there need be, add solid food to bring it to your desired taste. Make sure you don’t add too much water till your broth loses taste.
You can also add unsalted liquid or even wine and let it simmer for some time.
2. DOUBLE INGREDIENTS
If the salt is too much or you cannot use liquids in your recipe, add more ingredients. make another batch of ingredients, but you exclude salt.
This second batch of ingredients will make use of the extra salt and lower its concentration.
You can counteract the salt level with a pinch of sugar, honey or molasses. When you add a sweet ingredient, it may help improve the taste of your food.
4. INCREASE ACIDITY
If you add lemon or vinegar which have lower pH levels, it may not exactly neutralize the salt, but it can conceal it.
You can add a little fresh cream to dilute the contraction of salt in your food. This will thicken your broth and suppress saltiness.
6. SUGAR AND VINEGAR
Sugar and vinegar both work well to conceal salt individually. When used together, they are a super combo. Using salt and sugar also helps in balancing flavours and improving the taste of the curry.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SALT FOR THE BODY?
According to WHO, adults ought to take less than 5g of salt per day. Children should take less than this.
It also recommends that salts for consumption be fortified with iodine, which facilitates the development of the brain in the fetus.
HOW TO AVOID OVERSALTING
If you are a frequent victim of too much salt in food, you have to learn how to neutralize salt in food or better, how to avoid oversalting.
The best trick is to add little by little salt and taste as you cook. This might be hard for people who do not like tasting food as they cook, but it is a small price to pay when throwing the whole food due to oversalting is an option.
Continuous heating of food increases the salt level, so be conscious not to add much salt at once.
It is recommended that you make your approximation of the quantity of salt aside, as in not directly above what you’re cooking. In doing so, you may tell if the salt is too much.
You may never realize how important salt is until you cannot take it anymore.
Avoid oversalting food not just for the sake of flavour, but because of the many diseases too much salt can cause in your body. In the event you oversalt, you now know how to neutralize salt in food.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]