By Eliza Short, RD, Communications Coordinator for Jackson in Action
With salt continually being fortified into our food supply, it’s no wonder we have started to increase our consumption of this nutrient. Our taste buds quickly adjust to salty foods, which causes us to want more and more of them. It can be difficult to decrease the amount of salt we eat, but one way to start the transition is by cooking with whole ingredients, and substituting a variety of herbs to increase flavor in a recipe rather than salt. Below is a list of ways to substitute herbs for salt in a variety of basic recipes. You will also find a recipe for basil almond pesto which will be featured in the September Harvest of the Month Celebration. Join Registered Dietitian Ruth Lahmayer Chipps at Black River Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, September 20th, from 11:30am-12:30pm to taste this wonderful recipe!
- Tomato basil salad: Mix two chopped Roma tomatoes, 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or more if preferred), ½ tsp fresh minced garlic. Enjoy as a salad, or topping for crackers or pasta.
- Roasted rosemary root vegetables: Chop sweet potato, carrots, radishes, small potatoes, beets (or your favorite root vegetables) into 1 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and fresh chopped rosemary.
- Grilled chicken: Chop fresh sage and thyme, mix with 1 T olive oil and 1 T lemon juice, and brush on a raw chicken breast before cooking.
*Note: you may substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs if fresh are unavailable
Featured Recipe: Basil Almond Pesto
- 1/2 c. almonds, toasted
- 4 c. fresh basil leaves (washed, drained, dry, lightly packed)
- 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Spread almonds out on a small baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, to bring out the flavor. Remove immediately; allow to cool.
- Toss almonds, basil and garlic into a food processor and process, or blend, until almonds are finely chopped and interspersed with the basil and garlic. Add olive oil, and salt and pepper (if using) and process until incorporated into the basil and almond mixture.
- Add Parmesan cheese and blend to desired consistency. If freezing, do not add parmesan cheese until ready to use. Keep refrigerated.
Note: Pesto is easy to freeze. Spoon into clean ice cube trays and freeze. Remove from trays and store in air-tight freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw and add parmesan cheese.