Salt has traditionally enhanced the flavor of food, but too much salt can put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and/or stroke. You can still flavor meat, fish, and vegetables by using salt-free flavorings, spices, and herbs.
Some seasonings are clearly labeled “salt-free” or “sodium-free.” But you might also consider dried or fresh herbs and spices:
- For beef: bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, pepper, sage, thyme
- For chicken: marjoram, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, chili powder
- For pork: garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano
- For lamb: curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint
- For veal: bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano
- For fish: curry powder, dill, dry mustard, lemon juice, marjoram, paprika, pepper
- For vegetables: pepper, parsley, cumin, dill, chives, curry powder, basil, paprika, lemon juice
As a general rule, 1 tablespoon of finely cut fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon of dried leafy herbs = ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground dried herbs.
To get the most flavor out of herbs and spices, use no more than ¼ teaspoon of dried spice (¾ teaspoon of fresh) per pound of meat. Add ground spices to food about 15 minutes before the end of cooking time, but add whole spices at least 1 hour before the end. And be sure to crush dried herbs to release the flavor before adding them to food.