There are probably two things that I hated giving up when I started eating healthy...salty, seasoned chips! I would almost climb the wall because there was nothing that would satisfy the need for salt and crunch. While our bodies require salt, or minerals, in our diet, we really could do without the sodium in the unhealthy chemical form, such as table salt.
Table salt, which is approximately 97% Sodium Chloride, is chemically produced, bleached and lacks essential nutrients. In many cases table salt contains aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimers disease and other issues. While natural salt, such as sea salt, forms naturally, table salt does not.
I eventually pushed against the notion that salt was "bad" and began researching ways I could include more natural-occurring salt into my diet. I was pleasantly surprised to find that were so many natural salt options available. Such as the following:
Sea Salt (most popular)
Harvested from evaporated sea water, sea salt is usually unrefined and coarser-grained than table salt. It also contains some of the minerals from where it was harvested – zinc, potassium and iron among them – which give sea salt a more complex flavor profile. “Sea salt” is a pretty broad term, as it includes some of the specialty salts described below. Sprinkle it on top of foods for a different mouth feel and bigger burst of flavor than table salt.
Also known as sel gris (French for “grey salt”), Celtic sea salt is harvested from the bottom of tidal ponds off the coast of France. The salt crystals are raked out after sinking; this, plus the mineral-rich seawater its extracted from, gives Celtic salt its moist, chunky grains, grey hue and briny taste. Great as a cooking and finishing salt, as well as for baking.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Of the different types of salt, Himalayan salt is the purest form of salt in the world and is harvested by hand from Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan. Its color ranges from off-white to deep pink. Rich in minerals – it contains the 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body – Himalayan salt is used in spa treatments, as well as the kitchen.
Its mineral content gives it a bolder flavor than many other salts, so use it as a cooking and finishing salt – or to add a bit of flair to a salt-rimmed margarita!
Black Hawaiian Salt
Also known as black lava salt, black Hawaiian salt is a sea salt harvested from – you guessed it – the volcanic islands of Hawaii. It gets its deep, black color from the addition of activated charcoal.
Coarse-grained and crunchy, black Hawaiian salt is great for finishing hearty soups and stews.
Red Hawaiian Salt
Also called alaea salt, this unrefined, red Hawaiian salt gets its name and color from the reddish, iron-rich volcanic clay alaea.
Used for centuries in ceremonial ways for cleansing, purification and the blessing of tools, red Hawaiian salt is also great in the kitchen, adding an attractive finish and robust flavor to seafood and meat, as well as traditional island dishes like poke and pipikaula, a Hawaiian jerky.
Fleur de Sel (used in ISW Organics Detox bath salts)
One of my favorites! Literally “flower of salt,” fluer de sel is a sea salt hand-harvested from tidal pools off the coast of Brittany, France. Paper-thin salt crystals are delicately drawn from the water’s surface, much like cream is taken from milk. This can only be done on sunny, dry days with a slight breeze, and only with traditional wooden rakes. Because of its scarcity and labor-intensive harvesting, fleur de sel is the most expensive salt (five pounds will run you a cool $80), earning it the nickname “the caviar of salts.”
It retains moisture, and has blue-grey tint,from its high mineral content and oceanic beginnings. If you can afford it, use fleur de sel as a finishing salt to add an impressive dash of flavor to vegetables, even sweets like chocolate and caramel...and I LOVE my salted caramels (recipe in "FEED" recipe book.
Kala namak (“black salt” in Nepalese) is Himalayan salt that’s been packed in a jar with charcoal, herbs, seeds and bark, then fired in a furnace for a full 24 hours before it’s cooled, stored and aged.
This process gives kala namak its reddish-black color, its pungent, salty taste and a faint, sulfurous aroma of eggs. It’s often used in vegan and vegetarian dishes to give egg-free dishes the taste of egg, as well as in Ayurvedic practice
So, if you're like me and you're looking for natural ways to scratch that salt itch, I'd love for you to try this easy-to-make Zucchini Chips recipe and this awesome "Dorito"-like seasoning which can be dusted on your chips after baking. Both recipes, as well as a Nacho Cheese and Spicy Taco Seasoning can be found in my new recipe book, "FEED". Learn More Here.
Zucchini Chips & Ranch Seasoning
Author: Regina Thomas Dillard
Author: Regina Thomas Dillard
Regina Thomas Dillard is the author of "FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love", and founder of Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a business dedicated to assist others as they embark on their holistic journey. All products are handmade and sourced from reputable organic and natural ingredients purveyors.