We are literally a bundle of energy, with electrically-charged particles generating sparks throughout our brain and body that make us tick, and think, and move, and be.
One of the most important nutrients needed to complete these essential electrical charges is sodium, and together with potassium and chloride, this holy trinity of electrolytes literally flints a fire inside of us and keeps every part of our body running smoothly by regulating water levels, blood acidity, brain and muscle functions.
Potassium is available in foods like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spinach, chard, beets, kiwi, and watermelon — all of which contain more potassium than the go-to banana per serving. And although most foods naturally contain some sodium and chloride, the easiest way to charge up your cells with these two electrolytes is with salt. But not just any salt. Sea salt.
Regular iodized table salt is highly processed and contains additives, so it’s never an option in our Honest Food kitchen. Kosher salt is a better alternative, as it’s generally a cleaner salt that’s easier to cook with because of its size and shape. But sea salt has something the other two lack — trace minerals from the sea, between 60 and 80 depending on the source, like iodine, phosphorus, bromine, zinc, iron, manganese, and copper, to name a few.
Our mantra at This Honest Food is “every small change makes a big difference,” and salt is no exception. Although the amount of minerals found in sea salts can vary, and probably aren’t enough to sustain life from a single meal, over time they can help to maintain good health and support the function of other minerals in the body, especially when you eliminate processed foods which contain cheap iodized salts and other potentially dangerous forms of processed sodium.
Holistic practitioners also theorize that the trace minerals found in sea salts around the world are better equipped to create or complete the electrical charges throughout our bodies because they have not been stripped, isolated, or processed, and that the trace minerals work with the sodium and chloride to prevent fluid imbalances, such as hypertension. Stripped, processed table salts and the types of sodium found in processed foods promote the onset of hypertension and related diseases.
Salt also makes foods taste good, no matter the food. It preserves, it enhances, it can even “cook” foods by denaturing proteins and changing pH levels. And when a good, minerally sea salt is mixed together with fresh or dried herbs, spices, and aromatics, it elevates any food or drink it touches, in so many ways.
Mixing salts for sweet or savory cooking is easy, and always starts with a base of 1/2 cup of a sea salt of your choice. Formulas for flavorings are below. Mix and store in an air-tight jar, and keep on hand or give as gifts for any occasion.
- For Garlic Salt: 1/2 cup sea salt + 3 minced garlic cloves
- For Garlic and Herb Salt: 1/2 cup sea salt + 2 minced garlic cloves + 2 tbsp. of favorite minced fresh herb (like rosemary, oregano, thyme, tarragon, chives, etc. or a combination of herbs that equal 2 tbsp.)
- For Spicy Salt: 1/2 cups sea salt + 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper + 1 tsp. ground red pepper flakes
- For Citrus Salt: 1/2 cup sea salt + zest of 1 grapefruit, or 2 lemons, or 3 limes
- For (sweet) Baking Salt: 1/2 cup sea salt + seeds of 1 vanilla bean