Lemon Can Be Excellent Seasoning

We’re always looking for new ways to season our food. Salt can be detrimental to our health goals yet is added to most savory dishes. High levels of sodium can impact insulin resistance. While you can cut back on the salt in a recipe, it can leave a meal tasting empty. When looking for ways to cut out the less healthy seasoning, we don’t want bland food!

We often think of lemon in terms of lemonade or desserts. It’s often overlooked when it comes to its ability to enhance food. Sure, we add it to water or drinks, but how often do you add it to other dishes? It’s easy to add it to many recipes while cutting back on the salt, bumping up the flavor and lowering the sodium.

Processed foods add salt, sugar and fat because they taste good and are addictive. They make us want more, but they also wreak havoc on the body. Instead, cooking your meals is always the best way to go. When you cook, you can control what goes into your dish.

Cutting out less healthy ingredients and making swaps is often obvious. You can use better oils, more beneficial proteins and whole grains. But, when it comes to salt, it might seem a little trickier. Many of us load up on the garlic, black pepper and dried onion powder. They are all excellent options! A choice you might not think of is lemon.

While other options can boost the flavor and make up for the missing salt, lemon can improve the recipe. A study showed that when people had three dishes — one lemon juice and zest but without salt, one with lemon juice, zest and a little salt and one with the full amount of salt — they picked the reduced salt one as the best-tasting meal. Not only were they eating 30-75 percent less salt, they liked it more!

The researchers broke down the exact math of how much of the lemon juice, zest and salt mix you use to replace salt in recipes for chicken and beef, grains and soup, pork, fish and dressings and vegetables. It’s great that they took the guesswork out of it. The mixture they suggest using for vegetable dishes reduces sodium by a whopping 75 percent. It’s important to note that the researchers did receive some funding from citrus growers. However, we think it is worth trying in your own kitchen and seeing your results.

While lemons might not be your go-to seasoning, we think it could become a fixture in your cooking if you give it a try!

Banner image: Eggbank via Unsplash
August 23, 2021
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