flavorings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9042/all en-US Cheap Ways to Add Big Flavor to Your Food http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/time_in_the_kitchen.jpg" alt="Woman and man in the kitchen" title="Woman and man in the kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Seasoning your supper with only salt and pepper when you&rsquo;re craving a kick just won&rsquo;t cut it. But there are ways to add lots of flavor to your food with spending a bundle. To get the mouth party started, here are a few inexpensive ideas to turn your meals up a notch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">8 Natural&nbsp;Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a>)</p> <h2>Dried Herbs</h2> <p>Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs, so you don&rsquo;t need as much, but this is a great way to add a medley of flavor to any dish. The most popular dried herbs include thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, and oregano, and you can experiment by mixing many of these together for a more diverse dish. Dried herbs can be used on meats, but I particularly like to add them to potatoes. I enjoy thyme and rosemary on roasted potatoes, and I like to add dried parsley to my mashed potatoes. Another quick tip for adding flavor to potatoes is to use the garlic dipping sauces from pizza places in place of butter. Instant garlic flavor without all the mincing.</p> <h2>Fresh Herbs</h2> <p>Fresh herbs can be expensive, depending on where you shop. You can get around the cost of buying fresh herbs, however &mdash; and prevent them from going to waste &mdash; if you grow your own. I love cilantro and basil, but they come in bunches too large for me to use all of before they start to rot. Growing your own is super easy, too. All you need are small pots in a window with direct sunlight. When you&rsquo;re ready to cook, just trim off the amount of herbs you need. Basil is brilliant on homemade pizza, and cilantro is the perfect topping for chicken fajitas or tacos.</p> <h2>Oils</h2> <p>Olive oil took center stage when the cooking revolution began with Food Network, but it&rsquo;s costly. And if you want flavored oils, forget about it; artisanal olive oils can cost more than all your other ingredients combined. All hope is not lost, though. Just like you can flavor vodka, you also can make flavor-infused oils. eHow has a great step-by-step recipes on <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2049865_make-herbinfused-olive-oil.html">how to make herb-infused olive oil</a> using those fresh herbs you&rsquo;re growing. It doesn&rsquo;t stop there either. You can flavor oils with lemon, red pepper, and more. These oils are great for use in cooking or for dipping.</p> <h2>Citrus</h2> <p>Lemons, limes, and oranges give that bright finishing touch to so many dishes. I squirt lemon juice on my roasted green beans and other veggies, and I use lime to add punch to flatiron steak. While the juice adds another flavor profile to your food, the zest of citrus can hold its own, too. Plus, the smell is refreshing and clean.</p> <h2>Garlic</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason why garlic gets applause on cooking shows &mdash; it&rsquo;s a small-but-mighty ingredient that adds robust flavor, the bulbs are cheap, and one clove goes a long way. I recommend investing in a garlic press if you use garlic a lot to save on prep time; it&rsquo;s crushed with one push. Just be sure not to burn your garlic. It turns bitter when burnt and can ruin your entire meal.</p> <h2>Marinades</h2> <p>Marinades are a combination of oils, citrus, herbs, and spices that help tenderize a cheap cut of meat and add flavor. There are so many marinade recipes out there that you can probably make a new one each night of the year. But if you&rsquo;re not that ambitious, here&rsquo;s a recent post I wrote on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-and-delicious-marinades">10 cheap and delicious marinades</a>.</p> <h2>Butter</h2> <p>Before you freak out, the title of this post doesn&rsquo;t say anything about healthy ways to add flavor. Butter is almost a prerequisite in any full meal, although lots of people skip it out to cut down the calories. While there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with that, there really is no true substitute for butter. Margarine is sometimes a healthier alternative, but it doesn&rsquo;t act the same way that butter does in cooking. I recommend buying unsalted butter for all cooking so at least you&rsquo;re not consuming fat <em>and</em> sodium. If the cost of butter makes you wince, try making your own with this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-butter-2/">recipe for homemade butter</a>.</p> <h2>Spices</h2> <p>There are many spices you can use when cooking, from cinnamon to cayenne pepper, that will give your dishes a boost. Spices are concentrated flavors, however; you should always use them sparingly. Add a little at first and taste your food; if you think it calls for more, add it in small quantities. Just remember that once it&rsquo;s in there, you can&rsquo;t take it out. Depending how much you use, a bottle of spice will last a long time but should be replaced after a year; they can become stale and lose their pungency.</p> <h2>Sauces</h2> <p>Think of sauces as a marinade that you use after cooking. Sauces can be rich, sometimes calling for butter and wine. But the benefit of a good sauce is that it gives your food an extra-special touch and a divine liquid to drench your meat in. Sauces are great on any kind of meat and even side dishes. One sauce that is super expensive in the store that is so easy to make at home is pesto. Perhaps this is a great way to use up your leftover basil.</p> <h2>Stocks</h2> <p>Instead of boiling rice in water, try using a stock for infused flavor. Stocks are great for stir frys, too. You can buy a box of stock at the store for a relatively low cost or you can make your own. This recipe for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chicken-stock-recipe/index.html">chicken stock</a> (you can find other recipes for beef, fish, and vegetable stocks on the internet) yields five quarts, far and above the amount of stock that you&rsquo;ll get in a single box at the store. It&rsquo;s freezable, too, so you can store it in until you&rsquo;re ready.</p> <h2>Gravy</h2> <p>Like butter, gravy is not good for your body, but your taste buds won&rsquo;t complain. I buy low-sodium gravy packets from McCormick &mdash; quick and easy &mdash; but gravy is simple to make at home. Just add little flour to the pan drippings from your meat, and add milk or stock and a few other ingredients. Here&rsquo;s a <a href="http://americanfood.about.com/od/saucesdipsanddressings/r/browngravy.htm">recipe for a basic, all-America brown gravy</a> that will make almost any meal taste like it came from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-old-lady-recipes-classic-frugal-cooking">grandma&rsquo;s kitchen</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to add lots of flavor to food on the cheap? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-tasty-ways-to-use-frozen-spinach">35 Tasty Ways to Use Frozen Spinach</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world">15 Chicken Leg and Thigh Recipes From Around the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap recipes flavorings herb gardens simple ingredients Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:24:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 910997 at http://www.wisebread.com Foraging: Not Insane, Useless, or Impossible http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/natures-bounty.jpg" alt="A table of natural foods" title="Natures Bounty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From time to time, I've suggested foraging &mdash; gathering food from the wild &mdash; as a technique for getting by in hard times. Whenever I do, people mock the idea. &quot;It's the twenty-first century! There's no way to get enough food like that.&quot; They're missing the point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by Without a Job part 4 &mdash; Get Free Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Calories Are Cheap</h2> <p>First of all, the point of foraging is not to provide all the calories you need to survive &mdash; that <em>would</em> be tough. But, calories are cheap at the grocery store. The problem is turning those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">cheap calories into a healthy diet</a>.</p> <p>If you make a diet out of the cheapest calories you can find in the supermarket, you're going to be missing out on nutrition, taste, and variety. And as a way to provide <em>those</em> things, foraging is perfect.</p> <h2>Nature's Food Is Bountiful &mdash; and Delicious</h2> <p>Second, they're just flat out wrong. There's a lot of food to be found in the wild, even in relatively urbanized areas. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Edible weeds</a> like lambsquarter, dandelion, and purslane grow right in your (or your park's) lawn along with a lot of edible flowers &mdash; dandelions again, violets, bee balm, chicory, chives... Larger edible plants like cattails and Jerusalem artichoke grow only a few steps further into the wild.</p> <p>Of course, if you actually get out into the woods and fields, there's even more.</p> <p>And it's not just &quot;weird&quot; foods that can be gathered from the wild. It's easy to find perfectly ordinary fruits and nuts &mdash; grapes, strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, persimmons, hickory nuts, walnuts &mdash; growing wild.</p> <p>My mom was always interested in foraging. I remember any number of meals that she prepared that featured food gathered from the wild, usually inspired by the books of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euell_Gibbons">Euell Gibbons</a>.</p> <p>No article about foraging would be complete without a few warnings. Don't eat mushrooms that you find in the wild unless you've learned about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-for-food-the-hunt-for-the-wild-mushroom">local mushrooms</a> from someone who's gathered and eaten them for a long time. Avoid gathering food that might have been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Don't eat plants gathered from right along roadsides. There are a lot of good books on gathering wild foods, and a good book will guide you well enough on any topic except mushrooms.</p> <p>Unless you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hunt-fish-money-food">hunting or fishing</a>, you'll only occasionally find your main dish in the wild &mdash; but, as I said above, that's not the point. If you've bought the cheapest lettuce you can get from the grocery store, you can make your salad a lot more interesting and nutritious by adding a handful of purslane. Extend your spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, or kale by cooking it up with some garlic mustard. If you can't afford desert, a handful of wild strawberries will serve the purpose.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anyone-can-spend-less-for-food">eat really cheaply</a>, if you need to &mdash; or if you simply want to, because there are other things you want to spend your money on besides food. And then &mdash; when you're eating the cheapest healthy diet you can put together at the grocery store &mdash; is when a bit of foraging can make a huge difference in the quality of your diet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples">15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food flavorings foraging Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:36:22 +0000 Philip Brewer 857664 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Salt Is Best? http://www.wisebread.com/which-salt-is-best <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-salt-is-best" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2435626898_b04c5e7f1f_z.jpg" alt="Table salt" title="Table salt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The salt that we consume is mostly composed of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_chloride">sodium chloride</a>, and any other color or flavor that you get from it, other than saltiness, comes from either impurities or additives. That's salt, in summary.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sea-salt/AN01142">Salt is a necessary part of our diet</a>, so important that it has been used as pay (the word &quot;salary&quot; may come from the Latin word for salt), and wars have been fought over access to salt mines. Whether harvested from the ocean or underground mines, we can't live without salt.</p> <p>The taste of salt is one of five tastes (salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami) that the human tongue can identify without the help of the olfactory system. But salt does more than simply make our food taste salty; salt enhances the flavors of the various ingredients in our food. When you add salt to, say, a pot of chicken curry, it not only tastes saltier, it reacts with the curry powder to make the curry taste different. Salt can even temper spicy food. Don't believe me? Sprinkle some table salt on a slice of fresh jalapeno and notice how easy it is to eat without your mouth busrting into flames. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">8 Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a>)</p> <h2>What Kinds of Salt Are There?</h2> <p>Until recently, most Americans lived rather contentedly with the idea that there was one kind of salt &mdash; table salt. It's easy to use, cheap to buy, and always on the tabletop at Denny's. Of course, if you peruse the salt section of any grocery store, you'll see more and more salt choices added to the shelf every day. What are all of these salts good for? And what is the difference between them?</p> <h3>Table Salt</h3> <p>Table salt is the cheapest<strong> </strong>and most readily available type of cooking salt. No matter what tiny podunk town you live in, your corner gas station probably sells cardboard containers&nbsp;of&nbsp;Morton's salt. Table salt is highly refined, with very few impurities, and as such, is the saltiest tasting of all culinary salts. It often has added anti-clumping chemicals, like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_aluminosilicate">sodium aluminosilicate</a>. Table salt's small granules are easily dispensed through a salt shaker and dissolve quickly in water.</p> <p>Table salt is also generally iodized, meaning that it has had <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002421.htm">iodine</a> added to it. Iodine is a necessary chemical that our bodies use to process nutrients. An iodine deficiency can lead to goiters, which occur when the thyroid gland swells up. It's a problem that has been largely eliminated in the United States since iodine was introduced to table salt. Although the processing of salt removes minerals and other impurities, it does not make the salt &quot;unnatural&quot; or dangerous, the way that, say, heavily processing corn and soy to remove all of the fiber makes them less healthy for human consumption.</p> <p>Table salt is nice and cheap, as low as $0.40 per pound.</p> <h3>Kosher Salt</h3> <p><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/kosher-vs-table-vs-sea-salts/index.html">Kosher salt</a> is referred to as kosher not because it is processed in accordance with Jewish law (although there really isn't a way to process salt that is offensive to Jewish law), but because it is used in the koshering process. In the koshering process, kosher salt is sprinkled on meat to draw out the blood, blood being considered an impurity. The shape of kosher salt crystals allows a more efficient dehydrating of surrounding materials. Kosher salt is sometimes (correctly) referred to as &quot;koshering salt.&quot;</p> <p>Kosher salt is often favored by chefs because of its shape &mdash; it is composed of flakes, rather than the very small granules that you will see in table salt. This makes it easy to pinch, if you are the type of cook (like my husband) who likes to keep a small bowl of salt by the stove. If you add kosher salt right before eating, the flakes don't dissolve quickly enough, and you will find a slight crunchiness followed by an explosion of salty flavor when you bite down on the salt flakes.</p> <p>Kosher salt is more expensive than table salt, but still relatively inexpensive compared with sea salt. Kosher salt is approximately twice the cost of table salt, occasionally more.</p> <h3>Sea Salt</h3> <p>Sea salt is, once again, sodium chloride, but instead of being harvested in underground mines, it is harvested from evaporating pools, either in salt lakes or from the ocean, hence the name. Sea salt frequently contains minerals and other impurities that give it a grayish color and flavor distinct to its region. Fleur de sel is a variety of sea salt that is harvested during the peak of summer and often has a higher mineral-to-salt content, and a briny, ocean-like flavor/scent. Sea salt's shape can vary from fine powder to large chunks to shavings.</p> <p>Because so much sea salt is harvested by hand, it is more expensive than kosher and table salt, although the price varies dramatically, depending on the source, brand, packaging, and market audience.</p> <p>The cost of sea salt varies quite a bit. I've seen it for as cheap as $1.30 per pound and as much as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Coarse-Celtic-Sea-Salt-lbs/dp/B0019LFDBA">$17 per pound</a>, depending on the source, packaging, and intended audience.</p> <h3>Himalayan Pink Salt</h3> <p>There are a number of things to keep in mind about Himalayan pink salt, and the most important is that the hype surrounding it is just that &mdash; hype. The way that Himalayan pink salt is sold, you would think it was harvested by meditating Buddhist monks in the purest, most untouched areas of Nepal, but most pink salt actually comes from Pakistan, a decent distance from the Himalayas. Food writers and &quot;alternative&quot; medical practitioners love to <a href="http://www.drgranny.com/food-nutrition/himalayan-pink-salt-benefits/">wax rhapsodic about pink salt</a>, its &quot;curative&quot; properties, and its use in traditional &quot;healing.&quot; Mind you, none of the medical claims about pink salt have any non-biased published data to back them up. For example, you might hear that the salt was &quot;crystallized miles below the surface of the Earth, protected from modern day polution.&quot; Well, yes, but most mined salt is. You might read that it is the &quot;purest salt on Earth&quot; &mdash; if it were pure, it wouldn't be pink. You might read claims that the people of the Himalayas have prized this salt for thousands of years, and that it is known for its healing properties. I defy you to find anyone who lives in the Himalyas who has heard of pink salt.</p> <p>It's salt. Mined salt. And it's pink because it has iron oxide in it. Not enough iron to keep you from being anemic, but enough to make the salt pink. That's it &mdash; iron. So it's not really pure &mdash; the whole reason that table salt is so salty is because <em>table salt is the purest salt you can find</em>; the purer the salt, the sharper the taste. Table salt has had impurities and minerals removed from it, which is why it is so white and lacks any additional flavor other than saltiness.</p> <p>Other writers are prone to saying things like this: &quot;Himalayan salt can be a natural and chemical-free alternative to traditional table salt.&quot; Never mind that salt IS a chemical, statements like this are simply idiotic.</p> <p>Himalayan salt prices aren't as high as some of the more gourmet sea salt costs. You can buy <a href="http://www.mothernature.com/p/-Mega-Mill-Salt-with-Grinder-12-oz/202361.html?utm_source=frg&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=product&amp;zmam=1000941&amp;zmas=18&amp;zmac=110&amp;zmap=202361">12 oz. of Himalayan salt in a mill for $6</a>, which is a little over $7 per pound.</p> <h3>Smoked/Flavored Salt</h3> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoked_salt">Smoked and flavored salts</a> are popular <a href="http://australianfood.about.com/od/discoveraussienzfood/r/flavored_salt_recipe.htm">gifts for foodies</a> &mdash; very few things seem to make a man with a BBQ happier than a jar of specially smoked salts. Smoked and flavored salts can really enhance the flavor of meat and vegetables, especially if applied right before eating.</p> <p>There isn't anything terribly special about the chemical composition of a flavored salt granule. It's just sodium chloride that has been coated with flavor or mixed with other ingredients to provide a flavor other than saltiness. You can save yourself a pretty penny by <a href="http://purplefoodie.com/flavoured-salts/">making your own flavored salts</a>, but there are lots of interesting versions out there to try. At my local grocery store, I counted 15 different flavored salts, everything from green tea salt and smoked salts to lemon salt and even merlot-flavored salt (an intriguing purple color).</p> <p>Of course, one of the cheapest and most delicious flavored salts has been around for a while &mdash; garlic salt. Garlic salt is made of salt, powdered garlic, and other herbs. It's a real life-saver in a pinch when the homemade marinara you made from hot house tomatoes tastes a little bland.</p> <p>The cost of flavored salts varies widely &mdash; garlic salt is among the cheapest (you can even <a href="http://cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/2008/07/how-to-make-garlic-salt/">make your own garlic salt</a> if you are feeling industrious), but I saw flavored salts selling for as much as $10 an ounce at my local store.</p> <h3>Salt Substitutes</h3> <p>There are a number of salt replacement mixes available on the market, many of which contain potassium chloride, which is meant to mimic the flavor of salt without actually providing an increase in sodium consumption. However, <a href="http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/askdietician/ask1_02.aspx">potassium chloride is hard on the kidneys</a> and isn't always a great substitute. Salt substitutes perform poorly in taste tests, although reviewers on Amazon seem to appreciate <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sodium-Free-NoSalt-Granules-Substitute/dp/B000GG0FNK">NoSalt</a>.</p> <h2>Which Salt Is Healthiest?</h2> <p>Salt is something we need in our diets. Of course, many of us get too much salt, which can lead to hypertension and other health problems, so it never hurts to cut back a little. But if you are going to choose a salt, is there a type of salt that is better for you than any other? That depends &mdash; are you iodine deficient? If you are, then table salt, which has iodine added to it, is your best bet.</p> <p>There are some who would claim that the minerals that remain in gourmet sea salts are good for you, and while that's technically true, <a href="http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/what-kind-of-salt-is-healthiest.aspx#">the amount of these minerals found in sea salt is minuscule&nbsp;</a>&mdash; not enough to make a difference in the nutritional value of salt. So, when choosing a &quot;healthy&quot; salt, your best bet is to buy the salt that you enjoy the taste of, and use it as sparingly as possible.</p> <h2>Which Salt Is the Most Affordable?</h2> <p>Pound for pound, table salt is still the cheapest salt that you can buy, and it offers a dose of iodine that keeps your thyroid working well. Kosher salt is slightly more expensive, but tends to score very well in taste tests.</p> <p>The cost of salt can vary from $0.36 per pound to a whopping $36 per pound! That's a 100-fold increase!</p> <h2>Which Salt Tastes Best?</h2> <p>Finding a delicious salt is entirely up to the individual palate. Slate's Dan Crane performed a <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2117243/">taste test of various salts</a> on two separate occasions, pitting a salt substitute against table salt and several fancy salts. Although he doesn't say so explicitly, it appears as though the taste testers were aware of which salt they were tasting, and exposed to the salt containers as well (as such, I imagine some of the tasters might have been swayed slightly by the lovely <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plastic-packaging-thirty-ways-im-using-less-and-why">packaging</a> on the more expensive gourmet salts). Despite this, kosher salt tested very highly, especially when taking cost and lack of pretty packaging (compared with much more expensive salt brands) into account.</p> <p>Cook's Illustrated ran a series of <a href="http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=9842">salt taste tests</a> as well, and the results were mixed &mdash; table salt did well in baking, sea salt did well when sprinkled on roasted meat, and all salts performed the same in the taste test involving chicken stock. This doesn't suggest that all salts are the same, but as the writers at Cook's Illustrated suggest, it makes sense to keep pricier salts on the table, since their texture and flavor is more easily detected if added right before eating.</p> <p><em>Do you have a particular type of salt that you like best? Do you buy salt based on flavor, cost, or some kind of combination?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-salt-is-best">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible">Foraging: Not Insane, Useless, or Impossible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dilutions-of-grandeur-stretch-your-food-at-every-meal">Dilutions of Grandeur: Stretch Your Food at Every Meal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food">Cheap Ways to Add Big Flavor to Your Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable food flavorings professional seasoning products salt Mon, 02 May 2011 10:36:36 +0000 Andrea Karim 531554 at http://www.wisebread.com Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/water_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a<a href="/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids" target="_blank"> previous article about gasoline prices</a> I noted that many packaged drinks are quite expensive and the cheapest drink out there is water. The main reason that people don't drink water is that it is tasteless and not very &quot;fun&quot; to drink. On the other hand, water is definitely more healthy than sodas so now there is a entire category of packaged drinks such as VitaminWater that is basically bottled water with coloring,vitamins,and flavor. Instead of buying these drinks, there are many things you can add to water add home to make it more exciting to drink.</p> <p><strong>1. Salt</strong> - I am sure you have heard of the term &quot;electrolytes&quot; in the marketing for energy drinks. Actually electrolytes are just ions that can be found in common table salt. Adding a little bit of salt to water helps your body absorb the liquid more quickly. As long as you don't go overboard with the salt the water should be very quenching and it would be great for workouts since the body loses salt through sweat.</p> <p><strong> 2. Ginger</strong> - If you like spices, ginger is a great way to add a &quot;zing&quot; to your water. If it is added to boiling water it is also a great way to clear your throat and sinuses during a cold.</p> <p><strong>3. Citrus</strong> - My husband's family members often freeze a small citrus fruit called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamondin" target="_blank">kalamansi</a> in ice cube trays and then put the ice cubes in water for flavor. The same can be done with other citrus fruits and the water produced would be infused with vitamin C.</p> <p><strong>4. Herbs</strong> - Mint, lemongrass, and parsley are great for adding aroma and a hint of green to your water. If you want to release the flavor you can crush the plants a little bit before putting them into your water.</p> <p><strong>5. Cucumber</strong> - I saw this at a spa I went to in Hawaii. A water dispenser was half filled up with cucumber slices, and the water dispensed tasted very refreshing and smelled a bit like cucumber.</p> <p><strong>6. Wine</strong> - A favorite of mine to add to water is plum wine or umeshu. It is a very sweet Japanese liquere made from green plums so I drink it with a lot of water. The distinct sweet flavor still comes through when there is one part umeshu in ten parts water. I am sure the same can be done with other syrupy liqueres.</p> <p><strong>7. Berries</strong> - Blueberries and strawberries have distinct flavors that could be soaked up by water. All you have to do is cut or crush a few of the berries into your water.</p> <p><strong>8. Vinegar</strong> - Adding vinegar to water is similar to adding citrus. You will get sour water that has vitamin C. When I was a kid I liked adding apple vinegar to water and then drinking it. I do not recommend mixing in balsamic vinegar since it has oil, but any clear vinegar is good for flavoring your water.</p> <p>Of course any of these things could also be added to soda water if you want to make your own lightly flavored soda. The possibilities are really endless since you can mix and match the ingredients any way you want. What do you think? Do you prefer flavored waters over plain tap? What do you do to make your water more palatable?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwisebread.com%2Feight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEight%2520Natural%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Water%2520More%2520Flavorful.jpg&amp;description=Eight%20Natural%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Water%20More%20Flavorful"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Eight%20Natural%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Water%20More%20Flavorful.jpg" alt="Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living DIY Food and Drink Health and Beauty beverages DIY drink flavorings natural water Thu, 03 Apr 2008 20:54:35 +0000 Xin Lu 1974 at http://www.wisebread.com