Salt Free Spices, Sauces, Marinades, & Rubs

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 @ 08:08 PM

Food does not need to be boring and bland. Especially if you have cholesterol, fat and sodium issues. There are plenty of things that you can do to enhance flavor without adding salt and fat.

Garlic powder & black pepper are natural meat tenderizers. So is vinegar. So if you are using tougher pieces of meat these are great tenderizers and flavor enhancers. Most bbq mops are very liquidy, using items like vinegar, lemon juice etc. for a base. These are very acidic and will also help tenderize and help keep the meat from drying out at the same time. This is also good for tough or larger pieces of meat that  are typically slow cooked or smoked. Odds are if you have high cholesterol, you shouldn’t be eating that stuff anyway. But we all have to eat sometime. We can just do our best to make it healthier if possible.

Herbs and aromatic vegetables add flavor without adding fat or sodium as well. Garlic, ginger, onions & shallots are perfect examples here. Rosemary, marjoram, and thyme. Chili powder & red pepper. The list is endless. There are so many herbs and spices that can be used as rubs or cures. A rub is something that you put on the meat and “rub” in and typically cook right away. A cure is a rub, but you leave it on for longer periods of time, sort of a dry marinade if you will. This will flavor the meat more intensely.

Marinades are just wet seasonings. They are great to use on thinner cuts of meat that tend to dry out like fish or boneless chicken fillets. But they are great flavor enhancers for larger cuts of meat as well. They usually just need to marinate longer. A few hours or overnight. (A brine is a marinade but usually very high in sodium). Marinades tend to have at least one fat, like olive oil, and one acid, like orange juice and then spices, herbs, and aromatic vegetables. A baste can be high in fat, like melted butter, etc, but you can take the marinade you just took your meat out of, & boil it for at least 3 mins. to get out any bacteria and use it as your baste.

BBQ sauces are usually very thick & sometimes very sweet . The sweeteners tend to burn so they should be added on right at the end of cooking or served on.

With proper seasonings, you can change a meal to mimic any geographic location’s flavor that you feel like indulging in. You can get an Asian feel to your chicken with an orange juice marinade and some Chinese five spice, or season your London broil with soy sauce, grated ginger & sesame seeds. Rub your pork chops with some Caribbean jerk seasoning for that island flare. Use chili powder & crushed red pepper with thin sliced beef for a southwestern creation. Imagination and creativity are all the motivation you need.

Even if you don’t have health issues, bumping up the flavor in your food without the added sodium, is still never a bad thing. When you grill or smoke food for instance, most people have some preference for seasoning or marinating of the meat or vegetables before putting them on the grill or in their BBQ smoker. Grilling and smoking alone will enhance the flavor of the food to begin with, but adding spice, sauces, herbs, using a bbq rub, mop, or marinade can enhance the flavor all the more and can still be done without salt.

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8 Responses to “Salt Free Spices, Sauces, Marinades, & Rubs”

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