Before I launch into a much-belated and long-awaited blog post, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Marcia (sounds like “Garcia”) Gagliardi, San Francisco’s very own Tablehopper. This online maven and frisco foodie always has the skinny on the best bites and dining deals in town. Her e-column is a weekly crash course on the hottest restaurant news in our corner of the world and by regularly perusing her witty and informative musings, you will impress your friends and become the go-to for recommendations. Why the accoclades? Marcia is not only a great food reporter but an awesome person too and after a short email correspondance, gave your very own Sodium Girl a shout-out on her site. Thank you, Marcia! And for all of you looking to spice up your dining habits…take a second to sign up for her newsletter and change your life forever.
So now onto the sodium 411. I have a long laundry list of products, spices, and substitutions that makes eating sodium free a virtual cinch. I have been a bit overwhelmed by the process of compiling (and mostly remembering to include) all of these items…so I’ve decided, to be more consistant in my blogging and actually provide information that is immediately useful, to post a new Tip & Trick every Friday and slowly, I will reveal all that is good and magical.
Bread and bready goodies. Be well warned that your favorite floury treats tend to be high in sodium. This is not only caused by the actual salt included in most recipes but is also a result of the baking soda (which contains between 100-200 mg of sodium per serving and is commonly known as “sodium bicarbonate”…um, woops!) and baking powder (which also contains between 100-200). Until your favorite bagel shop, cookie spot, and pizza joint start making their goodies without baking powder or baking soda (Noe Valley Bakery, care to give it a shot?), you’ll have to bring the bakery to your own kitchen.
But this is easier than it sounds. First, you can always substitute yeast for our two baking culprits – this live ingredient acts as an equally effective leavening agent, producing bubbles in your wet ingredients that expand the mixture. Yeast works very well for pizza and breadmaking. Be warned though, it can produce a somewhat fermented taste (think beer). So for sweeter recipes, the best solution is NO SODIUM baking powder and baking soda. What? This exists? Yeah. it does. And while it used to only exist online, I have actually seen it sold in Whole Foods – which, by the by, apparently publishes awesome dietary-need-based grocery lists for their stores. The two products I use are Hain Pure Foods Sodium Free Baking Powder and Ener-G Calcium Cabonate. And to really blow your mind, they are also gluten free.
Now, let’s say you want to make a sandwich or a Toas-Tite and making your own bread sounds too laborious. Lucky news, sodium free bread can be easily found in most grocery stores. Food For Life’s Ezekial 4:9 low-sodium sprouted grain bread (which has no sodium in it and is truly godly) is my go-to. And since I know for a fact that I do not hold all the sodium-free answers, check out this neat-o skeat-o website for an expansive list of no and low-sodium bread products and their sodium/serving amounts.
I’m pretty excited about some no-sodium salsas I just discovered on this site! Mexican pizza anyone?
Thanks to signalite1 for an anwesome flickr photo of a delicious baked goodies!