A great topic for today – what is the best salt for cooking? Salt indeed has a bad reputation and a lot of disputes on whether or not to use salt in food, what type of salt to use and so on. As a chef, I’m super passionate about this and I would say that not all salts are created equal. I’ve met many people at our retreats who find it hard to avoid salt but they have to because of problems with high blood pressure. When I talk to these people about their diets and the foods they usually eat, the answer I get is usually a long list of processed foods that burst with salt that is highly processed, salt that’s loaded with additives that take away from their health. The only thing I can say is to get back to nature people. Nature knows what is good for us, nature knows best.
When it comes to cooking with whole foods, you should absolutely use salt to season your food. We actually NEED salt, it’s a human requirement from nature. So don’t knock it. I get that there is a lot of poor-quality salt out there in fake food. But the thing is we don’t want to use the poor, processed salt found in refined, packaged foods. It’s not good for our organs and doesn’t serve us in any way whatsoever, and we have no idea about all the bad consequences that kind of salt does to the body. The body has to deal with these processed salts, and it’s bloody hard work!
Whole foods are naturally low in salt, and when you follow a whole foods diet and lifestyle, salt becomes the first building blocks of flavour! By seasoning your food with this gift, you can really PULL out the flavour of your dishes.
I always have Himalayan salt in my kitchen. You can find it as a fine powder or as crystals coming from the Himalayan Mountains. I prefer crystals, they look gorgeous and then I just ground them either in a mortar and pestle or my Vitamix. We usually see this salt in different nuances of pink, but it can also be of orange or grey colour. Besides other minerals, it also has a very high sulphur content, which gives it that sharp taste. A great number of researchers were done on this salt, and we now have a clear insight into how many beautiful minerals it contains. The number comes up to 78 trace minerals. WOW!!!
My next favourite healthy salt for cooking comes from the company Big Tree Farms. I’m their big fan, and if you would like to try their salt, you can order it online, as they ship it around the world. Their salt that I LOVE is local Bali sea salt that comes from the sea around Indonesia. This salt is gorgeous and is quite different from Himalayan salt. It is not that sharp in taste and has some sweetness to it.
Looking further for the best salt for cooking we come to black salt, which looks super cool. This is white salt is activated with charcoal, and it comes from the mountains in Cyprus. Similarly to the local Bali salt, this one is also delicate and sweet in taste, and the best thing is that you cannot taste charcoal in it and it does not take from your health.
Another type of salt that I like to use in cooking is Celtic sea salt. It comes in brownish, almost dirty-like flakes and is quite strong in flavour, so keep that in mind when you season your food. It’s also super rich in minerals, which is kind of cool when you come to think about it. We are also made up of minerals, so taking ourselves back to nature by appreciating food in the form it comes from nature, seasoning it with salt that comes from nature is the way to go.
It is not that hard to move away from salt made in labs and processed food in general. For instance, the regular table salt that many people are used to using contain aluminium and anticaking agents that are also found in other processed foods. But, these anticaking agents are also found in fertilizers…
I want you to ask yourselves the same thing I asked myself, as I do myself “Do I really want to eat that??” Heck no!!!
The best tip I can give you regarding best healthy salt for cooking is to look for salt in its natural form, the form as close to nature as possible with low human interference.
Salt without human interference is the best kind of salt to use.
So, don’t be afraid of salt, just look for the one full of minerals and the taste of life!
Let me know views on this in the comments below.
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking.
She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time.
Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.