This week is “Salt awareness week” so I thought I would write about how I limit the salt intake in my own family. We can all cut down on adding extra salt to baking and cooking of foods in the kitchen to do our little bit to reduce the salt in our diets. There is a lot of salt added to the processed foods we eat so eating less processed foods would also help as these are packed full of nutrients that we don’t need lots of – as we are all told through the media.

In the kitchen we can help ourselves  by not cooking vegetables in salted water. I feel that this doesn’t help the vegetables flavours – but this is my own personal choice. My children have never had salt added to the cooking water of vegetables in my house and when they go out for tea somewhere they do notice a difference and will sometimes say about the vegetables being too salty.  Of course they do get salt from other foodstuffs which they have occasionally such as Mcdonalds, ready meals but this is as a special treat or when I can’t be bothered to make any tea. After all everybody needs a break sometime from the norm and children do earn treats once in a while. 🙂

Things are changing slowly in the UK and several companies have agreed to reduce the salt in the products which they make for the UK market. This can only be a good thing but how long this takes to happen can only be a guess as it will take time. In the meantime, the number of salt-laden foods which children and adults eat can be controlled. For example, in my house my children are allowed one bag of crisps per day , in their packed lunch or as an after school treat. They do not use salt at the dinner table. Other foods which they eat I try to limit the saltier varieties and check the salt on the packaging. I do make a lot of homemade meals that they enjoy and are available as ready made such as pizza, chicken nuggets, curries, soups, chillies etc., and I remove or alter the recipe so that the salt is reduced. The best way to remove salt from a recipe is to replace it with other flavours such as spices, chillies, lemon etc., and the adjustment to less salt will be easier.

The main problem is in the everyday foods which we eat and don’t expect to find salt in such as hot chocolate, cereals and bread.  It is quite a shock to find salt in the sweet foodstuffs which you wouldn’t expect to find them in. The safest thing to do is check the labels before buying food and opt for the lower salt foods.

On to another subject now – in the kitchen today I am baking some more treats for my Easter recipe book. At the moment my dough is proving for some Hot Cross Buns with a difference. I am going to make a special cake for tea but I haven’t decided on the decoration yet and I want to finish it for the family to enjoy after their dinner tonight.  Also I am baking some brownies for the childrens’ packed lunches for the rest of the week. After that I am going to add some more ingredients to my website and try to sort out the adverts on my blog and website which I am not keen on at the moment. I may even add another past recipe to the Yummly site. If only there were more hours in the day.