No Salt Seasoning…

 

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No-salt flavorings, powders, blends are really  hard to find — actually, GOOD ones are hard to find! Making your own, to your own tastes, suitable for various dishes is also good, but, for me can be difficult to make up on my own, as I go…it takes some experimenting with each flavor addition to get exactly the right amount of this or that. Accomplishing that for any one dish is challenging, but very rewarding (as long as you write it down!!)

 

 

 

A general all-purpose seasoning is probably harder. But I really find it invaluable because it can boost an already, specifically spiced dish and it can stand alone as a broth or stock

SO, all that to say, I’ve been recently using McCormick’s Perfect Pinch, Salt-Free Original, All Purpose Seasoning.

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You can see it is not ground so I prefer to use it cooked; but, it can certainly be worked into raw dishes :^) It makes a really good,  basic, vegetable broth/stock; and isn’t so specific in one flavor to make it prohibitive to almost any style food you are preparing — sort of a chameleon base broth :^).

It lends itself to long-cooking, as well as quick cooked or short, simmered dishes,too, which is really nice! Only one drawback — it’s not organic. But I can deal with that for now; my diet is pretty much organic (as organic as I can get it!)  Maybe fooling with the ingredients listed on the label, I can fanagle my own version…

McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Original, All Purpose, Salt-Free Seasoning is available in most supermarkets. I’m in Southern California, but I suppose most generic super-markets are the same.

A few of my favorite veggies for flavoring my broths or cooking foods in include, onions, garlic, celery, green bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms (all kinds!). I will add other veggies, such as starches — I like parsnips, potatoes; corn — which add texture(s) and flavor, but I limit starches.

I like spices and herbs too, especially, chiles and/or their powders; cumin; coriander; allspice; marjoram; epazote. I like fresh oregano and basil when they fit; tomato powder; a touch of nutritional yeast.

Mustard is appropriate if a bit of tang+flavor bomb is wanted! I like Westbrae Naturals Stone Ground, No Salt Added Mustard. Or, make your own!

What are your favorite veggies for broth or no-salt seasonings?

Strix :^)

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CV Sunday!

whew, finally got around to making a much needed batch of  my cultured veggies last Sunday…

Not much to say (for once 😉 ) except that the absolutely cRazY weather Southern Cali has me a bit worried about how my fermented goodies will fare. So far so good! Taking extra care with cleanliness and sterilizing EVERYthing that comes in contact with the contents is the only real assurance the handmaden 😉 can expect.

So, without further ado, some CV porn … ahoy! 😀

Great colors…Imagine the flavors!

This older one…THIS ONE…Oh, the umamity! THIS was the most delicious thing I think I’ve ever tasted in my entire life — no kidding. It was…well, it’s un-limnable.  AND, to my chagrin, non-replicable 😦  — Believe me, I tried! O’ how I tried…I sweat and strain…body all achin’ and racked with pain…Nothin’ 😦

:sniff: It was one of my “everything cultured veggies” : When making batches, I gather the leftovers from each combo and just throw it into a bowl, mix it all, then place in a container; so I’m getting every ingredient I used that day! So it would be impossible to know all the stuff, much less the amounts. O’ the agony

Note the gorgeous black berries in there!…If only I could recapture the moment… 😀

Obviously, I make LOTS :^) It’s best to do it all in one swoop: It takes a day, but better to get it all done in a few hours, and then have MONTHS of not having to deal with it. Then…ahhhhhhhhh, just reap the rewards ;’)

So, enjoy the photos!

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*Oh, here’s an example of one foaming over; I mentioned this previously. Nothing goin’ wrong here; this is fine. If it were  bad, it would be very evident, if not looking at it before opening, upon doing so! Right quick like…

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~ Intermission ~

Here are some of the goodies in my latest batch:

Mustard seeds, Black peppercorns, whole Tumeric, Cumin seeds, Coriander seeds, Galangal, Ginger,

Onions, Garlic, whole Sumac berries

Green Apples; Peaches (first time using them; can’t wait to try!);Papaya ;Kumquats; Goji Berries

Broccoli Sprouts (fantastic price; outstanding quality); Savoy Cabbage; Green Cabbage; Purple Cabbage; Baby Bok Choi; Adult Bok Choi; Curly Kale; Dandelion Greens (fab in CV’s); Cauliflower, Zucchini…

That’s all I recall; I’m sure there were other goodies thrown in. I was low on fruit, so was unable to use some of the great summer fruits I would have liked; though, I’m willing to gear up for another round of CV Sunday if I come across some stuffs that I can’t pass up.

Oh! I also made a “pasta sauce” CV! I was inspired by someone’s blog ages ago; sadly, I cannot find it. A woman had experimented making CV with all the herbs, spices, and veggies one would put it a sauce and raved about it. Sounded weird to me, but, then again my concoctions may sound strange too, and they are delectable! Sooo, I gave it a try. I’ll give it a review once I taste it.

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Then I made…

… Pickles!

Previously,  made some delicious relish …

which was actually not pickled; it was cultured relish! Try finding that at any hippy-store 😉

So am hoping these pickies come out great. They should be easy to turn into relish when I need it, too!

And jus *had*  to make some more of the crazy-yum pickled papaya — fingers X they come out right!


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Does the potpourri of ingredients give you any ideas? I hope so! (read my “How To” for more ideas) It’s a great  medium to be wonderfully whimsom 😀 and take advantage of the “anything goes” possibilities that making your very own. original cultured vege-fruit blends offers you!

I also suggest using organic ingredients, and strongly advise ( 😉 ) to not use any waxed foods — cucumbers, citrus, apples, etc.)

Ooh, I cannot wait for the Autumnal foods: My favorite season brings deliciousness that I can jar and enjoy all year long!

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Got some kickin’ it outside, too 🙂

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Okay, enough?  Me thinks I’m good for a while, right? 😉 ALthoooooogh…this reminds me

I still haven’t posted those other fermenting drafts (I’ve had sittin’ for years now!)

Hooray for CV Sunday — or  CV any day!

* I learned the basics from Body Ecology and, a great raw, commercial (but expensive) product recipe, Rejuvenative Foods brand (instructions at end of article).  As ALWAYS, use your own judgment, common sense, and be vigilant with all cautions — resultant product is your sole responsibility.

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Poxacuatl

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Nori I like, and Salt-Free Relish …

UPDATE: November 19, 2008

I found this great chart for Iodine content of sea veggies from VRG!! Great magazine, by the way. I subscribed for years — See Below

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I love this brand of Nori sheets. It’s Emerald Cove’s Organic raw seaweed. There are a few other good-quality brands, but the price and quality of these make it a “best buy” 🙂

It’s often toasted, but I prefer it raw to get the most from it. It does not require cooking.

It’s great for a crunchy texture, as well as a chewy flavor when it becomes damp. It comes with the little freshness packet to keep them fresh, of course, but also to keep it crispy. If it’s humid, it very quickly gets soft; not a bad thing at all, really, just, if you want it crispy, keep it in the package till the last minute 🙂 . You may know if you eat or have eaten sushi rolls that it will become chewy-ish when damp but unappealingly soggy if it gets too much liquid on it. The warm rice used to make nori rolls is just enough to keep it soft without tearing.

I used to make sushi quite often pre-ETL, and I used to like it as a snack, as well; and it was quite inexpensive when purchased at Asian markets.

Now, I use the raw sheets to scoop food or as a vessel for ETL-fillings and salad 🙂 . I love that it’s mild and non-seafood tasting.

Sea Vegetables are nutritious, containing lots of minerals. I like Nori daily to get those minerals, but mostly to get adequate iodine, which is so important if not eating processed foods which are laden with salt which contain iodine. . Unfortunately the package doesn’t provide the iodine info (Notice there is no sodium! Whoo Hoo!! Yet it has a savory-mild salty-ish-ness):

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and when I enquired via email, they said not only do minerals vary batch to batch (which is expected and normal), but also they just don’t know that info yet. Apparently, they are looking into it. It’s been a long time since I first enquired, and did so again recently, so, I’m not expecting to get that info any time soon. 😦

Here is what they did send me,however regarding Alaria, Dulse, Kelp, and Laver:

Nutrition per serving for Maine Coast Sea Vegetables

– based on 7g per serving (1/3 cup)

– whole-leaf sea veggies

Alaria Dulse Kelp Laver Daily Value

Protein g 1.24 1.51 1.13 1.99 50g

Fat g 0.25 0.12 0.17 0.32 65g

Carbohydrate g 2.79 3.12 2.75 3.16 300g

Calories cal 18.3 18.5 16.9 22.3 2000 cal

Fiber g 2.70 2.33 2.28 2.12 25g

Ca mg 77.0 14.9 65.9 13.2 1000mg

K mg 522 547 784 188 3500mg

Mg mg 64.3 19.0 63.0 26.5 400mg

P mg 35.2 28.6 29.6 28.6 1000mg

Fe mg 1.27 2.32 2.98 1.46 18mg

Na mg 297 122 312 113 2400mg

I mg 1.16 0.36 3.17 0.10 150µg

Mn mg 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.24 2.0mg

Cu mg 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.04 2.0mg

Cr mg 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.01 .12mg

F mg 0.30 0.37 0.27 0.41

Zn mg 0.24 0.20 0.20 0.29 15mg

Vit. A IU 594 46.4 39.3 300 5000 I.U.

Vit. B1 mg 0.04 0.01 0.04 0.04 1.5mg

Vit. B2 mg 0.19 0.13 0.17 0.21 1.7mg

Vit. B3 mg 0.74 0.13 0.25 0.41 20mg

Vit. B6 mg 0.44 0.63 0.60 0.78 2.0mg

Vit. B12 µg 0.35 0.46 0.18 1.23 6.0µg

Vit. C mg 0.41 0.44 0.29 0.84 60mg

Vit. E IU 0.34 0.12 0.19 0.36 30 IU

Highest amount

Lowest amount(s)

Please remember that all the statistics in this chart have only relative significance. The whole plants provide much more than the sum of their parts.

These nutritional assays were done by the Silliker Laboratories of New Jersey and the Plant and Soil Analytical Lab., University of Maine at Orono.

I do recall when researching the iodine content of nori (no one seems to know this info!) that I came across one source that indicated that 1 sheet was about 60-70% DV. So, not sure; but I eat 1 or two sheets a day, or other seaweeds, such as my favorite, arame:

Arame_package

Here it is dry:

Arame_dry

Sort of spaghetti-like strands, and a really great texture.

It should be soaked first:

Arame_soak

A mere few minutes later, it has already absorbed quite a bit …

Arame_fewminutes_soak

…and this is partly why it is good for satiety. I think it’s 4-times it’s dry size once hydrated.

It can be cooked or eaten raw; just be sure to soak and rinse. I used to eat it mixed into my grains, and loved it that way. Now, I add it to my ETL salads or to raw “noodle” dishes, or simply on the side and take bites of it throughout my meal.

I would say it has a mild sea flavor; however, to be cautious, and since I’m used to it, I would say that it may be more moderate for the uninitiated. Just be sure to soak, rinse well and drain first. If it’s too seafoody, then simmer it. It’s also not something that is generally eaten in large amounts; it’s often a side dish or, the way I liked it, something to mix in to a dish. A popular side dish is sauteeing some onions and carrots in a bit of oil and adding some prepared arame. Pre-ETL, I used to add some toasted sesame oil to drizzle on top and some sesame seeds on top (usually toasted).

I also like dulse quite a bit, though I need to rinse it because it is the one which has the most naturally-occurring sea sodium on it. It is very very delicate, so it immediately breaks apart and becomes soggy even with a little bit of moisture. It is not crispy at all to begin with, and, actually is chewy and quite delicious. I’ve used a lightly damp paper towel or tea towel to wipe off a lot of the salt; however, it’s tedious and it breaks apart very easily. So, a good solution is to dry it out in a dehydrator — only takes a few minutes, and, actually you can get it crispy this way. Some people actually fry it for a “bacon” substitute Yikes. Not necessary, really; pre-ETL, I made very tasty vegan “BLT’s” or “DLT’s” with it without having to fry ;).

Lots of other seaweeds available, I also like hiziki/hijiki. It definitely has a stronger sea flavor and aroma. I like kombu for vegan dashi, as well as a great tenderizer and flavor enhancer (and de-gasser 😀 ) for cooking beans; Wakame and Alaria are also good for this.

It’s important to buy from reputable vendors and follow the package instructions for hijiki, such as stated on the package of Eden Foods brand:

“…wash, soak for 15 minutes in warm water, drain, rinse well and discard the soaking water.”

Kelp as well as dulse and other combos of seaweeds are available in shakers for use as salt subs or just to add flavor. I like to add sesame seeds and have a salt-free gamasio 😉 . Kelp, by the way should be consumed in moderation — it is *very* high in iodine.

there is laver, various sea lettuces, etc.; and of course, the vegan “gelatin” — the indispensable, agar or agar-agar, aka, “kanten.”  Lots to choose!

Could go on and on… 😀

UPDATE : November 19, 2008 – Iodine Chart

Table 2: Iodine Content of Some Sea Vegetables

Sea Vegetable

Iodine (µg) in a serving

Amount needed to supply 150 µg of Iodine (Adult RDA)

Avoid frequent use of more than this amount per day*

Arame

732/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.5 Tablespoons

Hiziki

786/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.4 Tablespoons

Kelp12

1,986/Tablespoon

Less than
1/4 teaspoon

0.6 Tablespoon

Kombu

1,454/1-inch piece

1/10-inch

3/4-inch piece

Nori

40/sheet

3¾ sheets

27½ sheets

Wakame

82/Tablespoon

1.8 Tablespoons

0.8 cup

Data from reference 12. All measures are dried (uncooked) sea vegetable. These amounts will vary greatly depending on where the seaweed was gathered and how it was processed and stored.

* Based on Upper Limit of 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day. These amounts assume that your diet does not contain other sources of iodine.

Whoo Hoo! So Iwas worried 2 sheets of Nori a day might be pushing it, but it looks like 3 3/4 sheets is the RDA! Cool beans. 🙂

Try some seaweed!

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I made my own salt-free relish to add to my Thousand Island dressing. Came out really, really good. I layered cabbage on the bottom of the container, added my mixture of chopped zucchini and cucumber and fresh garlic slices, dill seed, and black pepper corns. then I topped it with more cabbage, just like for the cultured veggies. I let it go about 1 1/2 weeks and it was perfect. No need for vinegar, either 🙂

You can find low-salt relishes and I’ve seen one or two salt free (though they contain junk, including sugar in some!), but why, when you can soooo easily make your own. No compromise necessary 😀 Who needs salt?!!!

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Strix

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