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Around the home:Get more taste, less salt with flavor combinations
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The following flavor and food combinations, adapted from information provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (, have the added benefit of making meat, poultry, fish and vegetables tasty without adding salt.

For meat, poultry and fish, try one or more of these combinations:

Beef: Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme

Lamb: Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint

Pork: Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano

Veal: Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano

Chicken: Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme

Fish: Curry powder, dill, dry mustard, marjoram, paprika, pepper

For vegetables, experiment with one or more of these combinations:

Carrots: Cinnamon, cloves, dill, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage

Corn: Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley

Green Beans: Dill, curry powder, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme

Greens: Onion, pepper

Potatoes: Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage

Summer Squash: Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage

Winter Squash: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, onion

Tomatoes: Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper.

Here are some tips when using spices and herbs to help you reduce the salt in foods:

Savory flavors, and flavors with "bite," such as black pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, dill seeds, basil, ginger, coriander and onion, are the most effective in replacing the taste of salt..

Use minced or powdered garlic and onion rather than their salt form.

Omit the salt when cooking pasta and flavor with basil, oregano, parsley or pepper.

Check labels to see if "salt" or "sodium" are listed among the ingredients.

The amount to add varies with the type of spice or herb, type of recipe and personal preference. If possible, start with a tested recipe from a reliable source. If you’re creating your own recipe, begin with trying one or two spices or herbs.

But what if your recipe calls for fresh herbs and all you have are dried herbs?

Here are some approximate amounts of different forms of herbs equivalent to each other:

1 tablespoon finely cut fresh herbs

1 teaspoon dried leafy herbs

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herbs

If you don’t know how much of a spice or herb to use, follow these recommendations:

Begin with 1/4 teaspoon of most ground spices or ground dried herbs and adjust as needed.

Start with 1/8 teaspoon for cayenne pepper and garlic powder; adjust as needed.

Red pepper intensifies in flavor during cooking; add in small increments.


Adapted from University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Debbie Wilburn is a county extension agent in family and consumer science with the Hall County Extension. Contact: 770-535-8290.

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