After cooking your meal, you could add a little salt to your plated food to give it a boost, but unfortunately, it’s too late to truly bring out the flavors that the dish contains.
You need to be salting your food throughout the entire cooking process. As well as continuously TASTING along the way.
Most home cooks tend to under-season their meals to avoid over salting, and this, unfortunately, results in meals that are bland and boring.
Salt not only brings out the flavor the foods natural contain but it also creates a balance between sweetness and acidity.
When you season food at different stages of cooking, the salt pulls out the natural flavors of the individual ingredients and enhances their taste.
This is why it’s so important to add salt while you are cooking – you give it time to do its food flavor enhancing magic.
If you wait until after cooking to add salt, you’ll end up with “salty” food instead of a lively and delicious dish with deep complex flavors.
Most recipes will that tell you to “add salt to taste”. Why? The fact is, because it’s hard to really put an exact measurement for salt.
Kitchn.com (post by Emma Christensen) writes that when the recipe says salt to taste, we’re not actually looking for salty flavor.
All we’re trying to do is get rid of bitterness and make the rest of the flavors in the food stand out.
The “saltiness” of salt varies depending on its size, texture, type, and even brand.
For example: a tablespoon of coarse or Kosher salt could equal the same level of saltiness as 2 teaspoons of table salt.
This difference can make or break a meal if you are measuring salt exactly according to the instructions in a recipe and using whichever salt you have on hand.
This is why it is vitally important that you salt throughout the cooking process and taste along the way until you reach the desired outcome or flavors you are looking for.
Did you know salt is used for more than just bringing out foods flavors – Read more here: The Usefulness Of Salt Around The House
Taking Care When Using Salt
It’s important though, to watch your sodium intake.
Too much sodium could contribute to high blood pressure, which may increase your risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other health concerns.
On average, Americans consume about 3,393 mg of sodium per day, that’s about 1/2 tablespoon or 1.5 teaspoons.
The recommended dietary guidelines from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for Americans is to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
According to JAMA (American Medical Association), about half of all Americans, those aged 51 years or older, African Americans of any age, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, are recommended to only consume 1500 mg a day of sodium.
What Should You Do?
Eat salt in moderation and remember it is found in processed and restaurant foods in high amounts.
Therefore, your salt intake can be decreased by eating out less often, especially at fast-food restaurants and eating less prepared or packaged foods.
Cook your own meals and remember, “salt to taste.” As you want to taste the real flavors of food, not the salt.