Low salt recipes for your favourite typically salty foods

Did you know that excess salt hides in all sorts of unsuspecting food products?! Even foods that don’t taste salty, like soup, cereals and bread, are packed with hidden salts. In fact, 75% of our average daily salt intake comes from these hidden salts in food products, not from the salt we use in our cooking or at the table.

Eating too much salt can be dangerous for our health; it can lead to high blood pressure and cause damage to our arteries, heart and kidneys. But how much salt is too much?

Adults

Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around 1 teaspoon.

Children

The maximum amount of salt children should have depends on their age:

  • 1 to 3 years – 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
  • 4 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
  • 7 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)
  • 11 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)

Babies

Babies shouldn’t eat much salt, because their kidneys are not fully developed to process it.

NHS

 

Keep your salt intake in check by making your own versions of  these typically high-salt foods…

Flatbreads

Did you know that bread is packed with hidden salt, and some popular loaves of bread have as much salt in one slice, as an entire packet of crisps?!

Next time you’re in the bread aisle, check the labels to make sure you’re choosing a loaf that’s lower in salt, or better yet – make your own! These easy-peasy flatbreads use just three ingredients and take only a few minutes to make.

These flatbreads are lovely just as they are, alongside some soup, with a fresh salad, or dunked in some homemade dip. You could even use them as pizza bases and top them with tomato puree, your favourite toppings and a sprinkling of cheese! 

 

Ingredients

  • 350 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder  
  • 350 g natural yoghurt  (for dairy-free diets, you could use a plant-based alternative)

Method

  1. Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together.  
  2. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough. 
  3. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn’t a traditional bread recipe, so you don’t need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together).  
  4. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside. 
  5. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball).  
  6. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick.  
  7. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end. 
  8. Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs. 
Baked Tortilla Chips

Ingredients:

  • Corn or Flour tortilla wrap
  • Olive or Rapeseed oil
  • Spices – e.g.  paprika, chili, garlic granules

Instructions:

  1. Preheat to 180C/gas Mark 4
  2. Rip or slice a tortilla wrap into triangles
  3. Lightly brush or spray with oil and sprinkle with chosen spices
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes
BBQ Sauce

Some shop bought barbecue sauces can contain up to 15 percent of our daily salt intake per serving, (not to mention half of our daily sugar intake).  By making your own you can cut down on both the salt and sugar – along with using up any leftover onions lying around in the back of our kitchen cupboards!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes 
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced 
  • 40g brown sugar 
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce 
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

Method:  

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until softened. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 20/30 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes before serving. 
  5. For a smooth sauce, blitz with a hand blender or food processor. 
  6. The sauce can then be left for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.  

You can also find our homemade ketchup recipe here

Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a firm family favourite, but shop bought soups (both tinned and the chilled kind) are laden with extra salt. It’s so quick and easy to make your own soup – and much fresher and healthier! Plus you can make it in big batches and freeze portions for those nights when you can’t be bothered to cook.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 2kg tomato 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar  

For the Gremolata (optional): 

  • 1 lemon- zested and juiced 
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • Bunch of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped  

 

Method 

  1. In a large shallow pan, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a low heat for 8 mins; do not brown. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add along with the sugar, vinegar, 750ml water and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35 mins, stirring from time to time. 
  2. Whizz with a hand-held blender until smooth. For an ultra-smooth soup, you can pass the liquid through a fine sieve, but this is quite fiddly and your blender will give perfectly good results. 
  3. To make your soup extra fancy, top your soup with some homemade gremolata – a herby condiment.  To make, mix together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, crushed garlic and finely chopped parsley, then serve on top of the soup. 

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