When I discovered that my high blood pressure was due to kidney disease, I figured that it was time to reduce my salt intake. I had never worried about the amount of salt I ate. I liberally sprinkled it on anything I wanted. It was used to spice up my food that tasted bland. But when I gave up using salt, I had to find another way to give my low sodium meals some taste. And that was the problem: I had relied too much on salt for good taste, when all it really did was make my food salty.
Using herbs was a new idea for me. I’d add dried herbs (bought from the store) if the recipe called for it, but I never tried experimenting by adding them to most meals I cook.
I have a few blogs, and I love to write about gardening, which leads me to follow other bloggers who also love to garden. One blogger mentioned her parsley, and how it was still growing up through the snow in late fall. I had never realized that herbs were so hardy, or that I could be growing fresh herbs myself!
That next Spring, I bought a parsley plant. I used it’s leaves occasionally, only to find that I grew to love it so much that I had to include it often in my cooking. If this one herb, which I discovered promotes good health, is so easy to grow and use fresh, then I had to find others. Since then I have grown chives, oregano, basil, and lots of parsley. This year I have so much that I searched for ways to preserve it over the winter. I have three big mason jars full of dried parsley and with so much growing still in my gardens, I am considering drying another batch. I’ve also discovered that freezing parsley is another, even simpler way to preserve it.
The point is that herbs are easy to grow and that makes them handy to use. With the exorbinent cost of food, including herbs, growing your own is a much better option. It also means they are right there for use whenever you cook. If you don’t have a sunny windowsill, then grow them outdoors over the summer, and consider buying a dehydrator to preserve them for use in winter.
Many herbs are perennials so buying the plant is a one time expense. Use them sparingly until you decide which flavors are best for the food you cook. You’ll need less of the fresh stuff compared to dried. I like to smell them when deciding if they will work in my dishes. The use of herbs definitely makes up for the lack of salt, in a healthy and more delicious way. If it’s difficult for you to give up salt, do it slowly. Use less and less, with more herb flavoring, until your tastebuds no longer crave it. And the bonus is that herbs also contain vitamins to make you more healthy.
Read more about Parsley for Health at my article posted at the Wizzley writing site.