I am an avid student of Food Science, especially the chemistry involved in the manufacturing and cooking of food. For one simple reason really, because food science matters for low sodium. Especially for a Heart Transplant recipient like myself.
It’s funny really, I was not the best and brightest of students when it came to Science, especially Chemistry. It wasn’t my teacher’s fault, she was brilliant. I just had problems grasping the measurements, and the math that went with it.
Now I learn, study, and research all that I can about what is actually in the foodstuffs I put in my body. A great resource I have found for what goes into the food we consume and the safety of those ingredients is the website at Food Science Matters.
As a transplant patient I have to worry about the food safety aspect. Do they prepare the food properly? Is there a chance of bacterial presence? Has the food started to rot or mold? With a suppressed immune system, it is imperative I try to avoid contracting any food related illness.
Why Food Science Matters for Low Sodium:
Many of the ingredients in foods affect me as well. Salt and Sodium in its various chemical forms has been used since the earliest civilizations as a preservative, allowing food to be transported distances and having an extended life before spoilage happens. In some products, a salt substitute is used, such as Potassium Chloride.
Potassium Chloride, while great at reducing sodium, preserving food, and simulating a salty flavor, is not good for heart and transplant patients as it reacts negatively with some of the medicine we take. Especially if we are on a regulated Potassium intake.
Understanding how foods are made
Today I want to start looking into other additives to see how they affect what we eat. Since most dairy products are naturally high in sodium, especially when used as cream in dressings. A great option for us to substitute in recipes is Yogurt. I use Greek Yogurt in my acclaimed Ranch Dressing Dip from my Low Sodium Buffalo Wing Recipe.
Food Science Matters for Low Sodium
Greek yogurt is a super food that not only promotes health, but also contains “good” bacteria that can help in digestion. It is packed with key nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, iodine, and B vitamins. Greek yogurt is also a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant because it contains live and active cultures that help digest lactose. Greek yogurt is made by straining off the liquid whey, which concentrates the protein in the yogurt. Much of the lactose is removed in the process, leaving behind casein, the primary milk protein, and the fat content. The result is a thicker, higher-protein yogurt.
Pay Attention to labels
Other ingredients in Greek Yogurt would be sweeteners (if you have specific reactions to different ones, you will want to really read the labels), Preservatives, Thickeners & Fillers, Flavors, and Coloring. Preservatives like Sodium Citrate and Potassium Sorbate are additives to keep yogurt from spoiling and molding. Thickeners and Fillers like Cornstarch or Carrageenan are related to the texture or mouthfeel of the yogurt. That makes it creamier. I can’t tell you how off-putting a yogurt is that is lumpy and broken. The texture comes off more clotted than creamy, and I personally don’t care for it. It also doesn’t help when you add it to recipes.
Carrageenan: is an interesting additive on its own. It is derived from seaweed. Its history is hundreds of years old being harvested in the kitchen sinks of the Irish for adding to their dairy products like cheese and cream. It is a safe and natural way to help preserve and stabilize many of the products we use daily in our low sodium lives.
Low Sodium Grilled Onion Dip
Greek Yogurt is in one of my all-time favorite summer dips. I make a Grilled Onion Dip that is perfect for so many summer dishes. This dish is a great appetizer. We love to dip low sodium crackers or veggies into it. The dip is great on top of potatoes and steak. The smoke and char from grilling the onions makes this dish scream summer.
Do you now understand how Food Science matters for low sodium? What are your favorite uses for greek yogurt?
- 2 Large Yellow Onions Peeled and sliced crosswise into steaks for grilling
- 4 oz Marscapone Cheese Lowest sodium you can find
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt Lowest sodium brand you can find
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream lowest sodium brand you can find
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
- 1/2 TBSP Lemon Juice
Let the Marscapone come up to room temperature
Slice the onions crosswise into 1/2 inch thick "steaks" and grill them over medium high heat
You want some char on both sides to add depth of flavor.
Allow onions to cool then mince them
In a medium glass bowl, add the Marscapone, Sour Cream, and Greek Yogurt
Stir together completely
Add in the minced onions
Add the cayenne, black pepper, and lemon juice.
Adjust spices as needed to taste (I like a bit more Cayenne for the heat)
Allow the dip to "age" in the refrigerator for 2 hours
Serve cold with fresh veggies, or some low sodium crackers or naan.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Food Science Matters, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #foodsciencematters http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV