Less salt please

While we’re on topics about health (given the last smoking ban post), I thought we’ll move on to the World Salt Awareness Week which is taking place 11 – 17 March this year.

Growing up in Asia, particularly in a Chinese family, its taken for granted that salt is a daily essential. There’s this Chinese saying about the 7 things that basically are the most important necessities in a Chinese family and they are: firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea. Can’t live without them. Of course, some are now irrelevant like firewood but you still need a stove, electric, gas or whatever else there is. I grew up reading and watching stories about wars won by depriving the other side of salt but on less dramatic front, salt has definitely played other important roles in Chinese history. Its an important source of tax, its used to preserve food for the winter, its even somehow linked to the discovery of gunpowder! Not sure that’s actually a good thing.

These days, of course, salt has been given a bad name for its association with various health hazards like high blood pressure, obesity, certain cancers and more. Its still ok to use salt as a flavour enhancer but moderation is key, and many foods naturally are salty so you can go easy on the salt when cooking with those foods.

Sophia naturally seem to like savoury rather than sweet foods, so I should be worried about her salt intake but the good thing is, her diet still consists mainly of a porridge without added salt (or soy sauce, which is the cheat way of adding salt). Thought I’ll share the “recipe” here with anyone who cares to try it. May be too bland for children who are already used to having salt in their porridge though.

Sophia’s porridge recipe

  • 1/3 cup whole grain of some sort (currently millet but can be quinoa or brown rice)
  • 1 palm sized fillet of Pollock (I would have preferred to use Salmon but Sophia doesn’t like the taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green vegetable of any sort
  • 1 tablespoon chopped carrot
  • Any other ingredient that seems suitable – we’ve added dried scallops, minced chicken, minced pork, duck, egg etc

Ideally how I would like to cook this would be to boil the grain and carrot together until they are soft the turn off the flame and add in the fish and green vegetables. Then come lunch time the whole pot can be brought to a boil again, allowing grandpa to easily prepare lunch that is cooked but not cooked to death.

Hope you liked the recipe! I would be grateful for any other salt-saving tips or recipes!

2 thoughts on “Less salt please

  1. Does quinoa and millet make the same consistency kind of porridge as rice does? I’ve never tried either, because with the first 2 kids we were still staying with my ILs so I guess I just let my MIL take the lead. But I definitely want to try it this time round 🙂

    • Millet’s consistency is quite similar. Quinoa is less “sticky” so you may want to mix it with either rice or millet. It also has a more nutty, slightly bitter taste that may take some getting used to. Good luck!

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