Cooking more food from scratch makes sense from a cost and health standpoint.
Excess sodium intake kills far more Americans than tobacco. And it is the number one reason older individuals are checked into a nursing home for life.
Foods cooked from scratch are significantly lower in cost than prepared foods. Potatoes are .06 per ounce while French fries in the freezer are upwards of .15 per ounce and fast food fries about .25 cents.
Grains make up almost half of excess sodium. Here are 3 grain-based dishes you can make easily with less salt:
1. Boxed rice - make your own flavored rice and save money and sodium: 1 cup brown rice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, black pepper and paprika to taste. For a treat, fold in fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon at the end. For every cup of boxed rice: 600-900 mg sodium saved!
2. Pizza - if you make your own crust, use pitas without salt or buy pre-made pizza crusts that are low in sodium (mg lower than calories) you are ahead. But you should also top with no-added-salt sauce and go light on the cheese. Consider that one slice of store or restaurant pizza contains 600 mg of sodium! Top with less cheese and more dried oregano!
3. Pasta - instead of cans or boxes, get creative and cook and toss yourself! You can top pasta with fresh veggies lightly cooked in olive oil or roasted in the oven, no-added salt tomato sauce or steamed veggies. Top with fresh basil or parsley so you use less cheese. For every cup of frozen, canned or restaurant pasta you save about 600-1000 mg of sodium!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.