The Best Natural Healer: Edible Himalayan Salts for Cooking and Drinking
If you are plagued with conditions like high blood pressure, gout, arthritis and other ailments, you probably need to change something in your diet, such as lowering your sodium (or salt) intake. However, it is impossible to totally do away with salt or sodium in your diet. Our bodies need salts to function properly, in the right amounts.
There is also a need to distinguish between chemically-altered table salt and natural salt. Not all salts are equal… The key is to exercise moderation in our diet and substituting processed foods with fresh and natural foods.
But do you know that one of the best and easiest ways to enjoy the natural healing and health benefits of natural salt crystals is by using Himalayan salt for cooking and drinking?
Are You Consuming Regular Table Salt?
Do you know that refined table salt has been radically changed from its natural form, such that it has been stripped off of the essential minerals (such as potassium) and electrolytes, and is difficult to be processed by the human body?
This is the reason why experts have concluded that the regular store-bought table salt is a main contributor to the many cases of high blood pressure, gout, arthritis and other diseases that were never around or less prevalent when we were consuming natural salt.
The Himalayan pink salt on the other hand, is the purest yet most natural and unprocessed salt available.
It doesn’t contain any environmental pollutants. Instead, it contains over 84 natural-occurring minerals and elements that are vital for the maintenance of your body’s chemistry.
These natural Himalayan salt crystals contain electrolytes such as sodium, calcium and potassium that help restore your body’s fluids.
Electrolytes are what your cells, especially the nerves, heart and muscles, use to regulate voltages across cell membranes and to carry nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
These electrolytes have to be continually replaced when you sweat.
How to Use Himalayan Pink Salt for Cooking?
Substituting your regular refined table salt with the all-natural Himalayan salt crystals for cooking is one of the easiest ways that you can start enjoying the appealing visual impact, taste and health benefits of the Himalayan pink salt.
Himalayan salt can be used both as a cooking salt or a finishing salt, and comes in various forms or grain sizes, which are very convenient for both kitchen and table use.
There are large grater salt stones or chunks that are great for grating with a steel grater at the table for gourmet purposes and a unique visual presentation.
The salts are also available in different grain sizes for you to choose from, to best suit your culinary needs. For example, the Sherpa Pink Himalayan salt comes in the following grain sizes: Extra Fine 0 – 0.5 mm, Fine 0 – 1 mm, Medium 2 – 3 mm, Coarse 3 – 6 mm. Both extra-fine and fine can be used for cooking directly. Any bigger grain size would need to be crushed in a salt mill or grinder if you are thinking of sprinkling the salt directly onto the food.
As a cooking salt, the extra fine grain Himalayan pink salt is probably the best-selling option as it can go straight into a salt shaker. Note that even the fine grain Himalayan salt would be bigger than the regular table salt. Salt grains coarser than the regular table salt are well-suited for seasoning meats as they cling better to the meat surface and is easier to spread evenly when sprinkled with hand. The table salt is much finer, hence they tend to clump together and stick to the fingers.
When used as a finishing salt, the medium and coarse are the perfect size choice for both the visual appeal of the pink crystal and the dramatic impact of the burst of saltiness and flavor when the large crystals come into contact with our palate. You can purchase salt grinders with adjustable grinder settings so that you can select which size to grind the Himalyan salt crystals to.
Ever wondered why your recipes call for a pinch of salt in your cookies or pastry? Here’s why… Adding salt to our food is not just about saltiness. Salt has the ability to bring out wonders in our food by suppressing bitterness, hence enhancing the sweet and savory notes.
Adding salt to sweet desserts gives a blend and contrast of sweet and savory, which is irresistible for most of us – such as the salted caramel, salted chocolate (works for both white and dark chocolate) or adding a pinch of salt to the ice cream.
The choice of grain size to use will depend on the taste and texture that your are seeking (just don’t use table salt). Choose the finer salt crystals if you want them to dissolve more quickly and evenly in the caramels or doughs/crusts.
If you are using the salt as a finishing touch on your desserts and looking to enjoy a crunchy texture and a burst of crispiness, you will need a coarser grain that will not dissolve so easily/quickly. The pinkish Himalayan salt grains on the dessert would be such a delight to the eyes too! However, do not choose such a big grain salt that will turn your eaters into a human salt grainer.
Salt roasting or salt-crust baking with the pink crystal salt is another easy cooking technique that you can perform at home. All you need is a roasting pan and lots of salt. Don’t be fooled by how simple it sounds. It creates a remarkably magical taste and visual experience to please your senses and impress your guests!
Salt roasting, in essence, is baking food by burying it in a sand-like mixture of salt and egg white. This technique is akin to a combination of roasting and steaming. When the dish is ready from the oven, all you need to do is crack open the hardened golden salt crust and dust off the excess snowy salt flakes to release a remarkable aroma and unearth a treasure underneath. The salt crust insulates the food to keep it moist and juicy, cooking it gently and evenly while at the same time seasoning it to create a richly-flavored dish. Surprisingly, the dish created is not unpalatably salty given the amount of salt used!
A traditional use of salt roasting or salt-crust baking involves a whole fish, served with just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. But really, you can use this cooking technique on a wide range of food such as shrimps, root vegetables, potatoes and other meats.
There are also other variations to the technique (not surprisingly). For example, some recipes call for a salt mixture that is more pastry like (by adding flour to the salt mixture) to be wrapped around the chicken or beef to create a cement-like crust.
Indeed, cooking with Himalayan pink salt presents so many exciting culinary experiences and presentation. Whether it is the fine grain salt inside your transparent saltshaker or the coarse grain salt in the salt mill/grinder, the presentation of its lovely pink hue is already a proven conversation starter, as well as a delightful centerpiece on your dining table.
Creative Culinary Uses Of Himalayan Salt
There are also lots of room for creativity when it comes to using the Himalayan salt for culinary. You may have seen shot glass made of said salt or you can even dip the rim of your drinking glass in fine grain Himalayan pink salt to enhance the flavor of your guests’ cocktails…
I’m sure you’ve seen a stone grill, but have you seen a salt slab grill? Yes…you can grill your meats on a hot Himalayan salt slab too!
Or even serve chilled appetizers or desserts on these chilled Himalayan salt block…
There are even large bowls made of Himalayan salt that you can use to serve fruits, salads or even a chocolate fondue! Just imagine the dramatic visual impact and enhancement of flavors that they bring…
What’s Wrong With Other Types of Salt?
Refined table salt (sodium chloride) is harmful to our bodies as it has been stripped off natural trace minerals and electrolytes, and added with synthetic additives such as iodine.
Iodine is an essential element to our body; however, synthetic iodine is difficult for our body to process. There are some brands that contain aluminum hydroxide that is known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
As refined table salt is inorganic and chemically altered, it becomes difficult for our body to metabolize and eliminate.
When we take too much table salt, our body is not able to process it fast enough. As a result, water is drawn out of our cells, killing the healthy cells in order to dilute the inorganic sodium.
Consumption of table salt hence leads to higher blood pressure, water retention and excess fluid accumulating in our tissues.
In 2003, the Inter-University of Graz, Austria conducted a 9-week double-blind study to evaluate the effects of daily consumption of 1.5 liters of tap water with common table salt versus 1.5 liters of tap water with Himalayan salt.
Here’s what the study found: patients who drank tap water with Himalayan salt experienced positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue and nervous system functions.
Rock salt is a cheap alternative to table salt. Rock salt for cooking may be a natural and wholesome product to use but bio-chemically and bio-physically speaking, it has little importance to the human system. Only in ion form, can the benefits of salt be absorbed through the cell walls.
Unrefined sea salts, such as the Himalayan pink salt, on the other hand are often also known as crystal salt due to its ionic crystalline structure. This structure allows it to be easily absorbed by our body because our blood has a crystalline structure too.
The trace minerals and elements are suspended in the crystalline structure of the salt in a colloidal form, and are small enough to enter our human cells.
As the sea salt is organic and unrefined, it takes no effort and stress for our body to metabolize.
What Makes Unrefined Sea Salt a Wonderful Addition to Our Diet?
Our blood should optimally be slightly alkaline. However, the foods we eat today are highly processed and overly acidic.
Our body needs to neutralize this acidity in order to regulate the alkalinity of the blood. Vegetables and most fruits have an alkaline effect when digested.
However, we do not always eat enough of them. Hence, small amount of unrefined sea salt is good as it provides a source of organic sodium for the desired alkaline effect.
What happens if you do not have enough organic sodium? This can happen if you are consuming inorganic sodium in the form of table salt.
If there are insufficient alkaline reserves in the form of organic sodium in your body to neutralize the excess acid, your body will turn to the organic calcium supply in your bones! The consequence of this is the development of porous bones!
The main concern about sea salt is that most of the ocean is already polluted with heavy metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and a lot others.
Oil leaks from tankers and other sea accidents have polluted our oceans even more. There was once a time when sea salt was pure and safe but those days are gone.
Himalayan sea salt, on the other hand, are deemed as the purest form of natural unrefined salt as it is mined from ancient oceans that have dried up and lies deep in the pristine Himalayan mountains far from human population and pollution.
In 2008, the Fenestra Research laboratory conducted a 30-day double-blind clinical study that evaluated the effects of taking one teaspoon of sea salt and water versus one teaspoon of Himalayan Salt and water on mineralization.
Those who drank the Himalayan salt-water solution landed within 5% to 15% normal range of health while those who drank the sea salt-water solution were 35% out of the normal range.
Drinking Himalayan Salt Sole for Long-Term Wellness
Aside from using Himalayan salt for your regular kitchen use, you can also enjoy more of its benefits by drinking homeopathic “sole”. The sole is water that is fully saturated with salt.
When the Himalayan salt is dissolved in water, the crystal salt and associated minerals hydrolyses into ions form (or electrolytes), unleashing the stored energy in the ionic salt crystals. Along with the 84 trace minerals and elements in the Himalayan salt sole, this stored energy results in great benefits to our bodies as it nourishes every cell of our body.
Benefits of Himalayan salt sole include:
- Boosts our energy levels throughout the day
- Balances the pH levels in our bodies, hence normalizing blood pressure and helping our bodies to detoxify
- Flushes our toxins, such as mercury and other heavy metals
- Anti-bacterial effect
- Improves the mineral status of our body through absorption
- Helps body re-hydrate
- Boosts immunity
- Reduces muscle cramps
- Promote skeletal health
- Promotes hormonal balance
- Improves metabolism and digestion
- Improves blood sugar
- Acts as a natural anti-histamine
- Promotes healthier skin, nails and hair
- Helps to heal skin diseases
- Reduces addictive food cravings
- Improves sleep quality
- Relaxes nervous systems
- Cleanses intestines by liquefying plaque
This is because our body naturally carries out repairs and detoxification during sleep. In the process, water is being used. Hence, morning is a great time to re-hydrate and re-mineralize our body.
Do you know that our body fluid is made up of water and salt?
Hence, it would be wrong to think that drinking pure water is the best way to hydrate yourself.
In fact, drinking too much plain water can be detrimental to our well-being as it actually over-dilutes our body fluids.
As a result, it stresses our body and lowers our metabolic rates.
Drinking salt water can help to re-hydrate our body without over-diluting our body fluids.
If you are suffering from migraines…
Drinking salt sole is also the best way to use Himalayan crystal salt for migraines as it will strengthen your immune system, increase your energy levels, balance the serotonin levels in your blood stream and restore your body’s electrolyte and alkaline balance.
For an effective migraine salt solution, mix two teaspoons of Himalayan salt crystals with one cup of lemon juice and a cup of water. Drinking this solution will provide instant relief from migraines.
The path to long-term wellness is simple, inexpensive and safe! Moreover, cooking with Himalayan pink salt presents so much room for creativity in both taste and visual food presentation.