March 2012
The Herb Lady

Herb Salts Can Decrease Salt Consumption without Sacrificing Flavor

½ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon dill weed
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and grind with a mortar and pestle.
This can be made ahead of time and stored in a small herb jar. (I use a small
bowl and an upside-down catsup bottle as a homemade mortar and pestle.)

Many years ago this recipe was given to me by my doctor’s office nurse. She had just enjoyed a delicious lunch with her parents. Now, we all know anything we eat at mother’s house is good, but Peggy was still licking her fingers and smacking her lips over this particular meal.

Peggy’s mother had used a new-found recipe for baked chicken. No oil or other ingredients were added other than the herb salt. The usual oven temperature and baking times were followed.

We human beings crave salt. Actually, I believe we’d find it easier to give up oxygen. The use of herb salt cuts down on the amount of salt intake while not relinquishing appetizing flavor. From Peggy’s reaction, I know it accomplished its intentions well.

Between finger-licks and lip-smacks, she exclaimed, "Even Daddy liked it!"

Now folks, when a husband enjoys a new, low-salt recipe you know you’ve cooked a winner. The recipe was found on page 97 of the book The Rotation Diet by Martin Katahn, Ph.D. This much-read publication had its day on the bestseller list which speaks highly of Katahn’s literary accomplishment. (I don’t know if this book is still available. No doubt many of my readers will have copies.)

At the time I received this recipe, I was growing my own basil, dill, thyme and parsley. At the proper-gathering time, I dried bunches of the herbs for future use. Of course, celery doesn’t grow well in our climate; therefore, I used store bought celery seed. My growing days are over, so today I purchase all the ingredients.

If a recipe calls for dried herbs and you substitute fresh ones, usually you should use the called-for amount. There are a few exceptions like bay leaves. If your recipe calls for one dry bay leaf, you should use only one-half of a fresh leaf for proper flavor. And, by all means, remember to remove your bay leaves from food before serving. They cannot be digested and sometimes cause serious problems when swallowed.

Of course, herb salt doesn’t contain bay leaves, but I thought this was a good time to mention that information.

As we grow older, it’s not uncommon for our doctors to recommend we cut down on our salt intake. They do this for a very good reason and we would benefit by heeding their advice. It sounds strange, but some of us actually need extra salt in our diet. However, this can only be determined by our doctors.

Have a great month and enjoy at least one meal of herb baked chicken – with or without your doctor’s advice.

Nadine Johnson can be reached at (866) 570-7302, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or P.O. Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577. She has a long history of involvement with herbs. She is also an independent distributor of Nature’s Sunshine Products.