Reducing your salt intake will help keep your blood pressure down and reduce your risk of stroke. There are lots of great ways to flavour food without the need for salt. Today I start with my personal favourite caraway.
Caraway, also known as meridian fennel, Persian cumin or in the Arab world karauya has a strong liquorice/aniseed-like flavour and aroma. The fruits (known as seeds) are added to breads, desserts and casseroles.
Most recipes I have found are based on meats with a lot of saturated fat, salt and sometimes sugar or treacle. These are great flavour combinations but I also think caraway can work just as well in low fat, low sugar, low salt recipes.
I am keen to try growing my own and found some advice from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall here. If you have tried this do let me know how you got on. You sow it in early autumn or spring and harvest the fruits (they look like seeds) about a month after the flowers have faded. Hugh’s recipes are a case in point for having a fair bit of fat, sugar and salt. I am not against any of them, they look great. I’m just keen to show you how to enjoy the flavour of the caraway without these things.
So here are a few of my favourites:
Firstly a good soup. This carrot and lentil soup from Philippa Davis also makes the most of flavours from garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric and cardamom. There is a little salt in the recipe but you could use “low salt” to cut back further.
Rick Stein’s Viennese goulash is a hearty favourite of mine. Rick might be horrified but I use olive oil instead of lard, low salt and half fat crème fraiche instead of the soured cream. Have a go at making it according to Rick’s recipe and then try my suggested modifications. Let me know what you think. I am a big fan of teaching people to modify recipes to fit their nutritional needs.
Finally here’s one of my own, Paprika Chicken. I find it tastes great using water rather than stock. I love the blend of caraway and smoked paprika. It’s low fat, great for heart health and a good choice for anyone trying to keep their weight down. The tomatoes add a sweet flavour and bump up the vitamin A and C for great night vision, healthy teeth and connective tissue. Winner, winner chicken dinner.
I’d love to see your recipe shares using caraway seeds so do let me know about your favourites.