Kosher salt is coarse, salty edible salt, usually without other common additives like iodine. Typically used at the table and not on the table, it typically contains mostly sodium chloride and can include additional anticaking agents like vitamins and other minerals. It is the salt most people associate with the kitchen, a necessity in preparing food. The word kosher comes from the ancient Hebrew and Judaic cultures, referring to both Jewish religious observances and culinary practices.
Most of us are familiar with kosher salt on the grocery store shelves. kosher salt comes in various forms, including table salt, kosher-style sea salt, and kosher salt flakes. Table salt has the highest amount of sodium of any salt on the market, and this contributes largely to its popularity. Because so many Americans have diabetes and high blood pressure, many doctors recommend lowering blood pressure and reducing sodium in the diet to lower blood pressure. Salt is used by most cookers when cooking meat, poultry, fish, or other foods that can raise blood pressure.
To make kosher salt suitable for cooking, one must dilute it with water. The traditional ratio of kosher salt to water is one teaspoon of table salt to one teaspoon of warm water. In addition to kosher salts containing trace minerals, many kosher salts also contain additives. For example, kosher salt contains calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and various types of vitamins and minerals. Some kosher salts contain no additives at all. If kosher salt does not list any trace minerals, look for another salt.
Unlike table salt, which contains magnesium, calcium, iron, and various other nutrients, kosher salt contains only sodium and chloride. Most kosher salts are made with red or brown grains. Although these grains are generally not as fine as those found in other types of salt, they are better for our health. Brown or red grains are the best because they contain more nutrients.
Because of their higher concentration of nutrients, kosher salts are used less often in cooking. One reason is that they are harder to use in baking because using regular table salt will tend to Leach out its nutrients. kosher salt tends to absorb more of the liquid during cooking, making it less likely to leave behind residue.
Some kosher salts contain iodine, an important mineral that is needed in the thyroid and the brain. Iodine deficiency is a risk to both men and women. If you do not know how much iodine your body needs, test your blood regularly and talk to your doctor about ways to replenish your thyroid gland. Iodine, a trace mineral that is found in shellfish, fish, sea birds, and other seafood, is also an important trace mineral for those with hypothyroidism.
The best thing that you can do to keep your intake of kosher salts at its minimal, is to stay clear of buttered breads and any processed foods that contain refined white flour. This type of flour is highly refined and contains no fiber. It is stripped of its nutrients by the butters used to make buttered breads, so instead of consuming it, look for whole grains or bran cereals. These have high-fiber content, which your body will take in more easily than that of refined grains.
Many people avoid using kosher salt in cooking because of its association with the Jewish religion. But the truth is that kosher salt has many benefits when it is used properly. In addition to its use in the kitchen, kosher salt is also used for table salt, for sprinkling on meat and seafood, and for preserving meats. The use of kosher salt in these various forms of cooking makes sense and is healthier than the traditional varieties that can lead to mineral deficiencies and other health problems.