Good Reading : May 2010
MAY 2010 ı goodreading 21 cooking the books Take Some Iodine We need to consume some iodine. Iodine is essential for the healthy function of the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that regulate metabolism, including the regulation of body temperature.The daily iodine requirement for most adults is 150 micrograms. In Australia and New Zealand the gover nment has mandated that iodised salt will be used in the production of bread at an average level of 4.5 mg of iodine per 100g of salt. We need to consume products which have been made with iodised salt, or add a small amount of iodised salt to our own cooking. That is being 'salt wise'. Read the Label We need to know how to read a label. We need to know that on nutrition labels salt is expressed as sodium. We need to know that sodium is Na and salt is NaCl. To calculate the amount of salt, we need to multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5. Therefore: milligrams of sodium (Na) × 2.5 = milligrams of salt (NaCl) For example, 200 milligrams of sodium equates to 500 milligrams or 0.5 grams of salt (200mg × 2.5 = 500mg salt or 0.5 grams). To convert milligrams of salt to milligrams of sodium we need to divide the salt content by 2.5. Nutrition infor mation panels will show 'per serve' and 'per 100g' columns. We should always make our calculations based on sodium per 100g. The Heart Foundation recommends products that have a sodium level below 120mg/100g. We should use this as a guide. We need to know that some products we would think have little added salt -- because they are not salty -- actually contain very high levels of salt. The value of sodium in bread (1200mg/100g) and breakfast cereals is an example. We should know the amount of sodium contained in the processed foods we eat. That is being 'salt wise'. Eat Well Most importantly, we need to eat well. We need to take the time to prepare food for ourselves which is healthy, tasty, and ecologically viable. We need to season that food sparingly, with quality salt that is made using natural processes. We need to use the right salt, in the right amount, for the right dish. That is being 'salt wise'. And only if you are 'salt wise' can you eat well. The Salt Book: Your guide to salting wisely and well, with recipes is published by Arbon, r rp $34.99. FLAVOURING SALT Once you realise that salt will always recrystallise, you can begin to add other flavourings to brine to produce useful and interesting variations.The following is a recipe from the Indian Domestic Economy and Receipt Book, Madras 1850, reprinted in Elizabeth David's Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen. CAYENNE SALT 50g dried birds-eye chillies 2 tablespoons sea salt 1 glass of white wine 2 glasses of water ‘Take two ounces of finely powdered dried birds-eye chillies or capsicums, and mix them well in a mortar with two table-spoonfuls of clean salt; add a glass of white wine and two of water; put it into a corked bottle, and place in the sun for a week or more daily; then strain the whole through a fine piece of muslin; pour the liquor in a plate, and then evaporate it either by a stove or in the sun; you will then have crystals of cayenne and salt; a much finer article than the cayenne powder.’ Almost anything that is liquid or can be dissolved may be used to flavour salt: as in the previous recipe, you should aim for around equal parts of salt and the flavouring ingredient. Things you might like to try could include red wine, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, tabasco or even coffee. Dilute them with enough warm water to dissolve the salt, then follow the above procedure, or simply strain directly into a shallow dish and place in the sun.