Salt Revelation: How seasoning your cooking water can make your food more nutritious


I have started reading Sat, Fat, Acid & Heat by Samin Nosrat and wanted to highlight one of the things she brings up about salt because of its implication on not only taste but nutrition as well. 

One of the chemical processes that happen when you salt your food is called diffusion. Simply put, it is the process of salt slowly moving from a saltier environment to a less salty one until it is evenly distributed. This natural process has several implications in the way you should use salt and I recommend you read Nosrat's book to get the full picture, but I wanted to highlight one particular aspect she brings up.

When you cook food and in particular when you blanch vegetables in boiling water and omit to add salt to the pot, the vegetables end up having more minerals in them than their surrounding environment. In an attempt to establish equilibrium between the internal and external environment, minerals along with some natural sugars will leach out of the vegetables during the cooking process. This means you end up with blend, less nutritious food.

But if you season your water properly (it should tastes like the sea), the opposite will happen. The vegetables will absorb some of the salt from the cooking water, seasoning themselves from within and retaining all their nutrients while they cook!


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