Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mayo, Herb Cubes, & Popcorn

Why do I search out low sodium products? Because sometimes I need a break from making everything from scratch.. When you're on a low sodium diet, the quick fixes that others may turn to when pressed for time or energy, don't work for you. Take out pizza? Chinese to-go? Deli meats? Fast food? Frozen dinners? Canned soup? Nope! None of those time & energy savers are acceptable. So when I find a low sodium product that I can use, I grab it. 'Cause I never know when it'll come in handy.

Mayonnaise... There are some advantages to having store bought mayonnaise on hand. For one thing, it lasts a long time because of its professional canning process. And it's ready-made & convenient. Homemade mayonnaise is wonderful and is not difficult to make. It's great for when I'm going to use a cup or more at a time. But for quick swipes on sandwiches or brushing on chicken or fish before dredging in crumbs, I prefer to use an already prepared mayonnaise.

I've checked out the brands available online at low sodium web sites. Spectrum makes a 16 oz. eggless/vegan light canola mayonnaise that has only 70 mg. sodium per tablespoon. It's available at  Healthy Heart Market. Spectrum mayonnaise varieties are also sold in most health foods stores and some grocery stores. The natural foods sections of my local grocery stores carry both the light and regular version. I'm not a fan of most low fat/low cholesterol products (too many added gums & stabilizers), and I'm not vegan, so the light version does not really appeal to me. The regular Spectrum mayo does not have a lower salt content.

However, I've found two products that just about match the more expensive Spectrum products and are available at ALL my local grocery stores. Saffola Mayonnaise  and Kraft Mayonnaise both have only 70 mg. sodium per tablespoon.Pretty good for store-bought.

Dorot Cubes... These are wonderful teeny-tiny frozen cubes of crushed herbs. I've found them at Trader Joe's and a couple of local supermarkets. They're great and super handy. I usually keep a couple of trays each of the crushed basil, crushed ginger, and the crushed garlic. The basil and ginger have 15 mg. sodium per cube, while the garlic has 25 mg. per cube.  They are a product of Israel. When I'm in a hurry, it's so easy to pop a couple of the tiny Dorot cubes into whatever I'm cooking. Yes, I have fresh garlic on hand as well as frozen home grown basil leaves. But sometimes I don't feel like crushing garlic, grating ginger, or chopping basil. I do have my lazy days!

Smart Balance Smart 'N Healthy Microwave Popcorn... Most microwave popcorn is deadly. It's so salty that after just a few handfuls, my husband's feet swell up and fluid starts accumulating in his lungs. How do I know? Because a friend always brings some when he visits. A few times, just to be polite, my husband joined him in snacking but no more. Even I can't eat t
he stuff. It's so salty that my mouth starts burning. Between the phony butter flavoring that congeals almost immediately and the humongous amounts of salt, I don't see how anyone can eat such a vile product.

But Smart Balance to the rescue! Its Smart 'N Healthy microwave popcorn is pretty good: 1/3 of a bag is only 75 mg. sodium. And the good news is that I can find it at all my local grocery stores.


Betty Ziegler said...

Thank you for sharing
Dorot Cubes! I, too, am a Trader Joe's shopper, yet I have passed these time savers up somehow.

I will look for them next time I shop.

With the holidays fast approaching, finding great low sodium recipes is a real concern.

I found these Low Salt Thanksgiving Recipes and Complete Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes available at

Thanks again for the super tip!

Sarah T. said...

I'm finding it harder and harder to find those herb cubes. I supposed I could always make my own, but I'm lazy.

giz said...

Great tips - my next trip to the U.S. I'll be stocking up on these products. They all look great. Watching sodium counts really becomes a full time occupation when grocery shopping. If I'm looking for new product, a shopping experience can easily be 2 hours.