Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Swanson UNSALTED Cooking Stocks

My husband is getting some painful dental procedures done this week, so I wanted to buy some “soft” foods for him. I picked up some carrots and summer squash at the farmers market this weekend. I plan to grate them and cook in some broth. I also bought two dozen eggs at the farmers market. I can envision a lot of scrambled egg meals this week.

But I still needed to go grocery shopping yesterday to get potatoes for mashing, cottage cheese, and tuna. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get everything at one store. I picked up a package of Healthy Ones Honey Smoked Turkey Breast. With 290 mg sodium per oz. I figured I could finely chop up the thin slices and gussy up scrambled eggs. And, of course, I picked up a couple of frozen packages of Amy’s Light in Sodium Macaroni and Cheese.

For some reason, I wandered over to the soup aisle. I checked out the broths just to make sure the store still stocked Kitchen Basics unsalted Chicken and Beef stocks. While I was checking out the Kitchen Basics, my eyes drifted down to some containers of Swanson cooking stock. Usually, I don’t bother with Swanson products. Even the supposedly low sodium chicken stock packs a walloping 570 mgs sodium per cup. However, this time my eyes caught something that looked like the word, “UNSALTED.” I did a double take because I was sure my eyes were playing tricks on me. But upon careful examination, I realized that Swanson had indeed come out with unsalted Chicken and unsalted Beef stock. Amazing! I checked the nutritional information and was astounded to find that the chicken stock has only 130 mg sodium per cup and the beef has 140 mg per cup. Of course, I bought two containers each of both chicken and beef stock.

This is great news because Swanson has long been the premier supplier of grocery store broth and stock. Their products always taste good and stores are more inclined to stock products from the Campbell’s/Swanson family.

I headed over to Safeway to complete my shopping trip. There I picked up two loaves of Safeway Kitchens Very Low Sodium Multi-Grain Bread. It has only 5 mgs sodium for two slices and is very soft and not grainy at all. Perfect for a hurting mouth. (Yes, I usually do all our baking, but it’s been too hot to turn on the oven and flat breads like tortillas require too much chewing. I figure I can cut the crusts off and the squishy bread will be fine for a sore mouth.) Then I got a container of Lucerne (Safeway’s house brand) No Salt Added Cottage Cheese. It has only 45 mgs sodium per ½ cup. I also picked up a couple cans of Bumblebee Very Low Sodium Tuna. I figured I could smush up some tuna and mayo for a lunch time treat.

With all my shopping done, I headed home. I was excited about the Swanson stock find, so I immediately wanted to share the news. I tried it yesterday when cooking some thinly sliced potatoes in a skillet. It has a very mild chickeny taste, but there are no off flavors and it isn’t cloudy or murky. All in all, I think it’s a good product. It certainly cannot compare with homemade broth that has simmered for hours upon hours. But it’s a viable quick substitute, and, because it’s a Swanson product, should become readily available in most grocery stores.


Voce said...

Very interesting about the unsalted stock. I will have to look for it. I am curious as to whether they use salt substitute in it (Potassium Chloride.) My husband's blood pressure medicine label definitely says not to use potassium chloride. I believe it's the calcium channel blocker portion of the pill that requires that caveat.

Bluezy said...

When I used organic low salt range stock...I realized that it did not keep in the fridge. And it was lacking something...salt. It is funny how we get accustomed to a thing. Chicken soup to me always on the salty side. And I just can't understand why I really really like chef boy ardee ravioli over fresh home made...It is a terrible curse.

Anonymous said...

Cottage cheese:
I buy "Friendship No Salt Added" cottage cheese. It's also low fat (1%). It has 90 calories per 1/2 cup and only......60mg of sodium per serving!! It does take some time to get used to since it's so low sodium. I also buy Pacific Free Range low sodium chicken broth. It has 70mg per cup.

Marty, Fairport, NY

Ilena said...

we have found applegate farms no salt added turkey at fairway and several small supermarkets in the ny area. with only 30mg of sodium per 2 oz. you can't go wrong! scroll to page 4 for this turkey.

shambo said...

Voce, you make a very good point. I was so excited about the find that I didn't check the ingredients. Your comment prompted me to check the nutritional label more carefully.

The ingredients are listed as follows: water, beef stock, yeast extract, natural flavoring, honey, sugar, onion juice concentrate, tomato paste, lactic acid, beef fat, beef extract.

There is no mention of a salt substitute on the packaging. It says 100% natural and No MSG. In addition, there is a blurb stating that a "...small amount of glutamate occurs naturally in yeast extract."

Dishy said...

What a find! We have Hannaford here, I'll have to check & see whether it's stocked (pun intended). Shambo, I get so excited each time another salt-free product hits the shelves. Such a great feeling for all of us - more choice - and the idea that manufacturers are listening, ooh how I LOVE it!

PS: Hope your husband's feeling much better soon!

shambo said...

Christy, I agree. It is exciting to see some new lower sodium choices available at local grocery stores. When I was perusing the Hanaford website, I noticed they had stores in Maine and immediately thought of you. Hopefully you can find the Swanson's stocks.

Jenn A said...

I'm so excited about finding your blog! I have been on a low sodium diet for almost 2 years now and have pretty much been on my own apart from one really good low sodium cookbook. I had postpartum cardiomyopathy after the birth of my youngest son which we didn't discover until I went into congestive heart failure 3 days after his birth. I had an immediate change to a low sodium diet and it was a steep learning curve. I found your blog through The Daily Dish which I also just found today! I'm excited to find a low sodium cooking community online as I love to cook. I don't have a blog myself, but I sure will enjoy reading yours and Daily Dish and Sodium Girl!

Basia said...

Hi there! I've just stumbled on your blog on the search for some low sodium recipes. I'm 29 and 13 weeks pregnant, and despite my best efforts to stay away from salty foods still have a mildly high blood pressure. My doctor told me to stay away from salt as much as I can, but even though I do enjoy cooking, it's really difficult to make things with little or no salt that my husband will actually eat.
I've been using no-salt-added broths and canned tomatoes and beans but I'm finding myself in a rut with what I actually can eat. I will definitely be perusing your archives for some new recipe ideas. Thanks so much for taking the time to post this stuff!

mfellows said...

Thank you for putting this together. I have just recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure as well. I've been looking for new and exciting ways to start living a low sodium life. So far these recipes that you have put together and created all look great. I can't wait to start making some of these amazing foods. Thanks again.

Diane Lemery McDonald said...

I'll definitely be looking for Swanson's Unsalted Stock. Thank you for this information. I've just recently started a low sodium diet and am astounded as I read each and every label in the grocery store. Today I attempted two recipes that I thought I would be able to make low sodium. Yikes, one had cottage cheese and the other chicken stock. I was afraid I would never again be able to make these yummy dishes, but thanks to your great information I know I can look forward to them again. I'll be following your blog closely to learn more about how I can live with less salt.

Amber said...

I am a Heart failure and A-fib patient that has to live on a very strict low sodium diet. My regulations set by my cardiology team are... "Under 60mg of sodium per serving is healthy to use regularly Do not use anything with over 120mg per serving sodium, and limit items with 60 to 120mg to 4-6 servings a day"

Due to this, most low sodium and many no salt added items still have too much sodium for me. I have found great items at Trader Joe's, including a chicken broth with only 70mg sodium per cup! I love it and it makes dishes like pilaf doable again!

I found that it only took about 6 weeks of no salt eating, before my taste buds changed and salt was unappetizing. So many things still smell really good, but are not tasty if I try to eat them....If only I could get my nose to agree with my tongue :)

shambo said...

Amber, you are so right about most supposedly low sodium products. They may be lower in sodium than the originals, but many times they're still too high for those following a sodium restricted diet.

I'm glad you've found success using the TJ broths. It's always such a great feeling when you discover something that really works for you.

fabricpixie said...

Discovered your blog recently and LOVE it! Hope you are doing well, you haven't posted in almost 6 months.

Your blog has been so helpful, hubby had quintuple by-pass 2 months ago and we are always looking for good low sodium recipes.

Our Zojirushi bread machine arrived a few days ago and anxious to use it, but discouraged about all the ingredients not easily available locally.

Hope you return to posting soon!

warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

shambo said...

Fabric Pixie, I'm a Sue in California too! I hope you've test driven the Zojirushi and produced some good tasting low sodium bread. Really the only unusual ingredient you might need is vital wheat gluten. Most grocery stores carry it now, either in the flour section or the natural foods section. If you can't find it in a regular grocery store, you should be able to find it in a health foods store. Good luck baking!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Swanson doesn't seem to offer the Unsalted option in their Vegetable or Seafood Stocks.

I hope they add them in the future

shambo said...

Kitchen Basics does offer an unsalted vegetable broth. Hopefully you can find it at one of your local grocery stores.