salt substitutes

It is known that an excess of sodium (table salt) can be harmful to our body. Excessive consumption of salt is in fact one of the main causes of water retention and chronic diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular diseases .

The salt is already present in many foods , especially in the industrial ones, in meats, in sausages, cheese (especially aged) in stored products, in the food nut, in soups and sauces, in canned legumes, etc. .

Precisely for this reason it is important not to exceed with the use of salt in our dishes, so as to avoid overloading our body with an excessive amount of daily sodium.

According to estimates, the amount of 5 grams per day below which it is recommended to keep also includes 2-3 grams hidden inside industrial products. This means that we, at home, in our daily preparations, should limit ourselves to about 2 grams of added salt.

The fact is that food does not need salt to have a pleasant and defined taste . It takes some time for the taste buds to adjust, but once they get used to less salt, they are more likely to enjoy the food more and notice a wider range of flavors.

How to replace the salt?

For our general well-being it is preferable to reduce as much as possible, or replace the salt, with all that aromatic can be found in nature .

The spices are the most valid substitutes of salt, without removing your flavor and goodness dishes.

By adding aromatic spices you will be able to discover and savor the true flavors of food, which too often the salt hides. In fact, food does not need salt to have a captivating taste, it just takes time for the taste buds to get used to enjoying new and surprising flavors.

The use of spices in the kitchen is optimal to enhance the natural flavors of food, giving each dish a distinctive and unique aroma .

We at Erbe di Mauro cultivate aromatic herbs on our land, located in the splendid hills of the Marche region. We do it in full respect of nature, without the use of chemicals (such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, chemicals, etc.) and in full sun, so that they grow healthy and full of energy and aroma.

The plants are then harvested during their balsamic period, when they reach their maximum flavor and are dried in the shade and at low temperatures, to keep the nutrients and the original aroma of the fresh plant unaltered.

All the love we put into the cultivation of these plants, you will find them again in your table.

Now let’s see specifically how to enhance the flavors of vegetables, reducing cooking salt and using some aromatic herbs in its place.

We will now see specifically which spices to use as substitutes for salt, for various dishes (meat, fish, vegetables, first courses, etc.)

Salt substitutes to flavor vegetables

alternatives to salt vegetables

Now let’s see how to give maximum flavor, highlighting the tastes of vegetables with the minimum addition of salt.

The choice of spices to use also varies according to the type of cooking . In fact, cooking the same vegetables in the steam, in the oven, in a pot or even eating them raw requires different and quality spices and herbs, in order to enhance the flavors of the vegetables that nature offers us.


In steam cooking, herbs retain their natural flavor, and it is certainly considered the healthiest cooking technique, as the properties of the vegetables remain unchanged. In fact, the food is not immersed in water but suspended on the boiling steam that surrounds it (so there is no dispersion of its internal elements: mineral salts and vitamins).

This cooking, keeping the organoleptic properties unaltered, strengthens the flavor of vegetables and foods and you can replace the salt with spices, or the following spice mixes. The same spices also go perfectly with stewed vegetables .

  • Cooked vegetables and mixed salads: it is a mixture of Namek salt and aromatic herbs elaborated by our farm. This mix of Namak salt (with a very particular taste) combined with mint, oregano, sage, and marjoram, goes perfectly with most cooked vegetables (steamed or boiled) giving them a unique taste. To try!
  • Mediterranean seasoning : this is another blend of sea salt and aromatic herbs (onion, carrot, basil, savory, thyme, marjoram, horseradish, dill and sage). One of my favorites, strong and slightly spicy taste. This is also a must on vegetables, but it is very versatile and can also be used to flavor meats, sauces, soups and excellent in place of the cooking cube.

Other aromatic herbs that go well with steamed or boiled vegetables are:

Obviously it is not mandatory to use all three, but personally I prefer the mix of the three spices mixed together.

To get a more pungent and exotic flavor

  • A Pinch of Spicy : the mix of chilli pepper combined with hyssop, sage, thyme and garlic will give your vegetables an aphrodisiac and definitely over the top flavor, also benefiting from the numerous properties of the herbs present.
  • Oriental spices : can be added to stewed or steamed vegetables and vegetables to give them an exclusively oriental flavor thanks to the presence of cumin, coriander, mustard, turmeric, ginger and white pepper.
  • Ginger : gives your dishes a spicy taste by warming your winter days and giving relief to the ailments caused by the cold.

Cooking in the oven, grilled, cooked in a pot:

  • Potatoes and roasts : this is a mix of salt and aromatic herbs that we have studied specifically for potatoes, but which is actually perfect for any type of vegetables cooked in the oven, or in a pan (such as carrots, broccoli, zucchini, pumpkins and fennel , etc.). The enveloping scent of rosemary combined with marjoram, oregano, juniper, coriander and garlic will give the potato suits an intoxicating flavor, enhancing your dishes and at the same time reducing the salt intake.
  • Ground pepper mix : a mixture of black pepper, white pepper, green pepper and pink pepper, colorful and fragrant, truly sublime used in cooking vegetables au gratin (or not) and cooked in the oven, or in a pot. Eventually it can also be combined with other spices, excellent are marjoram, thyme, oregano, parsley and sage. The quantity and the choice of the type of speize can vary according to personal taste.
  • A Pinch of Spicy : we talked about it in the chapter of cooking in a vane, this mix of chilli and spices is also delicious for vegetables cooked in the oven, grilled, or cooked in a pot.

Raw vegetables

Even in raw vegetables it is possible to replace or reduce the salt with some aromatic spices, in particular we at Erbe di Mauro recommend these:

Raw salads

Aromatic herbs are also excellent in combination with salads. You can use them instead, or in combination with salt to give it an edge. You will see that with these spices your salads will no longer be flat and bland!

If you are looking for a ready-to-use spice mix, I recommend:

  • Mediterranean seasoning : in this mix you can find salt already paired with various aromatic herbs (onion, carrot, basil, savory, thyme, marjoram, horseradish, dill and sage). This blend goes great with a wide variety of dishes and I guarantee you it is also great for dressing raw salads.
  • Salad and Fish Mix : The mix in question contains lemon peel, lemon balm, marjoram and sage. It is very good in fish salads, but also in raw salads (without fish) it is wonderful.
  • A Pinch of Spicy : with ground chilli, hyssop, sage, thyme and dried garlic, this explosive mixture will give your salads an edge and a pinch of spiciness that doesn’t hurt.
  • Lemon Thyme : variety of thyme with an unmistakable lemon aftertaste and aroma. Very good, especially to dress fish salads.

Other herbs that go well with salads are:

If you are interested in buying our spices, or our salt and spice mixes, or spice mixes, take a look at our products. Find them all here >>

Salt substitutes to flavor soups, risottos, legumes and broths

foods to replace salt

These are the mixes we have already prepared and tested for you:

  • Spiced salt for soups, risottos and sauces : it is a mix of sea salt and spices that we have specially designed for soups, risottos and sauces. Contains marjoram, thyme, savory, wild fennel, hyssop, basil and oregano. It also contains horsetail powder, a highly sought-after herb for its richness in mineral salts (in particular silicon, but also calcium, potassium and magnesium). Horsetail is one of the most suitable herbs to counterbalance the excessive presence of salt, as well as for its richness in mineral salts.
  • A Pinch of Spicy : Chilli pepper mix combined with hyssop, sage, thyme and garlic. Here in the kitchen we use it in practically every dish and I can guarantee you that it also goes great with soups, legumes, risottos and broths.
  • Mediterranean seasoning : mixture of sea salt and aromatic herbs (onion, carrot, basil, savory, thyme, marjoram, horseradish, dill and sage). It is the ideal substitute for cooking cube, but obviously without glutamate and with less salt! I guarantee you it tastes great, as I mentioned earlier one of my favorite mixes.

If you prefer the use of single spices, these are the ones that you can use to reduce, or replace the salt and that go best with soups, risottos, legumes and broths.

Salt substitutes for seasoning Red and white meats

meat alternatives to salt

We come now to the meat! Even for seasoning meat it is possible to reduce the consumption of salt by making use of our precious and fragrant spices. Let’s see, based on the type of cooking, which ones go best with the various types of meat.

In roasting and grilling and in pots

  • Mix for Meat and Roast : mix of coarse salt and spices (rosemary, sage, marjoram, bay leaf, juniper, black pepper and garlic) is perfect for roasts and grills, but it can also be used to spice up your marinades, or for other types of cooking.
  • Mix for Potatoes and roasts : mix of sea salt, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, juniper, coriander, garlic. A winning mix for all roast cooking, whether it is potatoes, meat or fish, little changes. You will see that you will be positively surprised!
  • Chicken and White Meat Mix : This mix of thyme, sage, lemon peel and coriander is perfect for adding a touch of flavor to all your meat dishes. In particular, I recommend it in the seasoning of chicken in all its cooking.
  • Spice mix of Provence : Provence is the southern part of France, famous for the richness and heady scent of aromatic herbs such as lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. Of course, Italy is no exception and the spices we grow on our land here in Fermo have nothing to envy to the French ones, indeed! I invite you to use this combination of spices also in your meat dishes. In particular, they go perfectly with grilled meats and roasts.
  • Ground Pepper Mix : This blend of various types of pepper (black, white, green and pink pepper) will give your meat a captivating taste and heady aroma. To try!

If you prefer the use of single spices, here are the ones that go best with grilled and roasted meat:

Salt substitutes for seasoning fish

season fish spices

Here are the spices and spice mixes, which we propose to you for ridrre, or as substitutes for salt in fish seasoning and in particular for grilled, roasted, stewed and steamed cooking:

  • Mix for salad and fish : this mix of lemon peel, lemon balm, marjoram and sage will give a touch of delicacy and pleasure to your fish dishes. Excellent especially for fish salads, but also for vegetable-only salads. They also go well with roasted fish and fish first courses (without tomato).
  • Mix for Crustaceans and Molluscs : for the dressing of crabs, shrimps, cuttlefish, octopuses and in general all molluscs, crustaceans and seafood (and in general for all sauces with these ingredients), we have chosen a mix of savory, rosemary , chilli, and garlic. Try it, you will see what a difference!
  • Lemon Thyme : This variety of thyme with lemon flavor and flavor is just perfect for seasoning all fish-based pacts.
  • Ground Pepper Mix : This mix of black, white, green, and pink pepper looks good anywhere, and fish is no exception. Lightly spicy and aromatic, your dishes will never be the same!
  • A Pinch of Spicy : This mix of chili combined with hyssop, sage, thyme and garlic is also great in fish.
  • Mix for Potatoes and roasts : mix of sea salt, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, juniper, coriander, garlic. If you’re planning on grilling or roasting fish, I highly recommend trying this explosive mix. It will surprise you!

If you prefer the use of single spices, I recommend adding one or more of these spices to your fish dishes:

Salt substitutes for seasoning sauces

seasonings without salt

And now we come to the sauces and aromatic herbs most suitable for reducing, or replacing the salt in the dressing of meat, fish and only vegetable sauces:

  • Mix for Crustaceans and Molluscs : this mix of savory, rosemary, chilli pepper, and garlic is suitable for fish sauces and in particular those based on seafood;
  • Mediterranean seasoning : mixture of sea salt and aromatic herbs (onion, carrot, basil, savory, thyme, marjoram, horseradish, dill and sage). We tried it in different sauces and frankly it looks good everywhere! Whether they are meat, fish or just vegetable sauces, this herbal blend will enhance your dish to the nth degree!
  • A Pinch of Spicy : This is one of the herbal blends I use most often. Contains chilli, hyssop, sage, thyme and garlic. It looks good on practically any dish and can also be easily added to sauces, whether they are meat, fish or just vegetables, it will give your dish a pungent touch and a truly intriguing flavor.
  • Fire di Calabria mix : with sea salt, parsley, onion, oregano, sweet pepper, garlic, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, hot pepper. Spicy (but not very spicy), it goes perfectly with all red sauces, whether they are meat or fish.
  • Lemon thyme : excellent in white fish-based sauces.

Other herbs to use alone to spice and flavor sauces are:

Buy our ready-to-use Spice mixes

If you are interested in buying our spices, or our salt and spice mixes, or spice mixes, take a look at our products. Find them all here >>