In the foothills of Pakistan, near the sunny capital, there has long existed a peculiar pink salt rock that we now call Himalayan salt. This vividly coloured salt rock has been mined from here for many years, and is said to have a whole host of health benefits. The properties that it is renowned for, its colour, purity and mineral collection, often overlap in cause and enthusiasm; Himalayan rock salt is not usually altered after being mined, it has a wonderfully unique colour that is also due to its unique collection of minerals, often seen with the naked eye within the salt rock. Of course, it is known in large part due to the Himalayan salt lamp craze, but we can also tell you all about why you should cook with the Himalayan salt itself. Indeed, since it was first discovered, Himalayan salt has been used in place of the average table salt for a variety of reasons, and in a variety of ways.
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Himalayan Pink Salt has a Variety of Uses
Himalayan salt is wonderfully versatile, and always has been. The simplest way to integrate the pink salt rock into your cooking is by allowing it to simply replace regular table salt. Your famous caramel sauce can now be your famous Himalayan salt caramel sauce, or your chicken and turkey can now be dry brined in a solution that includes pink salt. It has historically been used for meat preservation, one of its original uses, and can certainly still be used for this purpose. For those who are interested in fermentation, or are already masters of it, some online experimenters have concluded that their various fermentation brews have been elevated by using Himalayan salt over table salt, or even over Kosher salt. This is thought to be due to the combination of minerals acting within the fermentation. If you have a more pink Himalayan salt, that can even be used to alter the colour of your fermentation, if you’re so inclined. Others have used it in a daily healthy drink, suggesting it can increase electrolytes. Some studies have shown that consuming Himalayan salt rock aids in hydration. Why waste the glorious pink colour, however? If you have Himalayan salt available, why not show it off a little bit? If you are one of those people who is obsessed with restaurant level plating with home cooked food, one way to make your food stand out is by having these pink salt crystals resting atop. If you’re making brownies, for example, sprinkle some pink salt on top, over some red berries, to balance the sweetness and the acidity, and make it a treat for the eyes too! If you want to use a pinch here and a pinch there, get a pink salt grinder, so you can put the small pink rocks within on display right on your dinner table. If you want to get more serious, why not serve your food on a Himalayan salt block? Elevate your everyday dishes with an extraordinary ingredient!
Pink Salt comes in a Variety of Sizes
If you’ve ever come across a Himalayan salt section, you’ll notice they come in all shapes and sizes. For cooking, you can get pink salt ground as fine or as large as you want. From very fine pink salt to be used as a baking salt, to larger Himalayan salt crystals for plating, you’re all set.
Himalayan Salt has a Different and Stronger Taste to Normal Table Salt
If you have a very sensitive palate, you may notice that Himalayan pink salt tastes a little different to your normal table salt. Some have said it tastes ‘saltier’, and others note the unique mineral taste as it dissolves. Many have devised dishes that allow them to bring this Himalayan taste to the surface a little more, including Himalayan pink salt meat curing solutions. Dessert recipes with pink salt are also popular, particular those with a level of acidity, as they aptly balance the sugar and acid, with a bit of salt. Whatever your preference, try some pink salt with your favourite dishes, and see if this simple addition elevates your meals.
Himalayan Pink Salt has a Variety of Minerals
The main reason Himalayan salt has become such a craze is because of those renowned minerals within, which give it its benefits, colour, and flavour. It is estimated that there are over 80 different minerals and trace elements within pink rock salt, many more than in table salt. It is thought that iron found within is the main culprit for the pink and orange colours. As all salt does, pink salt contains lots of sodium chloride, but also a variety of other unique minerals, such as strontium, as concluded by various studies. Essentially, Himalayan pink salt has a little less sodium than table salt, but a whole host of other minerals to compensate for this. Though these are in small concentrations, and won’t be enough to provide you with your daily minerals, they can give you a little mineral boost with every meal. If you have Himalayan salt to hand, take a look. Depending on the size of your pink salt grains, you may be able to see some brightly coloured mineral deposits within. For this reason, some grains of salt will have more minerals than others, as they are certainly not evenly distributed across the pink rock.
Himalayan Salt Helps to Moderate your Sodium Levels
Compared to other salts, pink salt rock is a little lower in sodium. Whilst it is necessary for us to have sodium in our diet, for nerve and muscle function and maintaining a fluid balance, it should always be in moderation. Adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day, meaning around 2.4 grams of sodium. As Himalayan rock salt has a slightly lower concentration of sodium, it can be had in slightly higher quantities than other salts. It is important to remember moderation, however, as too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and cause problems in your kidney, heart and liver. There have been also been studies done on those with low sodium levels and low salt diets, and amongst other problems, they often report sleeplessness and insomnia. For those in this position, you can increase your intake of Himalayan salt, which may help you sleep a little bit more soundly.
Himalayan Salt is More Natural
One of the biggest advantages of pink salt versus table salt is that pink salt is often incredibly pure. Table salt is often refined to remove impurities and minerals other than sodium, and is also mixed with additives such as anti-caking powders to absorb moisture. Often, iodine is added to prevent iodine deficiency, and indeed over 60% of the population use iodised salts. Compare this to Himalayan salt, which is cut straight from the salt ranges of Pakistan, moved to a separate area where it is ground for use, and then into a bottle and into your food. Himalayan pink salt is incredibly pure, and often nothing is added, allowing those natural minerals straight into your system. Iodine, however, is often added for a good reason, so if you’re worried about iodine deficiency, simply search for some iodine rich foods to add to your diet.
Whether you’re a professional who wants to experiment with a new ingredient, or a budding enthusiast, there are many ways to entertain this Himalayan salt craze; you can sprinkle the pink salt crystals on top of your dessert, cook that Himalayan flavour into your meals, or leave it to soak into your holiday bird. It’s up to you, and we hope you enjoy it!