Making your own Gourmet Sea Salt is very easy and it’s a great way to use the abundance of summer herbs growing in your garden.
We only need two ingredients: Sea Salt and Fresh herbs. I will show you how to do it with basil but this works the same with other fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, savory, chervil, Mediterranean hartwort, dill, fennel, kafkalithres (Mediterranean Hartwort), myronia (chervil) etc., or a combination of any herbs.
These make great homemade Christmas Gifts, along with a few other homemade goodies, which your family or friends will surely appreciate!
What is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes, usually with little processing. Depending on the water source, this leaves behind certain trace minerals and elements. The minerals add flavor and color to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels.
Sea Lake, from above, in Akrotiri, Limassol, Cyprus
Nutritional Value Of Sea Salt
Sea salt derives 82 essential trace nutrients from the mineral treasure trove present in seawater.
These natural minerals are valuable for the healthy functioning of the body.
The nutritional wealth of sea salt includes vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc among other beneficial elements.
Sea Salt has been used as a preservative but also to flavour food for thousands of years. It is essential to our health but we do not encourage you to consume huge amounts of salt but everything should be used in moderation.
Salt has been demonized as being bad for the health.
A new Scientific American article suggests the War on Salt is baseless (like most wars).
For decades, policy makers have tried and failed to get Americans to eat less salt.
In April 2010 the Institute of Medicine urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of salt that food manufacturers put into products;
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already convinced 16 companies to do so voluntarily.
But if the U.S. does conquer salt, what will we gain?
Bland french fries, for sure. But a healthy nation? Not necessarily.
Read more here.
Hippocrates (450 b.C.) was the first one to acknowledge the medicinal properties of sea salt. Here are a few of the most essential benefits of consuming sea salt.
- Sea Salt is rich in Trace Minerals.
- It helps Avoid Dehydration and Balance Fluids.
- Sea salt is an excellent Electrolyte Source.
- It provides a Proper Brain, Muscle and Nervous System Function.
- Sea salt is a Digestive Health Aid.
- It is a Nutrient Enhancer.
In Asini, where we live during most of the year, we have lots of herbs growing both in the garden and in pots.
The basil and peppermint were thriving, so before coming back to Athens, I cut most of these two herbs and brought them along with us.
As this was the first time attempting to make gourmet salt, I wanted to test each herb separately to see the outcome, both tastewise but also its colour.
The one with peppermint had a darker but pale shade of green, whereas the one with basil has an intense bright green colour.
Its taste is quite subtle giving a wonderful flavour added on top of bread, on salads, potato chips (French fries), on pasta etc.
When using it in cooking, you can add it as you would use any other salt, as it does not affect the outcome.
Next time, I am going to make some with rosemary and some with savory and oregano.
In fact, you can add anything which has flavour or aroma to make your own blend of gourmet salt.
I am even thinking to make a blend for desserts, so I will be updating this post in the future after testing the recipes.
My herbs are organic so I only give them a good wash to remove the dust and use the leaves together with the tender stems, where all the flavour is.
If the basil has flowered I add the flowers as well.
To make herbed gourmet salt, you can use a food processor, a mini chopper, a blender or an immersion blender or a pestle andd mortar, if you want to go the traditional way.
The first thing I tried it on was on Greek pita chips with olive oil, basil salt and graviera cheese!
If you want to take your food to the next level, use this salt wherever you would usually use table salt.
The result packs a punch of flavor to subtly and wonderfully enhance any meal.
- 100 grams fresh herbs (basil, mint, oregano, thyme etc.)
- 1 cup coarse sea salt
- Wash the herb and let it drain in a colander.
- Tear off the leaves but keep the tender stems attached and any flowers.
- Discard any tough, woody stems.
- Chop the herb into smaller pieces and pulse half of the basil and half of the salt for the blender (I use the Multi Moulinette chopper), to break it up easier.
- Pulse for a couple of times and stop to mix with a spatula. Continue with the remaining.
- Line a big tray or baking tin with parchment paper and kitchen paper on top and spread the basil in a thin layer.
- Let it dry for a couple of days until the salt draws out all the moisture and store in a glass container with a tight lid.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11.5Total Fat: 0.32gSaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 116.27mgCarbohydrates: 1.32gFiber: 0.8gSugar: 0.15gProtein: 1.57g
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!