On my journey to learning about real food, step by step, I started to learn about regular pantry staples that I needed to replace.
I’ve written about the differences in refined versus natural sweeteners, bleached products that you can replace for a natural alternative, and even the nutritional benefits of grinding your own grains.
Another pantry staple that I replaced for a much healthier alternative was white table and kosher salt.
But isn’t salt, salt? The difference between refined and unrefined salt.
Just as I’ve written about the refining process of other pantry staples, white table salt is also bleached and refined. It’s brined in a solution which can include sulfuric acid or chlorine and heated to a point which removes all of its minerals and elements useful to our body. Anti-caking and conditioning agents are added to make it’s shelf life forever.
Iodine is also added to prevent goiter (swelling of the thyroid), however; at such a small amount (.01%) it’s insufficient to provide for the body’s iodine needs.
In contrast, unrefined salt contains all of it’s trace minerals and other elements that are naturally a part of it’s origin and never exposed to harsh chemicals. It ends up being much more than just sodium and chloride.
Unrefined salt is a whole food product which is easily utilized by the body. Unrefined salt provides minerals (plus other important trace minerals) that help improve all bodily systems including the immune system, glandular system and the nervous system.
As a culinary use, unrefined salt also has a unique flavor and adds great texture to many different kinds of dishes.
There are a few different brands of unrefined salt that contain different amount of trace minerals dependent upon it’s origin. Celtic Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan, and Real Salt.
I’ve used all three and my current unrefined salt of choice is Real Salt.
Real Salt is an all-natural sea salt taken from an ancient sea bed in Central Utah.
The deposit occurs with over 60+ natural trace minerals which gives the salt its unique color, unique flavor, and numerous health benefits. Because the Real Salt deposit comes from an ancient sea bed, nature created the salt long before the earth experienced any pollution or contaminants that are troubling our oceans today.
The Real Salt deposit begins about 30 feet below the surface, covered by a layer of bentonite clay, which has protected it from erosion and from the possibility of modern contamination.
According to the Real Salt website…
Real Salt is currently harvested about 300 feet below the surface of the earth. The deposit is huge, so we carefully follow the food-grade veins and harvest the salt using carbide-tipped equipment that basically scrapes the salt off the walls of the mine. From there, the salt is screened and crushed to size before being shipped to our food-grade facility in Northern Utah. Real Salt is packaged after passing through a final automatic screening to be sure no metal residue or contaminants were introduced during the process.
What I love most about this salt is it’s speckled color and the price which fits most real food budgets. It’s about $4.95 for a large shaker and can be found at most health food stores, coops, or health food sections of regular grocery stores.
Now that you know the difference between refined and unrefined salt and a few brands you can try, I’ll be sharing a post later this week on how I use fine salt versus kosher (large granule) salt in some summer dishes.
I’ll also have a giveaway and two specifically for newsletter readers. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, please do so below.
So tell me? Do you use unrefined salt? Which brand is your favorite?
Links of Interest