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Healthy Home Cooking

by Healthy Exchanges

Hi! Thanks for joining us in the kitchen again, where the cooking is easy and the food is both healthy and tasty! Enjoy!

Are you trying to reduce your sodium intake? Good for you; you’re doing the right thing. Lowering your sodium will help drop your blood pressure and benefit your cardiovascular system. On average, you should consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day. Foods with 200mg of sodium or more per serving are considered high-sodium, foods with less than 140mg per serving are low-sodium.

Here are some foods that you may not have thought of as high-sodium foods.

Deli meat: 1oz – 396mg or more
Packaged pudding mix: 1/2 cup serving made with milk – 470mg
Ketchup: 1 tablespoon – 167mg
Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon – 1029mg
Canned soup: 1 cup – 1000mg
Chili: 1 cup – 1200mg
TV Dinner: 1150mg
Pizza: 1 slice – 900mg

To help maintain a low salt intake try some of the following tips:

Don’t use salt at the table, and reduce the salt used in food preparation. Try 1/2 teaspoon when recipes call for 1 teaspoon. Many cakes and desserts can be prepared without adding salt. Use herbs and spices for flavoring meats and vegetables instead of salt. If you prefer a pre-mixed spice blend make sure it does not include salt. Avoid salty foods such as processed meats (deli), pickles, soy sauce, salted nuts, chips and other snack foods.

Three more salt-reducing quick tips to keep in mind in the kitchen: Don’t add salt to dried beans before you cook them as it will prevent them from getting soft. Don’t salt meat or a roast as you’re browning it. Salt draws out moisture so it will stay more moist if you leave salt out of the process. And finally: If you mistakenly add too much salt to a dish you’re preparing, drop in a potato and continue cooking. The potato will help to absorb the extra salt.

Now for our Recipe Low-Salt Makeovers:

MP of IA sent this recipe to be revised from a 50’s recipe into a recipe of today, using the great food items that are now available in the grocery store.

1 (4-serving) package JELL-O sugar-free orange gelatin
1/2 cup Splenda Granular
1 cup boiling water
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, packed in fruit juice, undrained
1/2 cup no-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 (11-oz) can mandarin oranges, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz) can pineapple tidbits, packed in fruit juice, drained
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine dry gelatin, Splenda, and boiling water. Mix well to dissolve gelatin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Stir in undrained crushed pineapple, sour cream, and coconut extract. Add mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, coconut, and pecans. Mix well to combine. Spread mixture into an 8-by-8-inch dish. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Cut into 8 servings.

Serves 8 – Each serving equals: 101 Calories, 3g Fat, 1g Protein, 15g Carb, 60mg Sodium, 29mg Calcium, 1g FiberDiabetic Exchanges: 1 Fruit, 1 Fat
Carb Choices: 1

MS of OH, sent in a great way to serve chicken.

1/3 cup Land O Lakes no-fat sour cream
1 (8-oz) can pineapple tidbits, packed in fruit juice, drained and 2 tablespoons liquid reserved
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 (8-oz) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
4 lettuce leaves
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, combine sour cream, reserved pineapple juice, and ginger. Add chicken, pineapple, water chestnuts, and onion. Mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. For each serving, place 1 lettuce leaf on a plate, spoon about 1 cup chicken mixture on lettuce, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon almonds over top. HINT: If you don’t have leftovers, purchase a chunk of cooked chicken breast from your local deli.

Serves 4 – Each serving equals: 242 Calories, 6g Fat, 25g Protein, 22g Carb, 89mg Sodium, 68mg Calcium, 4g Fiber Diabetic Exchanges: 3 Meat, 1/2 Fruit, 1/2 Fat, 1/2 Vegetable
Carb Choices: 1 1/2

We hope you enjoyed our time together in the kitchen. Remember, if you’d like us to revise one of your family favorites so it’s healthier, send your request to: Healthy Exchanges, PO Box 80, DeWitt, IA 52742. Also, be sure to visit our Web site at for more “common folk” healthy recipes to try. Until next time…