Imagine the following scene: The whole family is at the table for a family feast, the best china is laid out on the finest tablecloth, crystal glasses are brimming with freshly made juice, and the plates are loaded with an array of colorful, tempting vegetables. Suddenly Grandma asks you to pass the salt and then she is startled and exclaims, ‘This salt is pink?!’
You smile and say, ‘Oh, grandma, it’s Himalayan salt!’
The origins of Himalayan salt
The Himalayas stretch across Asia and India and the most common association is Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, but lately there is also another association – Himalayan salt.
Thousands, and even millions, of years ago, the sea salt beds deep inside the Himalayan mountain range were covered with lava. This pristine environment protected the salt from outside influences such as pollution and that is why it’s believed to be the purest salt there is. In recent times, the salt is mined by hand and has been made available to the culinary market.
Why the salt is pink
The different shades of white, pink and red indicate the salt’s varying composition of minerals and energy-rich iron.
The benefits of Himalayan salt
The minerals within the salt’s sodium work in perfect synergy because it was formed naturally, just as the vitamins in minerals are perfectly balanced in organic fruit and vegetables.
The salt is naturally rich in iodine, so there is no need for artificial addition.
Less sodium in each serving
Both Himalayan salt and table salt have the same components but the crystal structure of Himalayan salt is larger and therefore the crystals have a smaller mass than highly refined table salt grains, and therefore have less sodium.
Provides a wealth of minerals and elements
The salt crystals form naturally within the earth and are composed of more than eighty minerals and elements, 85.62% of sodium chloride and around 14% various other trace minerals, including magnesium, sulphate, potassium, calcium, bromide, bicarbonate, strontium, borate, and fluoride.
It is due to these minerals that pink Himalayan salt can:
- Regulate water content, both in and outside of cells
- Create a balance of electrolytes
- Strengthen bones
- Prevent muscle cramps
- Prevent goiters
- Improve circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Aid proper functioning of metabolism
- Help the absorption of nutrients by the intestines
Sea salt vs pink Himalayan salt
Although pink salts come from the mountains, technically they are also sea salts. All salts come from a salty body of water such as a salt-water lake or an ocean, but Himalayan is considered to be the purest sea salt of them all.
Why Himalayan salt is better than table salt
Commercial table salt is refined and this strips the salt of its minerals. It is usually chemically cleaned and bleached as well as heated at extremely high temperatures.
Furthermore, anti-caking agents are used to prevent the salt’s mixing with water in the container and these agents also prevent the salt from dissolving in our body, which leads to its building up and depositing in tissues and organs, thus causing serious health problems.
Finally, it is usually synthetic iodine that is added to the salt and this is difficult for the body to process. It is shocking that U.S. laws allow up to 2% additive content in table salt.
Numerous uses of pink salt:
For cooking and curing
You can use the pre-ground kind of salt or a grinder
Salt slabs can be used as serving platters to impart the mineral content and an enhanced taste to the food.
– They can be chilled and decorated with cheese, fruit and vegetables or sushi. – Or they can be frozen and used to present various cold deserts and sorbets. – They can be heated and used for searing vegetables, thin slices of beef, shrimp, fish fillets or even for frying eggs. They conduct perfectly distributed heat for various purposes. The best thing is that because the salt is naturally anti-microbial, a simple rinse or a quick scrub is all that is necessary for cleaning up.
For home décor and salt lamps
The salt crystals can be put in containers, used as décor crystals and sprinkled on food for a decorative accent. The crystal rock salt lamps are also popular for the home and a wide selection can be found on-line.
Throw the salt into your bath water for a detoxifying Himalayan bath. All those replenishing minerals and nutrients are great for your skin, help soothe sore muscles and boost circulation, all of which make this pink salt bath a healing and relaxing experience for body and mind.
For oil diffusers and potpourri holders
There are many products featuring the pink salt in the form of crystal rocks that are both attractive as home décor and serve useful purposes.
So the next time someone reaches for the salt shaker and finds pink crystals staring back, they will hopefully know more about this wonderful gift of nature and all its many uses!
For those meat lovers among us, brining should definitely be in our bag of tools. We provide an extremely simple recipe for this method, which makes meat juicy and succulent.
Basic (low sodium) brine for poultry and pork (for up to 8 lbs. protein)
- 1 gallon of water
- 3 ounces of sea salt
- (optional) 3 ounces of sugar
- (optional)1 tablespoon of citrus zest
- Put the salt (sugar, and other aromatic ingredients) in a pot and bring to a simmer until the salt (and sugar) has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool
- Let your protein brine chill for 6 hours
- Drain the protein and let it air dry for 2 hours in the fridge.
- Roast, grill or broil as you desire.