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Spice up your seasoning

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Everyone needs to cut down on the amount ofsaltin their diets – whether they have diabetes or not.

 

Too much salt in your diet can raise your blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

 

It can be a challenge, and food may taste bland to begin with. But, with some simple changes to your seasoning, you can reinvigorate your taste buds and enjoy healthy, nutritious food.

 

There are plenty of alternative herbs and spices that you can use in your cooking without having to reach for the salt cellar. 

5 clever ways to spice up your seasoning

  1. Use ginger, lime and coriander to add a tangy flavour to stir-fries.
  2. Try a bit of smoked paprika on some sweet potato wedges.
  3. Tarragon’s aniseed flavour works well in sauces for fish and poultry.
  4. Aromatic cardamom can add a little extra spice to stews and curries. Although it’s most commonly used in savoury cooking, particularly Indian cuisine, it’s also useful when baking occasional sweet treats, as it goes surprisingly well with chocolate.
  5. Spicy harissa paste can be used as a marinade for meat and fish, to flavour soups, pasta dishes and couscous, or served in olive oil as a dip for bread. Use sparingly – a little goes a long way.

Try these recipes

Try these spicy dishes for a change, which are so full of flavour you won’t miss the salt pot. 

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Tandoori chicken & vegetables

Serves 2 • gluten free • 5½ portions of fruit & veg per serving • prep 15 minutes • cook 15 minutes

  • 300g skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large red onions, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 8 pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Cube the chicken and add to a bowl with the yogurt, paprika, cumin and turmeric, then mix well to coat the chicken.
  2. Sprinkle the tomatoes with garam masala.
  3. Lightly oil a baking tray and arrange the onion and pepper evenly over it, then place the chicken pieces on the onion and pepper, and arrange the tomatoes on top.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, and serve with basmati rice or salad.

Per serving*331Kcal – 38.8g protein – 28.5g carbs (

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21.7g sugars) – 

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 8.4g fat (

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 2.1g saturates) –

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 0.4g salt 

*excludes serving suggestion

Chef’s tips

  • This dish will serve four as a delicious starter.
  • Use curry paste if you don’t have all the spices, or add grated fresh ginger and crushed garlic for extra flavour.
  • You can mix the chicken, spices and yogurt together in a food bag and keep in the fridge for a few hours before you start cooking, which helps the flavours to infuse.
  • Spicy dishes do not usually need any added salt, which means they’re better for your heart.
  • Skinless chicken is rich in protein and has almost half the fat and saturated fat of skin-on chicken.

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Spiced apple & raisin muesli bars

Makes 16 bars • gluten free • vegan • prep 10 minutes • cook 20–25 minutes

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 apples, cored and finely chopped, but not peeled
  • 175g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 40g raisins
  • 40g mixed seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. With a fork, thoroughly mash the bananas, then beat them a little.
  2. Add the apples, oats, apple juice, raisins, seeds and cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. Oil a baking sheet and spread out the mixture to a depth of 2cm.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool, cut into 16 portions and serve.

Per serving83Kcal – 19.8g protein – 14.8g carbs (

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6.9g sugars) –

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2.3g fat (

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0.4g saturates) –

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0g salt

Chef’s tips

  • You can add sesame, hemp or poppy seeds, and linseeds to this recipe. Or, you could buy a bag of ready-mixed seeds.
  • Store at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days, or in the fridge for up to one week.
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