Salt is such a normal part of most people’s cooked diets that it’s easy to continue using it in the same way when you start eating more raw food too. If you add salt habitually to your food, either during the preparation or at the table, then your taste buds have probably become used to a certain level of ‘saltiness’ that makes food without salt taste wrong. You are not alone! A lot of the raw food chef’s and recipe books use salt habitually to ‘bring out the flavour’ of the food. I don’t actually believe in this approach, although I do think that salt is necessary for achieving the alchemy that creates certain familiar and comforting flavours in raw food that are associated with cooked food. The difference between a savoury smoothie and a raw soup is salt. The main difference between a raw nut ‘cream’ and a raw ‘cheese sauce’ is salt.
I want to be clear that when I talk about ‘salt’ I am not talking about table salt or even common sea salt. If you have either of these in your cupboard I recommend you throw them out! These salts can be dangerous for your health long term and contain no health-giving minerals. The salt I am talking about is unrefined natural salts, such as Pink Himalayan Salt and Celtic or Grey Sea Salt. These unrefined salts still contain all the essential minerals that our bodies need. When I use salt I use the Himalayan Salt as it was created millions of years ago before our seas where polluted. You can decide for yourself if you feel more strongly about air miles or sea pollution in your salt. Neither are great, I know, so if you feel really strongly about both then maybe it’s time to phase salt out of your diet altogether.
There is much debate about whether unrefined natural salt is actually necessary in a high raw food diet. Some believe that you can get every mineral you need from raw food whilst others believe that our soils are so depleted that it isn’t possible for the raw foods we eat to contain the quantity and variety of minerals we need. Others fall in the middle and suggest salt can be fine as part of a well balanced diet, in moderation. And those of you that know me in person will know, of course that I am one of the latter. Unrefined natural salt is not part of every meal for me and, once the initial transition to a high raw diet has happened, you’ll find that you naturally want less salt. It is always my aim to eat as little salt as possible whilst still enjoying the flavour of my food. If you eat salt habitually then I recommend that you begin to wean yourself off it because it is a taste-addiction that is not necessary for, and possibly detrimental to, your health when eaten this way.