Homemade Food Gifts: Savory Salts

in Resources, Substitutions
Photo: Getty

Impress the home chefs on your holiday list with an array of infused salts. They’re a great sugar-free gift alternative and are easy to make and package.

What to use: 1 to 2 teaspoon dried seasoning (see flavor and label ideas) per 1/4 cup coarse salt, such as Kosher or Fleur de Sel.

Preparation Notes: If using fresh herbs or zest, drying is required prior to use. Heartier herbs, such as rosemary, sage and thyme (with stems removed) and zest (peel only, no white pith), can be air-dried at room temperature in a few days. Alternatively, for a quicker turnaround and herbs with more moisture, use a dehydrator.

How to Combine: Crush or rub the seasonings between your fingers or with a mortar and pestle as you mix them into the salt.

Packing Tips: Store in airtight jars with decorative lids or stylish sealed spice shakers. Will keep at room temperature for up to 1 year, but will be most potent in the first few weeks.

Flavor and Label Ideas

Citrus: lemon, lime and/or orange zest.
This infused salt is perfect to sprinkle on chicken, fish or desserts featuring pomegranate, cranberry or chocolate.

Lavender: Alone or in an herbs de Provence blend.
Use on chicken, lamb, or in delicate baked goods such as scones, cakes and shortbread.

Mexican Spice: Deseed and grind chipotle chilies with lime zest.
A great spicy seasoning for beef, chicken, bean dishes (i.e. hummus or refried beans), avocados, soup and rice.

Winter Herb: Combine 2 parts sage with 1 part rosemary and 1 part thyme.
Shake generously onto turkey, chicken, winter squash, sweet potatoes and mushroom dishes before baking.

Alisa Fleming is a contributing editor to Allergic Living magazine and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of Godairyfree.org.