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Jun 11, 2010 12:33 PM

Low sodium brands/substitutions - help! [moved from Home Cooking board]

I attempt to keep my cooking low in sodium, because even though I make almost everything from scratch I'm blown away by the amount of sodium in EVERYTHING. I was wondering if you guys had any favorite brands or substitutions for high-sodium items.

At the moment, I'm loving the 365 Whole Foods brand canned black beans - 10mg of sodium per serving (as opposed to over 500mg in some other brands). They are the only beans I've been able to find without a ton of sodium - and at $.89 per can, they're dirt cheap. So instead of buying frozen veggie burgers which are usually high in sodium, I make my own black bean burgers, which are waaaay cheaper and have very little sodium.

What are your favorite brands or items? I'm talking mostly about canned or jarred items such as beans and salsas, frozen items such as frozen bagged shrimp, and pita/bread/tortillas without lots of weird ingredients and salt (I make my own bread but not every week). And if you have suggestions for a substitution for low sodium tamari (someone mentioned Bragg's Liquid Aminos), that would be awesome. I like to marinate tofu in a tamari/scallion/honey marinade but I'd like a lower-sodium alternative to the tamari.

And I have a question regarding shrimp that I'm hoping someone can answer - what's with all the sodium? I bought a bag of frozen raw shrimp from Whole Foods and didn't notice until I was about to use them that the ingredients included "shrimp, salt". The sodium count is around 300mg for one serving. I bought frozen cooked shrimp from Trader Joe's and had the same issue. I prefer buying 1 lb bags of frozen shrimp (both raw and cooked) because it's cheaper than buying fresh and I like having them on hand in the freezer. Are shrimp just high in sodium, or are there brands out there that sell bags of frozen shrimp without any salt?

I shop mostly at Trader Joe's (for basic stuff like flour, nuts, pasta, frozen fish, etc.), Whole Foods (canned low-sodium items, organic dairy, some produce), and our farmers market (pastured eggs, produce, cheese), so if anyone has store-specific suggestions for TJ's or WF that would be awesome!

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  1. MPJ, I seek out low- or no-sodium items, too. Regarding the beans, can't you make your own from dried? You can always freeze what you won't use right away. In a pinch, I've been using Eden brand canned no-bpa and no-salt beans & chickpeas but there are tons of no-salt canned beans on the market these days, I will say that, even store brands, I've seen. Okay, and you didn't ask about snacks, but I *LOVE* Nabisco's Hint of Salt Triscuits...with a schmear of natural p.b. or hummus or goat delish!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Val

      Since I've discovered the Whole Foods beans with no added sodium, I've just been using those - 10mg sodium per serving isn't bad, and the convenience factor is fantastic. But those are the ONLY brand of beans I've found! Luckily they also have pinto, kidney, and garbanzo beans without added salt, they're all around 10mg of sodium per serving. I make black bean burgers, bean enchiladas, hummus, etc.

      Thanks for the Triscuits tip - my husband loves Triscuits, but I didn't realize they had a low salt version. He eats hummus every day for a snack, and those would be great with the hummus.