Cooking Salt Alternative Recipe

Cut back on sodium and replace the salt in your cooking with this blend of spices.

From "Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion"
March 2018

  • Using a blend of spices can give you a flavor similar to or better than salt.
    Photo courtesy of Douglas and McIntyre Publishing
  • “Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion” by David Wolfman and Marlene Finn combines culture, history, and storytelling to bring a highly usable cookbook alongside a personal story of Wolfman’s and Finn’s life together.
    Photo by Michael Kohn

Yield: Makes 1/2 cup

Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion (Douglas and McIntyre, 2017) by David Wolfman and Marlene Finn is a fusion of many things – not only bringing together classic cooking with Indigenous recipes, but combining personal reflections from the authors alongside diverse stories and practices of indigenous nations throughout the Americas.

Wolfman and Finn’s book has also been recently nominated for two awards: Finalist at the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Cooking category, and Best Book of the Year category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.

The following excerpt is their Salt Alternative recipe.

I like using this mix on fresh steamed green vegetables or mashed potatoes, although it’s great on fish and seafood too. This recipe makes a small batch, so once you’ve used it for a while, you can figure out which spices you might want more of next time. You will probably have a few sneezing episodes during the course of this exercise, but in the long run making your own mixes is worthwhile.


• 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) onion powder
• 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) dried marjoram
• 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) paprika
• 2 teaspoon (10 milliliters) dried oregano
• 2 tsp (10 milliliters) ground sage
• 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) dry mustard
• 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) dried thyme
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) celery seeds
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) chili powder
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) dried rosemary


1. Leave the lemon zest in the open air for several hours (or overnight) to dry completely, or bake it on a baking sheet at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes.

2. Combine all the ingredients and grind in a mortar and pestle or spice mill (or coffee grinder dedicated to this purpose).

3. Store the mix in a large-holed salt shaker and use while cooking or to finish dishes instead of using salt. The mix will last 6 to 12 months, but you may need to add more lemon zest after a month or two.

More from: Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion

Celeriac and Apple Salad with Honey Vinaigrette Recipe
Easy Deer Meat Lasagna Recipe
Scalloped Rutabaga Recipe
Gluten-Free Potato and Corn Bread Recipe

From the book Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion, by Chef David Wolfman and Marlene Finn, © 2017. Published by Douglas & McIntyre. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

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