The Complete Alkaline Nutrition Guide by Made in Oasis contains a list of the healthy foods you can consume on the Alkaline Diet. As you prepare your meals, here are the sweet and salty ingredients you can use to add flavor to your dishes. However, though these have been selected to provide optimum health benefits, all of these should be used in moderation. There can be too much of a good thing!
The Sweet Flavors
There are two sweet flavors Alkaline Nutrition Guide recommends. Read on to see why these two sweeteners are on the Made in Oasis Guide.
Agave syrup is made from the fluids found inside the Tequilana Blue Weber agave plant. This blueish gray plant can grow to be five to eight feet tall and seven to twelve feet wide. But this plant is slow-growing. It takes 5 to 7 years to grow to maturity.
Agave syrup is very low on the glycemic index, making it an ideal sweetener for people with diabetes or who need to control their blood glucose levels. However, it still contains 60 calories per tablespoon, so it should be used sparingly. (1) Fortunately, agave syrup is very sweet, so just a little will go a long way.
You may see agave syrup also labeled as "nectar" in the store. Technically they are the same thing; nectar is a term used by marketing companies. If possible, look for organic varieties.
Date sugar is made from the fruit of the date palm tree. Date palm trees have an ancient culinary history. Date palms were cultivated in Arabia as early as 4000 B.C., and these trees are considered the oldest cultivated fruit in the world.
To make date sugar, dates are dehydrated, and then the fruits are ground up, which means that the date sugar contains the same chemical compounds as dates. (2) Date sugar is rich in magnesium, copper, iron, and calcium. Plus, date sugar also includes the antioxidants and dietary fiber from the fruit.
Using Agave Syrup and Date Sugar
Because date sugar is made from ground fruit, it does not dissolve. So, if you need a sweetener that will dissolve into one of the herbal teas listed on the Complete Alkaline Nutrition Guide, use agave. However, if you are sprinkling a little sweetener on your quinoa with berries for breakfast, date sugar is perfect.
The Salty Flavors
The human body needs sodium for many biological functions. According to Harvard Health, we need it to transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscle fibers (including those in the heart and blood vessels), and maintain a proper fluid balance. (3) However, like the sweeteners listed above, there can be too much of a good thing. Use the following ingredients sparingly in your dishes to bring out the delicious flavors.
The pink Himalayan salt you see comes from a specific mine, the Khewra Salt Mine, one of the world's oldest salt mines. It is located in Pakistan, near the Himalayas. The salt comes from an ancient body of water that evaporated, leaving behind the salt deposits. It contains various minerals and trace elements, and it is these minerals that give it its signature pale pink color. For example, Himalayan salt contains potassium, magnesium, and iron.(4) However, the amounts are minimal, and you are better off getting these minerals from the many vegetables, fruits, and grains found on the Complete Alkaline Nutrition Guide.
The reason Himalayan Salt is preferred, is like most foods on Alkaline Nutrition Guide, it is minimally processed. This salt is hand-extracted and undergoes very little manufacturing. Just as we suggest eating organic, non-GMO, and nonhybrid fruits and vegetables, you want your flavoring to be as close to the original, whole food as possible.
Like Himalayan salt, sea salt is also minimally processed, and it also contains minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium. When you buy sea salt, that is only what will be in the bottle. Because it is not manufactured, it does not contain extra additives like anti-clumping agents.
And also, like the mined Himalayan salt, people have been using sea salt since prehistoric times. Sea salt is just what it sounds like - salt from the sea or ocean. In modern times, seawater is pumped into huge shallow ponds, and the sun is used to evaporate the water, leaving the salt behind. But anyone today can harvest sea salt with only a bucket of clean salt water from the sea. (5)
Did you know that sea salt can come in different colors, depending on where it was harvested from? For example, sea salt from France is light gray, and there are black sea salts from India.
Here at Made in Oasis, we love seaweed! [Sea Moss +] Seaweed is a sustainable crop that has been eaten all around the world. Granulated seaweed is sheets of seaweed that are dehydrated and ground into flakes. It has a natural salty flavor and is high in essential minerals like iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, making it a great addition to dishes made with food from The Complete Alkaline Nutrition Guide. In particular, magnesium and potassium boost the flavors in food, so granulated seaweed is an excellent way to get this effect without too much sodium. Plus, since it is made directly from a plant, it contains dietary fiber and protein.
Granulated seaweed is usually a dark green or brown color. It is perfect for sprinkling in soups and topping vegetables. It also has natural thickening agents that make it terrific for making natural stocks and broths. As always, look for organic seaweed whenever possible. You can find it in health and nutrition stores.
Just a pinch of these seasonings can add flavor to your dishes. Combined with the many spices and seasonings on The Complete Alkaline Nutrition Guide, you have a wide variety of flavors and tastes that also help support the health of your body. The proper food can help nourish you and improve your long term well being.
(1) "What Are the Nutrition Facts for Agave Nectar?" Nectave-The Healthier Sweet, 24 Dec. 2018, www.nectave.com/what-are-the-nutrition-facts-for-...
(2) "USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors." U.S. Department of Agriculture, www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400525/Data/retn/...
(3) Harvard Health Publishing. "Take It with a Grain of Salt." Harvard Health, 17 June 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/take-it-with-...
(4) Drake, S. and Drake, M. (2011), COMPARISON OF SALTY TASTE AND TIME INTENSITY OF SEA AND LAND SALTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. Journal of Sensory Studies, 26: 25-34. doi:10.1111/j.1745-459X.2010.00317.x
(5) "Foraging & Harvesting Sea Salt." The Cape Coop, 10 Feb. 2018, thecapecoop.com/foraging-harvesting-sea-salt.