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Sweet and Sour Goodness

Create your own healthy fruit vinegars to add a fresh splash of flavor to Northwest recipes.

Vinegar is one of my favorite seasonings. For a tasty addition to your low-salt repertoire, try the sour-sweet taste of fruit vinegars in cooking. To make your own, add about one cup of fresh berries, kiwi, citrus or other diced fruit to about one quart of white vinegar. Let sit at room temperature about two weeks or longer, strain and use in these great low-salt recipes.

Oven -blasted Vegetables

The high temperature these vegetables are cooked at helps seal in their flavor and makes a quick addition to a weeknight meal. Vary the vegetables depending on the season. In summer, use sweet bell peppers with tomatoes and broccoli. In spring, use asparagus. In the fall, try these vegetables:

1 Yukon Gold potato

3/4 cup baby carrots

1 red onion, chopped

1 yam

1 beet

2 tablespoons olive or salad oil

1/4 cup fruit vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Cut vegetables into ½-inch cubes. In a 500°F oven, heat oil in a flat metal pan for 2 minutes. Add cubed potatoes, carrots and onion. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir and cook 5 more minutes. Add yam and beets and cook 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with vinegar and grated Parmesan. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 186

Carbohydrates: 29g

Protein: 5g

Fat: 6g

Sodium: 142 mg

Fruit Vinegar Salad Dressing

This salad dressing is good on any salad, but best used with spinach. In summer, mix in fresh strawberries and almonds; in winter, try canned mandarin oranges and walnuts.

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup fruit or berry vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Heat sesame and poppy seeds in oil until they are golden, or about 5 minutes. Cool. Mix vinegar, sugar, and paprika until sugar dissolves. Add cooled oil with seeds and green onions. Serve over salad.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 83

Carbohydrates: 6g

Protein: 1g

Fat: 7g

Sodium: 3mg

The information in this column is meant for people who want to keep their kidneys healthy and blood pressure down by following a low-sodium diet. In most cases, except for dialysis patients, a diet high in potassium is thought to help lower high blood pressure. These recipes are not intended for people on dialysis without the supervision of a registered dietitian.

[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The 2014 recipient of National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition’s Susan Knapp Excellence in Education Award, she has a Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. See more of her recipes at www.nwkidney.org.]

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