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We love experimenting with spices, and our results prove there is absolutely no need for diabetic/heart-friendly food to be bland! Before Wayne even came home from the hospital, I was excited to find that our local grocery stocked eight varieties of Mrs. Dash, and that they were all on sale! Normally $3.49, they were marked down to something like $2.39, so I bought all eight. You can’t go wrong with these, and whether you want a slightly spicy blend, a Chipotle flavor, garlic and onion, or just a blast of extra flavors (Table Blend), they are all helpful.

Besides the Mrs. Dash assortment of blends, we love Benson’s Table Tasty. You’ll wonder how they got it to taste like salt without the salt. It is a more powdery blend, and other users we’ve learned from suggest that for the most flavor, you should add it after cooking, rather than during the cooking process.

Of course, you can also create your own blends. The internet is replete with DIY salt-free blends for all sorts of uses. It just depends on how much time you have and how much you want to customize your blends. Our opinion is that even if you have time to for that, commercially available salt-free blends are a great time saver and inexpensive enough for most budgets.

Many of our recipes, including this week’s Turkey Burgers, suggest that you add your own favorite sodium-free seasonings. These could be Indian spices like garam masala or curry, a salt-free Cajun blend, French-influenced spices like Penzey’s Sunny Paris, a Mexican blend of peppers at whatever level of heat you love, the possibilities are endless. If you’re a heart patient, your main limitation is probably salt, and if you’re diabetic, your main limitation is sugar (believe it or not, some spice blends include sugar, or some of its many cousins like dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, etc.) Many doctors recommend limitations that will also depend on your other health conditions, so always consult with your doctor.

Be careful with potassium blends. For some patients they are not recommended, so talk to your doctor about that too. We tried one potassium product (with an OK from Wayne’s doctor) and while it did provide a salt-like taste, it also had kind of a bitter aftertaste, so we haven’t used it much.

Don’t let another meal opportunity go by without trying out the spices in your cabinet, and the great blends that are available! Eating healthy definitely doesn’t have to mean bland or boring food!

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