Break Bread This Thanksgiving, Sodium-Free

Photo by Vassil Tzvetanov – reused under Creative Commons license

Good News for Your Get-Togethers

Bakers and bread-lovers, rejoice! Yes, sodium-free baking powder and sodium-free baking soda do exist, and 2YourHealth is here to tell you where to find them and how to use them—so that you can enjoy breaking bread with family and friends this holiday season without sabotaging your low-sodium diet.

Sodium? In Bread?

Yep! In fact, most breads and baked goods contain a surprising amount of sodium. The main culprit is sodium bicarbonate, the primary chemical compound in baking powder and baking soda. These ingredients, called “leavening agents” or “leaveners,” are crucial to baking and can’t be omitted from recipes because they make the dough rise.*

Most recipes call for only a tiny amount of these ingredients, but a single teaspoon of baking powder contains about 480 mg of sodium, and just half a teaspoon of baking soda contains a whopping 600 mg. This sodium content gets spread out across serving sizes, but come on—how often do we stop at just one dinner roll?

Basically, the existence of sodium-free baking powder and baking soda means that as long as you bake them yourself, you can have your biscuits… and eat them, too!

Where to Buy Sodium-Free Baking Powder and Baking Soda

The only downside to these marvelous products is that there are very few of them currently on the market, and they’re unlikely to be found at your local grocery store. Thats why we’ve made it super easy for you to order them from our online store. (And if you’re buying for a loved one, check out our lovely Baker’s Delite & Salt Free gift basket!)

How to Use Low-Sodium Baking Powder and Baking Soda

It’s important to know and remember the rules for baking with sodium-free leaveners, because a mistake will affect the texture, taste, and appearance of your baked goods. Here’s a quick guide to using each product.

Baking powder:

Sodium-free baking powder can be substituted for regular baking powder at a 1:1 ratio. If the recipe calls for 1 (or 2, or 3) teaspoons of baking powder, you should use the same amount of sodium-free baking powder—no more and no less.

When creating your own recipes, you only need 1 teaspoon of sodium-free baking powder per 1 cup of flour.

Baking soda:

Sodium-free baking soda is weaker than regular baking soda, so you should use exactly twice as much as the recipe calls for—no more and no less.

When creating your own recipes, you only need ½ teaspoon of sodium-free baking soda per 1 cup of flour.

Substituting:

If the recipe includes baking powder but all you have is sodium-free baking soda, use ½ as much as the recipe calls for and add that same amount of lemon juice or cream of tartar. (Example: the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, so you would use ½ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ tsp of lemon juice or cream of tartar.)  

If the recipe includes baking soda but all you have is sodium-free baking powder, use twice as much as the recipe calls for.

 

 

*There are other leavening agents available, such as yeast and egg whites, but baking soda and baking powder are the most commonly used because they produce the best and most consistent results.

 

Author: Carla Spencer

Carla Spencer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of 2 Your Health. Her extensive career working with individuals with health challenges led her to create this site dedicated to helping people enjoy their lives while working to prevent or minimize the impact of kidney disease.

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