You’ve probably heard about some of the magical things a Himalayan salt LAMP can do for you. But have you heard of the wonders of the Himalayan pink salt block? Or perhaps the idea of cooking on a big brick of sunset-hued crystal is totally new to you. Either way, you’re in the right place.
The Himalayan pink salt block is catching on and for good reason. Not only do these colorful prehistoric crystals make healthier, tastier and more interesting meals, they’re also just darn pretty to look at! Not enough, you say? Here are our top 10 reasons that the Himalayan pink salt block is a must-have natural health tool that everyone needs in their kitchen.
1. Adds Healthy Minerals To Food
Cooking on a pink salt block naturally imparts the incredible health benefits of Himalayan pink salt into your food. Such health benefits include balancing your body’s pH, stabilizing hydration levels, improving digestion and reducing acid reflux. Of course, the amount of salt that is absorbed depends on a number of factors – moisture level, thickness and oil content of the food being prepared, as well as the temperature of the block being a few of the major determinants.
2. More Complex Taste Than Table Salt
In addition to NaCl (plain old table salt) Himalayan pink salt contains over 80 trace minerals and other elements. Not only does this make HPS better for your health, it also has a much more complex flavor. Meals prepared on a Himalayan salt block will take on some of that complexity, turning familiar foods into a new and interesting experience.
3. A Hint of Salt, Not A Lot
Himalayan pink salt crystals have very low porosity and minimal moisture retention. Because of these two traits, HPS won’t immediately upon contact transform food into an unbearable salty mess. Instead, your pink salt block will impart just a hint of its very interesting salt flavor into your food.
4. Naturally Anti-Microbial Surface
Unlike other food-preparation and cooking surfaces, you’ll never have to worry about germs on a Himalayan pink salt block. This is also due to the low porosity and moisture retention of the salt which creates a naturally anti-microbial environment. (See the Use & Care section below for some quick cleaning tips.)
5. Extreme Temperature Resistance
In order to prevent cracking of the surface, salt blocks must be heated slowly (no more than 200 ºF per 15 minutes.) That said, Himalayan pink salt also has extreme temperature resistance with a melting point of just over 800 C (a little under 1500 ºF) making it excellent for high-heat cooking! Just be sure to have a good solid salt block holder for safe carrying of your super-hot HPS block.
6. Superior Heat Distribution
Due to the crystalline structure of Himalayan pink salt, heat spreads evenly through the entire block instead of radiating out from the middle and cooling toward the edges. Food prepared on the block will cook at the same pace whether it be in exact center, in a corner or anywhere in between.
7. Holds Temperature Longer
Also because of its crystalline structure, Himalayan pink salt blocks hold their temperature – whether it be hot or cold – longer than other cooking and serving surfaces. This means you won’t have to worry about food prepared on your salt block getting cold or too warm while you finish up any accompanying dishes.
8. Use Heated or Chilled
While most of us probably got our salt blocks with the idea to cook food on them, some of the most interesting dishes you will prepare (and serve!) on your block are those best served cold.
If you’re anything like me and you love sashimi, the pink salt block will be your new best friend. Imagine serving sake, hamachi and maguro arranged artfully on a chilled pink salt block. Your friends will be talking about it for months!
9. Food Cures Through Contact
Raw foods like sashimi will actually begin to cure the longer they rest on the salt block. This is fascinating to watch for both children and adults!
10. Blocks Double As Serving Platters
These blocks are so beautiful and intriguing that it is almost impossible to notuse them as serving platters. Mark Bitterman – American food writer and owner of The Meadow – captured this idea perfectly when he said, “There is a tactility and an immediacy to having this giant white hot block of 600-million-year-old salt on a table that turns us all into apes. It’s just this gorgeous, luminous thing.”[source: Reuters]
Recipes Ideas To Get You Started
Notice: The following are minimalist recipes. They use high-quality ingredients, and your cooking surface is an ingredient in all of them. Resist the urge to get elaborate and use your haute cuisine training here (at least until you have a healthy amount of experience under your salt block-cooking belt.) This cooking style succeeds precisely BECAUSE it is spartan!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers
The lean protein in this dish will give your diet a healthy kick, while the bright citrus flavors will keep your palate lively. You can also replace the shrimp with scallops. The super-heated salt block will sear the surface into an unbelievably delicious morsel.
Seared Flank Steak
If you’re cooking for someone who craves red meat, a salt block is a healthy way to prepare it for them. The salt block works best with very lean cuts such as the flank used in this recipe.
Salt Block Asparagus
If you want your veggies yummier and your guests’ eyes googlier, there’s no easier way to achieve this than by cooking up some delicious fresh asparagus on your salt block. Click here for the recipe.
Salt Block Crisped Whole Fish
Few dishes are as visually impressive as a well-prepared whole fish. This recipe is a beautiful and delicious way to prepare that perfect snapper you scored at the fresh market today!
Watermelon and Feta on a Salt Block
As previously mentioned, you can also use your block for serving up cold foods! Scroll through to the bottom to get started on this delicious and gorgeous appetizer (and be sure to catch more of Mark’s words of wisdom at the top, too!)
Salt-Frozen Parmesan Ice Cream
You scream, I scream, we all scream for… salt block ice cream? YES!! This dessert dish is elegant enough for a semi formal dinner, but also fun enough for the kids to help out.
Where To Buy Your New Himalayan Salt Block
For those who prefer to see and touch it before you buy it, certain high-end kitchen and home furnishing retailers do sell HPS blocks. However, you can also easily find them online such as this Large Himalayan Salt Slab for Cooking & Serving available on Amazon.
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