A lot has been said about the Himalayan salt blocks. The benefits of the salt to your health are not in doubt. But how much do you know about the salt? In this article, we tell you all the things you may have wanted to know about the salt. We tell you what it is, the health benefits it brings to you when you consume it, how to cook with it, the foods that you can cook using this salt, and how to care for the salt (this includes proper cleaning and storage tips). Armed with this vital information, you will be much better placed to get the most from your salt and take advantage of its huge benefits. Continue reading to discover more.
What is Himalayan salt block?
A Himalayan salt block refers to a big block of pink salt that is hand carved and then formed into a plate. Owing to its unique pale pink color, a Himalayan salt block is often referred to as pink rock salt. The salt is mined from the Asian country of Pakistan and is very high in many minerals. It could be harvested in the form of large blocks like for making salt lamps or for cooking or it could be crushed into small and medium pieces. The salt rock can also be ground at home using a salt grinder after which it can be used for cooking the same way we use regular salt.
These blocks of salt can be molded into squares, circles rectangles or even other tidy brick-like shapes. Each of these plates is different and may be smooth or rough. These salts form a very unique method of preparing and serving vegetables, chicken, sea food and sometimes even cold dishes for instance raw fish. The best thing about these salt blocks is that they are actually healthy for you.
What are the advantages and health benefits of cooking using a Himalayan salt block?
- A natural source of sodium
The pink rock salt is a natural sodium source and offers a very important mineral that the body requires for proper functioning. Sodium plays important roles in the body which includes regulating blood volume (and hence blood pressure) and also helping control nerve transmissions, heart functions and muscle contractions. Sodium that the body requires naturally occurs in a variety of foods but may also be taken in the form of added salt as happens with Himalayan salt. The recommended daily amount of sodium is 1500-2300 mg for both males and females from age 9-50.
- Rich source of other minerals
When you consume Himalayan rock salt, you will be giving your body much more than simply sodium. It has a total of 84 minerals which include magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, chloride and potassium among other things. The salt also has traces of fluoride, selenium, copper, iodine, zinc and boron. All thee minerals play a big role in ensuring optimal bodily health.
- It is better than the ordinary table salt
Being a salt that occurs naturally, it has all the important minerals that the body needs but does not go through refinement or chemical processing. Also, since the salt is usually harvested naturally, you will still enjoy the benefits of this salt irrespective of the form that you consume it in. The salt is likely to exist as fine grains, coarse grains or even large blocks that can be used as platters for serving that season the food they serve delicately.
Other benefits of using a Himalayan salt block
- Increases hydration of the body
- Creates an electrolyte balance
- Prevents muscle cramping
- Assists in proper functioning of the metabolism
- Regulates water content not only inside but also outside the cells
- Improves blood circulation
How can I use a Himalayan salt block?
There are lots of different ways that you can use your pink salt. You may want to cook your steak inside the kitchen on your stovetop and later grill shrimp outdoors on the BBQ.
For most people however, the best way to use their salt blocks is grilling a steak outdoor on the BBQ. It gives an amazing unique flavor to the beef. The resultant meat isn’t too salty and quite juicy. Although it is not difficult to use a salt block, you need to care at first. Upon breaking your block of salt, you may use it as your favorite pan for frying. The more seasoned that the block gets, the better. The key is to heat slowly and gently.
Steps & instruction on how to use a salt block
- Begin by heating the salt block from the room temperature. If you put your block on a grill that is already hot, it might cause it to crack or break.
- Have your block put on the grill and begin on low for about 15 minutes. The aim is to have a slow and gradual heat.
- Bring the temperature to medium for about 10 minutes as you tackle other prep work.
- Next, take the temperature high and let it there for another 10 minutes.
- To monitor the temperature, you may want to use a thermometer. The other option is to use the gauge that comes with your grill.
- At this time, it is okay to throw your fish, vegetable or shrimp on. You won’t require too much seasoning for your food as the block takes care of that.
- By means of a pair of tongs, make sure you flip you’re the food even just once.
- Just focus on cooking your food well and take care not to BURN it.
- Serve the food and enjoy. The block retains heat for hours.
How do you clean a Himalayan salt block?
Prior to starting any cleanup exercise, make sure you allow your block to cool off for at least 20 minutes. It can retain heat for 15-20 minutes after being taken off the heat source. After that, you can now touch it without and danger.
Cleaning tips for your Himalayan salt block:
- Run hot water in your sink and then quickly rinse your salt block
- Do not soak the block in water
- Take it out of water and then scrape off the residue using a metal spatula or a scouring sponge
- Next, rinse quickly in the hot water so as to clean it
- Use a clean dish towel to dry it. Do this by flipping and patting
- Take care not to drop it as it may break or worse still, smash your foot
- Have it set on the counter and allow it to dry
Keeping your salt block clean after use is important because you will also want to use it another time. Make sure that it is thoroughly dried. If you put it on the oven while moist the next time, it will crack due to contraction and expansion.
How to use a Himalayan salty block cold?
Other than cooking, the pink salt can also be used for serving. In this case, the slab of salt is first chilled in a refrigerator and then used to serve food items like cheese. Alternatively, it can even be frozen inside a freezer which can then be used for presenting a cold dessert. Moist foods pick up more of the salty flavor, with the denser and drier foods being presented imaginatively and beautifully.
When used as a serving plate, the food on which it is served takes the flavor from the salt. Even if you do not want to freeze it, you can just serve food with this salt block. The following are the foods that can be served on Himalayan salt block cold:
Himalayan salt for chilled desserts
- Fruits and vegetables
- Cold dips
- Cold appetizers
- Shell fish
- Tuna Tartar
- Cured meats
- Ice cream and sorbet
- Hard boiled eggs
What can I cook on a Himalayan salt block?
Isn’t it just awesome to think of yourself cooking food on a slab of pristine crystallized mineral salt aged 250 million years? There is actually no better way to get the nutritional benefits and clean taste of a pure mineral salt to the table than using pink salt. These salt blocks may be heated to a high temperature of even 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then used to sear all manner of foods. After you complete your cooking, the mineral salt slab will be back to its room temperature state where it can then be used as cold serving plate for future meals.
Among the foods that can be cooked on the Himalayan salt block include meat, vegetables and fish. You can choose to slow-heat your Himalayan salt block either using an oven or even over electric burner or a gas flame. Remember that if the salt block is exposed to high temperatures, some spots of the slab will turn white, which is normal. But as it cools, the slab will get more of its original coloring. Since the heat can cause an alteration in the appearance of your block, it is recommended that you buy two slabs. You can use one slab for the purposes of serving or display and the other one for cooking. When you cook with the slab, make sure that it is totally dry before you apply any heat. This is because any prior moisture in the slab could expand and damage the slab.
Typical foods to cook in Himalayan salt blocks
• Chicken, duck or any other poultry
• Thinly sliced veal or beef
• Fish fillets
• Apples, pineapples, bananas, pears and other fruits
• Eggs, cheese and thin sliced potatoes
• Scallops, prawns, shrimp or other types of shellfish
• Vegetables especially zucchini, asparagus and broccoli
How do you store your clean block?
After cooking, you will not necessarily discard your salt block. This is because it is intended to cook for several years. Therefore, it is important that it is properly stored after you have cooked with it and even cleaned it.
After cleaning, dry it using a clean cloth or a paper towel. After that, set it to dry on a rack. The salt block can be stored anywhere that does not have high humidity. If you treat it carefully, your salt block will be able to last you for many years providing you with important uses.
However, even with the best storage possible, you will not be able to use your salt block forever. They tend to become opaque after being subjected to heat over time. This may cause them to have cracks or even fissures. Also, they may get discolored especially if they are used for cooking protein-based delicacies. The salt block may break after being used for long. You may then have it ground and then used for cooking as you buy its replacement.
Originally mined from Pakistani ancient mountains, the Himalayan salt is seen by many as not only the purest but also the cleanest salt that you can find anywhere in the world. The salt blocks are able to be chilled or even heated to just about any temperature that the user may desire. You can use them as platters for serving cheese, oysters, homemade sushi or even desserts among other things.
The best thing with pink salt blocks is the fact that they are versatile and also available in different sizes and shapes. It is recommended to purchase two blocks. You can use one of the blocks for serving the food cold and the next one to cook food such as chicken, meat, and vegetables among other things. As a result of heating, the block tends to change its original color and will even crack. The color change is brought about by the fact that the salt takes in juices from the foods it is used to cook. With proper care, there is no reason your salt block should not give you more uses. Even if it cracks, you do not have to discard it. Broken pieces of Himalayan salt blocks could be put on the items that you are cooking. You put one piece at the bottom of the food item and another one on top.
Himalayan salt has many health benefits to those who consume it. It is the natural source of important minerals like sodium, calcium, phosphorous, iron and zinc among many other mineral salts. As a chief natural source of sodium, Himalayan salt block is pure and has not undergone any refinement. It is also devoid of the chemicals that are found in the normal table salt. Above all, it is very cool to cook with Himalayan salt block. Your friends and family will surely love it.
Do you have any questions regarding Himalayan salt blocks, its uses and amazing benefits?
Then please visit our FAQ page. There you will find all the ins and outs about this product.