A Comprehensive Guide on Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt is believed to have formed over 250 million years ago, during the Jurassic era. It existed naturally on earth and has been considered a valuable spice for centuries. The ancient sea beds around the Himalayan mountains, where the salt is now mined, were previously covered with lava. This lava acted as a natural barrier which prevented the entry of toxins and other pollutants inside the salt. Due to this protection from nature, people believe that Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest salt on earth.
The people of the Himalayas used this pink salt as a preservative to keep their fish and meat from spoiling for long periods of time, especially during the winters. This made the salt very popular among people in the valleys of Nepal for the purpose of trade. They carried the salt during their journeys along the mountains and rocky paths in order to trade this valuable product.
Today, pink salt is considered to be a gourmet cooking salt by top chefs and is used for preparing delicious dishes. It also adds an interesting pinkish tinge and a different texture to food that brings about an interesting twist to your cuisine. This salt can be used extensively as an ingredient in grilling, cooking, roasting and seasoning foods.
Salt, in general, is an integral part of our diet that is consumed on a daily basis due to a lot of reasons. It is important to know that our body requires salt for maintenance of fluid balance and proper functioning of nerves and muscles. A human body regulates the amount of sodium it contains. If the sodium content is too high, people feel thirsty and tend to drink more water that leads the kidneys to speed-up the process of getting rid of it.
However, consumption of sodium in excessive amounts can lead to kidney stones, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, very little salt intake leads to hyponatremia, symptoms of dizziness, confusion, muscle twitches as well as seizures.
In the recent past, a number of people have started making a conscious effort while choosing what kind of salt they want to use like iodized or non-iodized, etc. People have become a lot more careful about their health and they prefer choosing Himalayan Pink Salt over regular salt. Himalayan Pink Salt also consists of sodium chloride but it is unrefined, naturally harvested and has high mineral content, unlike regular salt which undergoes refining to extract impurities and other minerals.
Difference between Himalayan Pink Salt and Regular Sea Salt
Himalayan Pink salt is usually preferred over regular sea salt by many people not only for its taste or flavour but because of several other distinct characteristics. Let us dive into some of the most common differences between the two:
|Himalayan Pink Salt||Regular Sea Salt|
|It is extracted from the Rocksalt mines of the Himalayan region near the Indo-Gangetic plain.||It is obtained by collecting water from the sea, oceans or saltwater lakes and is stored in a man-made pool which then undergoes evaporation. After the evaporation of water takes place, the salt residues gain prominence.|
|Himalayan salt is coarse and its colour varies from red to pink depending on the number of trace minerals.||Sea salt consists of a bristly texture and its colour varies from a greyish tinge to white.|
|It has a strong taste if consumed directly.||It also has a strong taste if consumed directly, but there is a stark difference in its flavour from that of Himalayan pink salt.|
|It consists of several other trace minerals like potassium, iron, calcium etc. along with sodium chloride.||Sea salt also contains trace minerals but there are high chances that these minerals are actually heavy metals like lead that are harmful to the health in the long run.|
|It is unrefined, mineral-rich and naturally harvested.||It is refined and processed to separate the impurities and other minerals except for sodium chloride.|
Important trace minerals found in Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt is believed to consist of around 84 types of minerals and most of these minerals are full of health benefits. Mentioned below is a list of the five most important trace minerals found in this salt:
- Sodium: Sodium is required by the body for numerous functions. It helps prevent dehydration and keep the blood pressure levels of the body in check. It also helps in the contraction and relaxation of muscles and sends impulses to the nervous system.
- Calcium: This mineral is popularly known for regulating blood pressure levels, maintaining the alkaline pH level, strengthening bones, teeth, and gums as well as helping prevent the onset of obesity, kidney stones, and premenstrual depression.
- Magnesium: It plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles, the formation of teeth and bones, and is also considered as an essential component of the biochemical processes in our body. It also promotes the formation of adenosine triphosphate, popularly known as the “molecular unit of currency” of the intracellular energy transfer in the body. It is also responsible for regulating insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
- Iron: One of the most important purposes of iron is that it serves as the production house for hemoglobin, which is important for the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. It also helps in energy production and boosts the immune system.
- Potassium: Himalayan pink salt has a higher potassium content when compared to other natural and unprocessed salts. It helps the body maintain a balance in the potassium-to-salt ratio for the proper functioning of the body.
The Manufacturing process of Himalayan Pink Salt
The pink Himalayan salt is a naturally occurring pink-coloured rock salt extracted from the caves in the Indo-Gangetic Plain near the foothills of the Himalayan region. Sodium chloride forms about 98% of the entire composition of the salt. And the rest of it is loaded with several minerals and trace elements. This salt is manually extracted or naturally harvested to yield a product that is unrefined and free from additives, chemicals, and preservatives. Himalayan pink salt is able to retain its trace minerals since it is harvested naturally, unlike regular table salt. Let us dive into the complete journey of this salt:
The Himalayan pink salt is extracted using the Chamber and Pillar method. Using man-made tunnels, the salt miners reach the salt beds. The salt walls are cut into 1.5 meters deep chambers (also known as undercutting) using a longwall chain cutter. Next, in a checkerboard pattern, the salt labs are extracted from the walls. The permanent salt pillars which are solid and are left behind provide support to overlying rock formations. The holes that were made are then blasted using explosives. This breaks the rock salt into several pieces that are then collected from the floors of the mine.
The broken pieces of rock salts are collected and then these blocks of salt are further broken down into smaller pieces for easy transportation to the warehouses. The laborers then process the salt, manually and finally, the finest pieces are handpicked and selected from each bulk for further processing.
Washing & Soaking
After cutting the salt rocks they are washed and soaked in water in order to filter out the remaining dust and impurities.
The quality of the salt is thoroughly checked. There are different grades of Himalayan salt just like tea, coffee, etc. The salt crystals which are clear are known to be of the highest quality or superior grade. When these premium quality crystals are mixed with the salt crystals of orange, rose and pink colour, there is a perfect balance of nutrients. This step ensures that only the best grade or the standard salt crystals are used in the process of production.
The final batch that is finally selected after a thorough quality check, is sent for crushing. The salt is generally crushed into two forms – Granules and Powder. After the process of crushing is over, the salt is then sent out for the purpose of packaging and later dispatched to various warehouses and retailers all over the country.
Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt
The Himalayan salt crystals consist of certain minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium which makes it healthy for consumption. It is believed to contain numerous trace minerals and several other elements.
Below mentioned are some of the wonderful health benefits of the Himalayan pink salt:
Flushes out toxins
Consumption of sole water provides great benefits to health. Sole water is the water that is completely saturated with natural salt. Mix ¼ th of Himalayan salt in a jug full of water. Cover the jug with a lid and keep it overnight. By morning, the salt will dissolve in the water and if there are any traces of salt at the bottom of the jug, that indicates that the water has completely absorbed all the salt and is now saturated. Now, thoroughly mix 1 teaspoon of sole water in a glass of regular water and have it every morning. Consumption of this water helps to maintain the pH levels in the body, flush out harmful toxins, improve your energy and keep you hydrated throughout the day. The negatively charged ions and trace minerals in pure salt enter into the cells and bring out the toxins from them. This is one of the best ways to experience the benefits of Himalayan pink salt.
Maintains the blood sugar level and hormonal balance
Daily consumption of Himalayan salt helps ensure the proper flow of fluids in the body. Maintaining the right balance of minerals and hormones helps in improving insulin levels and prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
The process of digestion begins inside the mouth and your salivary glands can be activated with the help of Himalayan pink salt since it helps release amylase (an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates). Hydrochloric acid, as well as other enzymes, are stimulated by it which helps digests protein and further aids in the breakdown of food.
Provides relief to respiratory problems
Himalayan salt can be useful for treating respiratory diseases through a process called salt therapy. In a few of the therapy sessions, the patient is required to use a salt inhaler, while in some sessions, the patient is made to sit in a room full of air consisting of Himalayan pink salt. When a person inhales this salty air, the salt particles enter the respiratory system and the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of salt clean the lungs and sinuses. This salt therapy is also popularly used for the treatment of seasonal allergies and congestion in chests.
Unique & Healthy Recipes using Himalayan Pink Salt
Mushroom infused with Garlic
- 500 gm chestnut mushrooms
- ½ tbsp ghee
- 1 large garlic clove
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
- Pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnishing
- Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and slice them into the desired sizes.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium flame and add the chopped mushrooms, pink salt, freshly ground pepper and turmeric powder. Cook for about 12-15 mins until the water is drained out.
- Add the chopped garlic and ghee to the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Tossing occasionally.
- Remove the pan from heat and top it with some parsley and pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recipe source: Yummly
Tomato Basil soup
- 900 gm tomatoes
- 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
- ½ cup of chopped sweet onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1 ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- A dash of black pepper
- Slice the tomatoes in half. Keep it aside.
- Heat a cooking pot in medium flame.
- Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, olive oil, basil leaves, pink salt and pepper. Cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer for about 45 mins to 1 hour.
- Remove the pot and let it cool.
- Puree the mixture until thick.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve warm!
Recipe source: Delightfulmomfood
- 3 cups of almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 egg whites
- Preheat oven at 400-degree celsius. Line parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, thoroughly mix almond flour, baking powder, coconut oil and salt.
- In another bowl, mix the egg whites and blend them well.
- Add the egg whites in the flour mixture and mix them thoroughly.
- Divide the batter into different portions and place it on the parchment paper-lined on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Take them out and let it cool.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recipe source: https://www.yummly.com/page/mamashire
Raw Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup of sundried tomatoes
- 4 medium-sized sweet tomatoes
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 green onions
- Himalayan pink salt to taste
- Lemon pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Add all the ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly until pureed into a sauce-like thickness.
- Taste seasonings as desired.
- Serve with hot samosas, egg toast, french fries or pakoras.
Recipe source: Veggiesdontbite
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of heavy cream
- ¾ cup of milk chocolate
- ¼ tsp garam masala or curry powder
- ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 cup of chocolate (less sweet)
- Heat the milk chocolate in a saucepan or a double boiler until completely melted. Keep it aside.
- Combine sugar and 1 tbsp of water. Heat over medium flame until the sugar turns brown. Add cream and stir thoroughly until the caramel is smooth.
- Pour caramel into the melted chocolate and add garam masala and Himalayan salt. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Scoop teaspoons of the chocolate caramel mixture and form balls in round shape. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Remove melted chocolate from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir well.
- Dip the chocolate caramel balls in the semi-sweet chocolate. Place the dipped chocolate truffles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle Himalayan pink salt on the truffles.
- Let the chocolate set for about two hours.
- Enjoy at any time of the day!
Recipe source: Yummly
If you want to avoid the additives and preservatives present in regular table salt, then Himalayan pink salt is an obvious and a healthier choice. The manufacturing process of the salt is completely natural and manual and does not involve any kind of chemical processing. It is available in different grain sizes (granules or powder) for convenience or according to culinary needs. Delight your taste buds with the natural and authentic flavour of Himalayan Natives 100% Natural Himalayan Pink Salt!