While sugar is often blamed as the culprit responsible for the obesity epidemic, salt isn't far behind in the war on various food staples. It's true that there's just too darn much of it in restaurant dishes, but it doesn't deserve to be villianized! Especially when there are so many smart ways to use salt that don't even necessarily have to do with cooking!
Here, 8 brilliant, surprising things you can do with the savory seasoning. (Warning: Not to be taken with a grain of salt ...!)
- Remove the smell of garlic. After putting together a mean pesto or Mediterranean chicken dish, your hands might reek. Mix salt with lemon juice, then rub it on your hands. Rinse, wash with soap, and voila! Garlic scent be gone!
- Remove various odors from cooking surfaces. Just like #1, you can add salt to a cutting board to remove any odor. Just pour a generous amount directly on the board. Rub lightly with a damp cloth. Wash in warm, soapy water.
- Use as toothpaste. Another concoction salt is central to: Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda (add a drop of peppermint extract for minty flair) instead. Dip your wet toothbrush and clean those chompers.
- Exfoliate skin/peeling sunburn. Well, you hopefully won't have to worry about this one for a couple months yet, but last summer I improvised my own at home exfoliating scrub that leaves any patch of rough skin baby soft. Just mix coconut oil with a generous amount of salt.
- Unstick food from a pan. My fiance showed me recently how rubbing salt onto our not-so-nonstick pan could easily remove residual scraps.
- Clean the oven quicker. If something you're baking boils over onto the oven floor, try pouring salt on the spillage. Once the oven cools down, you can more easily brush the mess away.
- Clean the coffee pot. Put a handful of salt in your glass coffee carafe with 8-10 ice cubes, then swish around. It will remove any dark stains.
- Keep cut-up fruits and veggies looking fresh. Submerging them in cold salt water will keep chopped apples and potatoes crisp and free of browning.
More from The Stir: Sea Salt Healthier Than Table Salt? -- Ask the Nutritionist
What's your favorite trick for using salt?