HANDMADE HERBAL INFUSED CULINARY SALTS || THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT

Whether you want to treat yourself, someone you love, the host/hostess of a party you are attending, workmates, or someone in the service industry whom you have grown to appreciate, herbal infused salts are a fantastic way do it!

They are incredibly easy to make. They are indulgent, and that is a great quality for a gift. They are economical. Who doesn’t want that? And most people (at least most who cook), would love to have them on hand to use in their kitchen as the mood strikes them 😉

CHOOSING A SALT FOR YOUR HERBAL INFUSED SALTS

Any salt can be used to make these little treasures. But I strongly recommend a high quality salt. It makes all the difference in the end result. Celtic sea salt would be a great choice. It is one of my salts of preference. I also adore black volcanic salt. I used it often when I had my herb shop, as it was an ingredient in one of the products I produced. So I always had it on hand back then.

But now, as I’ve said many times before, I have limited supply of just about everything where I live. It really is that remote.

I suppose I could have ordered salt online for this project. But, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably realize that I am a ‘when the mood strikes me’ kind of woman.

And when the mood struck me, the salt I was able to rustle up quickly was pink himalayan salt. This did not disappoint me. As a matter of fact, for this particular project it would be my number one choice anyway ❤

Pink himalayn salt contains 84 trace elements and minerals. It has the highest mineral content of any salt on this gorgeous planet we call home. AND it is the only salt on earth that remains truly raw, as it is consumed in its original form.

If you read information put out there by many folks in the holistic health community, they will tout this salt as good for your health. In contrast, many from western science consider that a lofty claim. They feel that the trace elements and minerals are too miniscule to matter in human consumption. And they lend little creed to the benefits claimed to come from the natural harvesting of pink himalayan salt.

I, however, think it is exponentially better for you. I don’t consider it a health food. And I believe you should use it moderately, at least. Perhaps even lightly. It is still salt, after all.

But it does contain trace elements and minerals. And I see no reason to stick my nose up in the air at that. Regardless of how miniscule their presence is. They are, after all, removed from common table salt completely. And the fact that pink himilayan salt is not processed is always a win in my mind. I am perpetually working on refining my eating habits where processed food is concerned. I have a long way to go at this point, but it is my desire to eliminate processed food from my diet completely!

HOW TO MAKE HERBAL INFUSED SALTS

Once you’ve decided on a salt, and the ingredients you want to infuse into it (I’ll share my choices down below), putting together herbal infused salts can easily be done in under two hours. And that includes 1 hour roasting time. Time you are free to use in other ways. Might I suggest a book?!?!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! First we’ve got to get the salt in the oven 😉

Doing that is as simple as placing your ingredients in a food processor if you are making large amounts, or a spice grinder for smaller amounts, and grinding them until they are well-blended. This can also be done by hand with a mortar and pestle, which is my preferred method of preparation. It is a very meditative practice. And there is no doubt that the opportunity to infuse your salt with love and good intentions is there to be taken advantage of as you hand grind. It benefits the giver, receiver, and consumer of these very special gifts in ways unseen ❤ ❤ ❤

Once they are ground well, spread them out on a baking tray of some sort. I used a baking stone for mine. Cast iron would also be a great choice. If you don’t have either of those, simply use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Avoid metal and glass pans. The salts will stick to these surfaces.

Then place them in a 175° preheated oven for 1 hour, or until they are completely dry. Check them after 40 minutes. They may be done. Or they may need to be ground back into a fine powder and put back in the oven for that final 20 minutes.

Allow them to cool and place them in the containers you will be using to gift them. Label and adorn the container to your liking. And bless someone special with them this holiday season ❤ 😉 ❤

That’s all it takes! Simple, easy, and quick! With a 5 star end result in my book!

3 HERBAL INFUSED SALT BLENDS TO GET YOU STARTED

I can’t give you exact measurements for the blends I created. I didn’t measure any of the ingredients I used. I simply separated the container of pink himalayan salt I bought into 3 parts, because I wanted to make as many blends. And then added ingredients to each of them until it felt right. Or until my Ancestors whispered “Stop”, as they say!

I did partially dehydrate the blackberries I used for the Early Morning Sunrise Blend. I felt that they would be way too wet to work with as they were. Yet, I didn’t want them to be hard in the final blend either and thought full dehydration would result in just that. Partial dehydration worked well for me. I would recommend this step if you have a dehydrator. If not, there are plenty of instructions online for dehydrating in the oven. I am not sure how well this works. So if you try it … let me know how that goes 😉

I find it important to note that herbal infused culinary salt blends are meant to have a strong herbal flavor profile. Don’t be shy when adding your ingredients to the mix. It is best to go heavy on them. One part salt to one part total of other ingredients combined is a good guiding principle. Keeping in mind that very spicy or pungent ingredients should comprise a smaller percentage of the blend.

I’m thrilled with the blends I made. All 3 of them. And I would make each of them over again. But I will say that if you are pressed for time the final blend I made, The Spicy Italian, was much simpler than the others. Read on and you’ll see why …

EARLY MORNING SUNRISE BLEND

Blackberries (partially dehydrated), Fresh Orange Zest, and Thyme are added to Pink Himalayan Salt to make this blend. The berries and the orange zest cause the blend to be quite wet before it is roasted in the oven.

I found that after 40 minutes of roasting time this blend had chunked up and needed to be separated. I tossed it back into the mortar and pestle to restore it to powder form. Then I put it back in the oven for 20 more minutes, as it was not completely dry.

Once it finished it’s second round of roasting, it had the perfect consistency for packaging. I have to admit that with my first blend completed, I was feeling a little impressed with myself!

TUSCAN ZEST BLEND

Rosemary, Fresh Lemon Zest, and Garlic are added to Pink Himalayan Salt to make this blend. The lemon zest in this blend caused it to be quite wet before it was roasted in the oven. Not as wet as the above blend because there is not the added moisture from fresh berries.

But wet enough to require that it too be tossed into the mortar and pestle for another go around. And put back in the oven for an 20 minutes.

NOTE: You can eliminate the need for a second round of roasting by using dried lemon zest and garlic powder in this blend. It will lose some of it’s color. And the flavor will change a bit too. In my opinion, it is better to go with fresh zest and garlic. But the option is there.

THE SPICY ITALIAN BLEND

Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano, and Chives are added to Pink Himalayan Salt to make this blend. Because it contains all dry ingredients you can choose to skip the oven roasting step if you want to. Simply grind the ingredients together and leave them sit in a container, where they will naturally marry their flavors over time.

BUT I urge you to roast this blend. It truly makes all the difference in the world! It adds another dimension to the flavor profile of the final product. You will be glad you made the effort. You really will 😉

This blend only needs to be roasted 30 minutes. It is not necessary to put it back in the oven for a second round. And it will not need to be ground again. It is ready to be packaged and gifted straight out of the oven.

It is great to have a nice little selection of handmade herbal infused culinary salts on hand around the holidays. They make a terrific last minute gift. And whatever is still around the house after the holidays is fair game in your own kitchen.

Not to mention that, it’s just as much fun to gift them as it is to make them. The gift is in the giving, as they say.

As a personal little bonus for my efforts in the kitchen making these special little gifts, I am have a bit of each different blend left over, to experiment with in my kitchen. I’m not gonna lie, I would be disappointed if there weren’t any. Or more likely, I would be back in the kitchen making more blends for myself 😉

I’ve only ever used an herbal infused salt a few times before. I bought a great little blend years ago in northern CA at an open air market. I didn’t make full use of the bottle then because I didn’t have much time to be creative in the kitchen. I regret that now. I remember how tasty it was the few times I did use it. Definitely a culinary experience I’d like to repeat!

HOW TO USE HERBAL INFUSED SALT BLENDS

I’ve spent some time considering how I’ll be using the bits of salt I have. I’m thinking of using the Early Morning Sunrise Blend to rim the glasses of a mocktail or two over the holiday season. Maybe an herbal infused salt crust for a fat slab of cod made from the Tuscan Zest Blend. And The Spicy Italian blend is just calling out to me to be sprinkled on some handmade pretzels. So YUMMY!

While these ideas are what springs to mind when I think about how to use my infused salts, I have also had a great deal of fun surfing the interweb looking for other ways to enjoy these little gems. The possibilities are endless!

How about topping sweet treats like shortbread, caramels, brownies, and chocolate dipped apricots? Salts can even be infused with cocoa, vanilla bean, cinnamon, or a plethora of other bakery style spices to use for this purpose.

Or cook lamb, chicken, beef, or pork with these blends as the main seasoning. Use them to top veggies, popcorn, pasta, and potatoes. I will undoubtedly be giving these beauties a shot at livening up my diner style homefries, on one of the long cold winter days coming up.

If you’ve made/used herbal infused culinary salts before, I’d love to hear what you think of them? How you’ve used them? And whether or not you have or would consider giving them as gifts for the holidays? So, lets meet in the comments and chat all about it 😉

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

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