This post is a little different. This doesn’t have much to do with photography, but more with a revised recipe of a traditional snack. I hope that you will find value in this post to possibly try something new.
When I was a kid, I remember getting home from the grocery store and I couldn’t wait to have a bowl of cereal for dinner. As I grew up, I seemed to get to the point where I don’t really like milk anymore, however I still eat cereal. So what do I substitute for milk these days? BUTTER! Eating cold cereal for breakfast has long gone for me. Our family has always been a “Chex” family. Most people make Chex Mix around the holidays and they are good until next year. In our house, we usually eat it about once a month.
We started out making it by the directions in a 13” x 9” glass baking dish. This was great but we were lucky if what we made lasted through the night. Then we got the bright idea to double the batch. This meant that it would last TWO DAYS! The motto in our family is if there is a way to do something bigger, we will. We turned in our glass baking dish in for an aluminum turkey pan that you see all over the place around Thanksgiving time. This worked for years until…there were more people in the house eating it. What genius idea did we come up with? We measured the oven to see how big the space was. Then we went to our local restaurant supply store and bought a 21” x 13” x 6” steam table pan. At this point I have lost track of what the upscale is, however we have massaged the recipe over the years to get it to our liking.
Recently the doctor has been on us about high blood pressure. Can you imagine? We didn’t want to give up our long family tradition, so we came up with an alternative. On the original Chex Mix directions it tells you to use “Season Salt” and “butter”. Season Salt, by it’s name is mostly….salt, duh. Butter has salt in it unless you buy the “unsalted” variety. I made it my quest to try and make a “healthy” version of this long traditional treat. Here is what I did.
Since unsalted butter is actually better butter anyway (most people don’t realize this), I swapped the salted butter for unsalted. This was my first change. Last time I went to the grocery store, I found a “lower sodium” version of Worchester Sauce. I picked up a bottle of this to try. There was only one ingredient left that needed revising, the Season Salt. I did some research on the back of the container and it listed most of the ingredients. There was one item listed as “spices”. I would assume that this is their trade secret. I did some more research on the internet and I found what the total mix was.
For the first batch, I made the faux Season Salt but left out the salt. The next biggest ingredient was sugar. I missed the batch together and two hours later, it was ready. I wondered if taking out the majority of the salt would make our beloved snack fall on its face. I took a few handfuls and it was close. It has a sweet after taste. This was due to the sugar that I put in with the faux Season Salt. Over all it was a great first attempt.
A couple of days later, thinking about how to improve upon what we had already tried, I made a few adjustments. The first change being that I left out the sugar. At this point, there isn’t any salt or sugar in my faux Season Salt. When I made it the first time, I thought that it needed a little more oomph from the spices since the salt was not there anymore to carry the flavor. This time I doubled the spices. I mixed the batch together and the result was perfect. I had achieved an “ultra low sodium” version of this traditional snack.
If you are interested in making this, please note that this recipe makes quite a bit. You can scale it down if you wish. You will also notice that we don’t get into the peanuts, pretzels or any of those extras. We like more cereal in ours I guess. By the way, you will notice that there is a little Celery Salt used. I find that even with one teaspoon of this, it’s still very low in sodium compared to the sodium count that is in the regular Season Salt. Here is the recipe that I’m now using:
Ultra Low Sodium Chex Mix
1 – 13 oz. Box of Rice Chex
1 – 14 oz. Box of Corn Chex
1 – 18 oz. Box of Cherrios
5 – Sticks UNSALTED Butter
10 tablespoons LOW SODIUM Worchester Sauce
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Celery Seed
5 teaspoons Onion Powder
5 teaspoons Garlic Powder
Melt butter and stir in Worchester sauce. Mix spices well into the butter/Worchester mix. In a 21” x 13” x 6” steam table pan, spray non-stick spray. Pour in cereal and mix well. Pour in butter/spice mix and mix very well. Bake for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours at 250 degrees, mixing every 15 minutes.
I hope that you try this recipe and see how it works for you. Some of the members in my family are now salt sensitive and that is what started me to trying to find out how to make a lower salt version so we could all enjoy. Having to change our diet doesn’t mean that we have to give up what we love; we just need to modify it.
Until next time…
Keep Your DISHES CLEAN!