Low Sodium Baking Tips

Baking has never been easier with these simple and effective tips that will help you bake like a low sodium pro! 

cookie dough with cookie cutters and baking tools

Whether you’re a beginning cook learning your way around the kitchen or a seasoned baker, these tips will help make your transition to low sodium baking easy. If cooking is an art, baking is a science, with ingredients working together to create your sweet treats. These tips will set you up for success on your low sodium baking journey.

Read the Recipe First

Reading the recipe ALL THE WAY THROUGH before you cook should be your first step in the kitchen. Most people read recipes one step at a time, but reading ahead allows you to do two things. You can make sure you have all the ingredients you need and get familiar with the steps you’ll take to prepare the recipe. 

Learn to Mise en Place

Don’t be intimidated by the French! Learning the art of mise en place will save you time in the kitchen. French for everything in its place, mise en place is the process of measuring and prepping all of the ingredients you’ll need for a recipe BEFORE you start to cook. It’s a skill taught in the first days of culinary school to instill a sense of organization. It also allows you to focus fully on cooking once you start, reducing your chance of making a mistake or skipping a step. Set yourself up like you’re hosting a cooking show, with your ingredients prepped and ready on a platter or in small bowls. Try it once, and you’ll be hooked!

Measure Carefully & Accurately

Accuracy is key when you’re baking, so it’s essential to measure your ingredients accurately. I highly recommend using a digital kitchen scale, but you can measure properly using measuring cups and spoons. For dry ingredients, like flour and sugar, scoop the ingredients into your measuring cups and level off the top so you’re getting precisely the right amount. Scooping flour can cause it to pack into the measuring cup, which means you’ll have more flour than your recipe calls for, and your baked goods will be dense and dry. 

rolling pin, whisk, and flour on a wooden cutting board

Invest in an Oven Thermometer

Even the best oven can lose calibration over time, which means it’s not operating at the correct temperature. I once had a range that burned every cookie I baked. It turns out that even though I was setting the oven to bake at 350F, the actual oven temperature was more like 425F. Buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to check your oven’s temperature. This will help you make sure you’re cooking at the right temp.

Check Your Leaveners

Leaveners are the ingredients that make your baked goods rise, like baking powder and baking soda. One teaspoon of standard baking soda can contain more than 1200 mg of sodium. Regular baking powder contains about 500 mg per teaspoon. Fortunately, there are sodium-free baking soda and baking powder options to make low sodium baking a possibility! 

Hain Featherweight Powder and Ener-G Baking Soda Substitute contain zero sodium, making them both excellent options for low sodium recipes. 

Unsalted Butter

Making the switch to unsalted butter is a really simple way to reduce sodium in your cooking. Salted butter can contain more than 700 mg of sodium in one stick. Unsalted butter contains zero sodium and is a better choice for a low sodium diet. 

eggs, whisk, a bowl of flour, apron, and a sifter on a wooden surface

Avoid Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added to it. It’s commonly used for baked goods like biscuits or quick breads. The problem with self-rising flour is that it can contain more than 360 mg of sodium in just one-quarter cup with the added baking powder and salt. Low sodium bakers should skip the self-rising flour and add sodium-free leaveners to their recipes instead.

Skip Box Mixes

Boxed baking mixes can save time in the kitchen, but there are better choices for a low sodium lifestyle. Jiffy Baking Mix contains 340 mg per serving, and Bisquick contains 380 mg in just one-third cup of the mix. Baking from scratch is always best for a low sodium diet, but some prepared baking mixes are made for low sodium bakers. Daily Bread Low Sodium Bakery sells salt-free mixes for cookies, pancakes, cornbread, brownies, and muffins.

Have questions about low sodium baking?

Let me know by leaving a comment below. Share your question on Facebook or Instagram with #SaltSanity. Get more tips on reducing sodium in your diet here! Watch the web story here.

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  1. When using Hain featherweight baking powder and Ener-G baking soda substitute my baked items like banana bread or biscuits just don’t rise. Always flat and very dense. Any recommendations?

  2. I’m glad I came across you I have had high blood pressure for a while then I had a mini stroke back in May when I a MRI done by the neurologist I found out a had another stroke but the Dr couldn’t tell when I had that one I’m really trying to change the way I eat and my salt intake

  3. Web site is great for sodium free info, but cannot get these products in Canada. Still like your ideas etc…can you email me back, i have other questions. m-e@hotmail.ca Thank you

  4. Your information is so helpful for me. I am slowly getting more comfortable with
    reading labels etc. Still having problem with low sodium chicken noodle soup flavor (home made). Judy

    • I order Herb-Ox sodium free bouillon granules online. It has fabulous chicken (or beef) flavor. Be sure you can tolerate potassium (kidney patients cannot). Much better than no sodium broth in a box. I sprinkle a small amount in the water when cooking rice, potatoes and rice too. My husband has heart failure and needs an ultra-low sodium diet

      Makes great soups and gravies with zero salt.

      • If there is a Trader Joe’s in your area they have the best low sodium chicken broth ever and I have tried every brand. It’s boxed and inexpensive. 1 cup has 45 mg.

  5. I enjoy your site as our family is trying to reduce our salt intake. I was excited to see your link to the low sodium baking powder (Hain Featherweight Powder)and wanted to purchase some, but to order on Amazon CANADA is is over $100.00. Thanks for all the tips though. Very helpful.

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