Onion Salt: A Simple Savory Seasoning Blend

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Onions have been a part of the human diet for over four millennia. For much of that time, they have been preserved by drying. Onions are believed to have originated in Asia, but the earliest documentation of it came from Egypt where it shows up in the carvings on pyramid walls. Onions would make their way to Germany and the British Isles via the Roman army and would be a staple of European cuisine all through the middle ages. Onions were among the first plants brought to the Americas by European colonists.

Onion salt is a relatively new invention. It showed up in the early part of the 20th century. The Coffee and Tea Industries and the Flavor Field: Volume 37 published in 1914 refers to it as a “new seasoning.” Onion salt was first marketed as a way to provide all the seasoning power of onion without any negative effects on the consumer’s breath.

Onion salt flavor profile

Onion salt combines the sweetness, pungency and sulfur notes of powdered onion with the savory flavor of salt.

Health benefits of onion powder

Onion powder consists of dried and powdered onion and salt. The proportions of each ingredient vary according to each maker’s proprietary blend, which means that the nutritional value will vary between blends as well. Most blends are at least 50 percent sodium, which means that most of the nutrients in onion salt come from the onion powder. Onion powder’s health-boosting qualities include:

  • It is a low-fat, low-calorie food: A 1-teaspoon serving of onion salt that is a 50/50 blend of onion powder and salt will have about 4 calories and no fat.
  • It has no cholesterol: A 1-teaspoon serving of onion salt has no cholesterol, which means that it will not add to the cholesterol of the foods it is used to flavor.

In addition to those benefits, onion salt contains:

  • Minerals: Along with the sodium, onion salt contains small amounts of several minerals. The minerals in onion salt include potassium, calcium and magnesium. A blend that consists of equal parts onion powder and salt will provide less than 1 percent of each of the minerals in each 1-teaspoon serving. Increase the serving size to one tablespoon and you will get between half and one percent of each mineral.
  • Fiber: You will get about 500 mg of fiber from a tablespoon of onion salt.

Onion salt can be used to treat or prevent:

  • Obesity: Because this spice blend has no calories and no fat, it is an excellent seasoning to use if you are trying to lose weight.
  • Heart disease: A low-sodium onion salt blend can be useful for treating or preventing heart disease since it has no cholesterol and is not high in salt.

Common uses of onion salt

Like onion powder, onion salt is a great way to add onion flavor to dishes without the bulk of fresh onion. With onion salt, you get the convenience that comes with adding two flavors at once. It is a more flavorful alternative to plain table salt and is a popular ingredient in barbecue dry rubs and salad dressings. You can also sprinkle it on vegetables, popcorn or fries in order to order to give them additional flavor.