As a student and community nutrition educator, I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a lot of time or money. Specialty salts can often be very costly to purchase but very inexpensive to make. Plus, they make great gifts if you bottle them in attractive glass jars with hand written labels.
First – you need salt. I think using sea salt flakes is great, but you could also use kosher salt (and no one would know the difference).
Use a microplane (or other fine grater) to zest the colored peel of a fruit (i.e. lime, lemon, blood orange, grapefruit, or tangerine).
Aim to yield about 2 tablespoons of zest per ½ cup of sea salt.
Combine the zest and salt and let it sit out and dry for about 24-48 hours. When dry, blend in a food processor or spice grinder.
Rosemary Salt (or other herb)
Combine about ¼ cup packed herb leaves per cup of salt.
Pulse in a food processor or spice grinder.
Spread on a cookie sheet until dry.
Roasted Garlic Salt
Roast 1 head of garlic with olive oil (in tin foil) at 400 for about 40 minutes.
When it cools, squeeze it out and mix it with a cup of kosher salt.
Spread on a cookie sheet, put it back in the oven at 200 until it dries (about 30 minutes).
When dry, blend in a food processor or spice grinder.
Split 4 vanilla beans and scrape the seeds.
Combine 1 cup of salt with the vanilla seeds in a spice grinder or blender.
Combine 1 ounce of dried mushrooms (i.e. porcini or shiitake) per cup of salt.
Blend in a food processor or spice grinder.
Other ideas: spicy salts (i.e. chipotle or cumin – use the whole seeds), curry salts, bacon salt, espresso salt, green tea salt, ginger salt. I have to be honest, I haven’t tried all of these ideas, so start experimenting and let me know what works!