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Whole Food Plant-Based Acids to Use in Your Cooking

Friday, July 14, 2023

Primary Blog/whole food plant-based/Whole Food Plant-Based Acids to Use in Your Cooking

Whole food plant-based acids to use in your cooking 

According to Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, “acid is salt’s alter ego.” Nosrat says that salt enhances flavor and acid balances flavor.

This is an important tip to know, especially if you are eating a low sodium diet. Using acid to balance out flavors along with heat (not to make it hot, but to enhance flavor) and fat can help tremendously in cooking good delicious WFPB food that is low in sodium but high packed with flavor.

Foods that are acids have a pH below 7. Acids that usually have a sour or tangy taste, but when used in cooking, can really brighten and balance out the other flavors in a dish. Below is a list of whole food plant-based acids you can use:

  • Citrus: Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are all excellent sources of natural acids. Their juice or zest is often added to recipes to provide a fresh and tangy flavor.
  • Vinegar: Various types of vinegar, such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and rice vinegar, are widely used in cooking. They add acidity and complexity to dishes.
  • ​Beer and Wine: Both red and white wines contain acid, particularly tartaric and malic acids. Wine and beer are often used in cooking to deglaze pans, or add flavor to sauces and stews.
  • Plant-based diary products like buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based products such as tomato paste, tomato sauce and canned tomatoes
  • Soy sauce, liquid aminos, tamari and coconut aminos are all valuable ingredients providing a savory umami flavor that adds depth and richness to dishes.
  • ​Olives: Remember to consume olives in moderation as they can be high in sodium. Look for low-sodium options if you're watching your sodium intake.
  • Pickled and Fermented Vegetables: sauerkraut, kimchi. pickles, pickled peppers like jalapeños or banana peppers, fermented carrots and other vegetables
  • ​Condiments: ketchup, mustard, vegan mayo, salsa, hot sauce, sriracha,
  • Fruit: fresh and dried
  • Chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, tea and molasses

Have fun and place with these wonderful ingredients. Experiment and see what combinations you can do with acid, fat, and heat, especially if you are on a low-sodium diet.


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Eat delicious wfpb soul food that is both healthy and super delicious. A whole food plant-based diet is the only diet proven to reverse heart disease and chronic illnesses. 

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