High intakes of salt (sodium) have been associated with increasing blood pressure. To keep blood pressure normal, it is recommended that we eat no more than 6g of salt per day, keep active, avoid binging on alcohol and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables provide plenty of potassium which counteracts the negative effects of too much sodium from the diet. Rich sources of potassium include bananas, green vegetables and figs.
Approximately 75 per cent of the salt we eat comes from processed foods such as cereals, breads, ready meals, pizzas and sauces. Making your own sauce means you can skip the salt and experiment with different herbs and spices.
Try this vegetable pasta sauce which you can make in a large batch and freeze in small portions so you always have a standby meal that’s ready in minutes.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 bunch of oregano
- 2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
- 6 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Pick the leaves from the basil and finely chop the stalks; do the same with the oregano. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and the stalks of each herb. Cook over a medium heat until softened.
Add the courgette and pepper, stir and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Then add all the other ingredients.
Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Either serve immediately with some freshly cooked pasta or allow to cool and pour small portions into containers for freezing.