When you think kosher sea salt, do you imagine coarse sea salt or kosher salt? Surprisingly, both types of sea salt have lots of the same beneficial qualities for food. Sea salt and table salt both contain important minerals and trace minerals that help the body maintain normal body functions. Here are the differences between kosher salt and sea salt.
First, let’s look at the molecular composition of kosher salt and sea salt. Both types of salt contain two main kinds of minerals: calcium and magnesium. As you probably know, calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium is important too, but sea salt and table salt contain considerably less magnesium than kosher salt does. It’s true that sea salt does contain more calcium than table salt, but the calcium ions aren’t roomy enough to be absorbable by our bodies. So, strictly speaking, kosher salt isn’t much better than table salt – it just has less calcium.
Now let’s take a closer look at the mineral content of kosher sea salt and table salt. The most notable difference is found in sodium. The mineral content of sea salt and table salt is very different – there simply isn’t enough magnesium and calcium in sea salt to make it usable for most people, while table salt is loaded down with these two minerals. In addition, the two salts contain vastly different amounts of potassium and magnesium, as well as trace minerals like potassium and manganese. There simply isn’t enough of these important elements to make a significant difference in the overall health of anyone eating them.
But that’s not all. Sodium and other metallic ions can cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth, which is something most people don’t care to deal with. For this reason, sea salts are generally moistened prior to being eaten, usually with water. This is necessary to prevent the metallic ions from sticking to the surface of the food. Unfortunately, there’s no method to determine which minerals are naturally present in sea salts, and no way to make sure the process of koshering them doesn’t remove these important minerals. Thus, you may have to settle for purchasing artificial sea salts in order to enjoy their natural flavor.
Irrespective of what kind of kosher sea salt you decide to use for your cooking, you’ll find that kosher salt has its own distinct and rich flavor — one that’s not found in regular kosher salt, even though the two salts are frequently used in the same cooking process (i.e., adding kosher salt to the dry ingredients before you mix them together in a bowl or pan). As far as cooking practices go, it’s very difficult to predict whether or not kosher sea salt will dissolve in water — this is one of the reasons that you should only use kosher salt when cooking foods that will be submerged in water. Moreover, sea salt will dissolve faster than table salt, and kosher salt tends to retain more of its original form when it’s cooked. These properties make kosher salt a much better choice for seasoning foods that need to be cooked — sea salt is especially an excellent choice for making sea food taste better, and it can even be used as a “dish” in a slow cooker to increase its tenderness.
Although kosher salt is a bit more expensive than regular table salt, it does have more health benefits. For instance, sea salts contain significant amounts of magnesium and sodium, both of which are vital to maintaining proper body functions. And unlike regular table salt, sea salts have a significantly lower sodium content.