It's not that I want a salty smoothie, but salt counteracts bitterness. You might say that your food isn't bitter, but there are hints of bitterness is a lot of foods, and by adding that teeny pinch of salt, the bitterness disappears and the drink seems sweeter. Magically. Without added sugar.
And, of course, salt enhances flavor. So if you're using the right amount of salt, your food should taste more like itself. But it shouldn't taste like salt.
I don't add salt to every smoothie I make. Some of them don't need it. Others do.
Of course, if you're watching your salt intake, maybe you don't want that teeny pinch of salt. It's totally up to you. My theory is that since I use so few processed foods in my cooking, we're way ahead of the game in terms of regulating salt.
I saw a chart once that showed that for most Americans, the salt they add to food, either in cooking or at the table, is about 20 percent of their intake. The other 80 percent is from dining out (with fast food being a huge culprit) and processed foods. That's something to think about.
This chocolate banana smoothie benefited from that little pinch of salt in two ways. First, chocolate is inherently bitter, so the salt smoothed that out a bit, which made the drink seem a little sweeter. And second, it brought the chocolate flavor alive a little more. I tasted this without the salt first, then added it and felt that the difference was impressive enough to suggest using it in the recipe.
The cocoa I used was from Ingredient-Supply.com, and I used their Bergenfield Rosewood cocoa. You'll be hearing more about their cocoas in future posts.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 tablespoon cocoa
Teeny pinch of salt
1 cup Greek-Style yogurt
1 cup milk
Blend until smooth and a little frothy.
This would also be good as an evening indulgence with a bit of coffee or chocolate liqueur. Or both.