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Salt Block Cooking

By January 2, 2014February 18th, 2023Dairy Free, Egg Free, Main Dish, Nut Free, Uncategorized


Maria’s Favorite Things Giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is one of my favorite cookbooks! Salt Block Cooking! All you have to do is 3 things:

1. “Like” Maria Mind Body Health on Facebook.

2. Share Maria Mind Body Health with your family and friends.

3. Leave a comment below on how your health has gotten better with the keto-adapted way of eating! A winner will be picked Jan. 15th and posted on Maria Mind Body Health Facebook page. Good Luck!

salt block cooking


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Testimony of the Day

“Before working with Maria, I had struggled most of my adult life with my weight. I had tried other plans, and they would work for a time and then once I went on my own, I fell back into the old patterns and the weight came back. In December 2012, I weighed 212lbs. I had been pushed into finding an alternative way to better eating because of some health-related issues in my family. My dad is diabetic and has had a couple of heart attacks. He’s been told that there’s nothing that they can do to repair his arteries. Of course, this gets me paying attention as I don’t want to head down that same path.

salt block cooking

Maria was non-judgemental during this process. She was always providing me with excellent resources to allow me to take this journey on my own once I got properly set up. When I was struggling she had tips for me. The videos that she’s created or the ones that she recommends were always timely and helpful. I have lost 35 lbs since working with Maria – and just 7 away from my original goal. I’ve chosen to take the longer path to success because I want to make sure that this weight stays off – for good. Eating food that tastes amazing has been the key to my success in being able to do this on my own. I’m a fussy eater, but also one who’s grown up in a practical environment. The menus that Maria has created are based on food that I grew up on – not high-end fancy dishes that I don’t know how to pronounce. I have to say that that has made a huge difference for me – eating foods that I would have eaten – just differently so that they’re healthy for me and keep me satiated. Maria has given me the tools and resources to be able to modify my own recipes in a ‘healthified’ way. Since losing weight, I am now able to fit into cute show clothes again, and I’m sure that I’m also much lighter for my horse’s sake :-)” –Janice

To get started on your before and after photo collage, click HERE.

salt block cooking

Salt Block Cooking

I love listening to food podcasts on my runs in the morning. One of my favorites is The Splendid Table by Lynn Rossetto Kasper. The other day she interviewed Mark Bitterman, author of Salt Block Cooking (click HERE to find his book on sale). Here is the link if you would like to listen to his tips. One of my favorite parts of the interview is when Mark talks about the food photographer who came to do photos of the food for his book suggested to cook the scallops on a pan to get a nice golden crust. So he made the scallops on the pan and he said, “no…they don’t look right.” The salt block sears the scallop way better. He showed the photographer what they look like if the salt block is heated properly and the photographer was shocked. The trick is to get the salt block hot enough otherwise you basically steam or poach the food.

During the interview, Lynn asked Mark, “Do things taste very salty when they are prepared using a salt block?” 

Mark replied, “That’s the trick. Whenever I hear that someone has food that came out too salty, it’s inevitably the result of maybe not using quite the right technique. If you’re heating with a salt block, when you get it hot enough, you’re really hitting it with that hard, fast sear — that quick, intense amount of energy that just pumps on the food. You get that glaze on it — it’s a salty glaze just on the surface — and the food is seasoned to perfection.”

As you all now know salt is VERY important in a well-formulated keto-adapted diet. When clients first adapt this lifestyle, one of the first side effects is a rapid improvement in insulin sensitivity.  Eating low carb starts to banish insulin resistance and causes insulin levels to fall quickly.  And as insulin falls, the kidneys begin to promptly release fluid.  The good news is that when you release that excess fluid, fat oxidation becomes easier. The bad news is as the extra water goes; it also removes essential sodium and electrolytes.  When sodium levels fall below a certain level, which can happen quite fast, there are some undesired side effects such as headaches, low energy, dizziness, and cramping.

When you first start your keto-adapted diet and you notice if you stand up quickly and get dizzy or feel faint, you are dehydrated! Just drinking water isn’t going to work like it would with a high carbohydrate diet. You need to add more sodium! Salt is not the evil nutrient that your doctor warns you about. You’ve got to start thinking differently.  Just like understanding that eating more fat lowers your cholesterol, understanding that a well-formulated low carb diet requires more a lot more sodium.

salt block cooking

But, not all salts are created equal. The photo shows how some even have SUGAR~! Once you start using real quality salts like Celtic sea salt or a salt block, you will notice the “chemically” taste the next time you are at a restaurant that used table salt. Salt blocks use salts have been harvested either from ancient sea beds or made by evaporating sea water with high mineral content and contain about 70% of the sodium of regular salt (which has been refined, bleached and processed until it is pretty much pure sodium chloride, often with anti-caking agents added).  The other 30% is other minerals and micronutrients (including iodine) found in mineral-rich seas.  I greatly prefer these salts taste-wise to regular salt, it is well worth the extra bucks.

To find Mark’s website click here: website www.themeadow.net

To find Mark’s Salt Blocks, click HERE. 


1. To “Cure” Meats: 

salt block cooking

Cured Salmon

Maria Emmerich
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 large Himalayan Salt Blocks 6x9x2
  • Bunch of fresh dill sprigs
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Primal Kitchen Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Natural Sweetener optional
  • 1 lb wild caught salmon fillet skin on, pin bones removed
  • "Healthified" bread or "healthified" crackers for serving


  • Cover one block with half of the dill sprigs.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  • Place the salmon on the dill-covered salt block, skin down.
  • Coat the flesh of the salmon with the dry ingredient mixture, and cover with the remainder of the dill.
  • Place a second salt block on top, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap.
  • Put in fridge for 1 to 2 days. The thinner the salmon the less time you will need. Wild caught salmon is usually thinner than farm-raised salmon.
  • Keep in fridge until the salmon becomes resilient but not firm to the touch. The top surface should be dry, the sides moist, and the flesh will be slightly opaque.
  • When it is ready, unwrap, rinse off the spices, and pat dry. Serve skin side down with my "healthified" bread or crackers. Or maybe some guacamole, olives and cheeses to increase fat ratios!


Traditional Cured Salmon = 110 calories, 2.7g fat, 15.4g protein, 6g carbs
"Healthified" Salmon = 87 calories, 2.7g fat, 15.4g protein, 0g carbs (27% fat, 70% protein, 0% carbs)

2. To cook and sear anything! Sautéeing on Himalayan salt blocks creates an amazing amount of flavor; much more than using a skillet.  The reasoning is because the salt block cooks your food in 2 ways:

1. At 500 degrees or higher, the heavy block of salt has huge thermal mass, searing in moisture to produce a thick crust of tasty, intense flavor.

2. The Himalayan salt itself exerts flavor by combining extracts of the foods you are searing and breaking free new essences that in turn release more focused flavors.

  salt block cooking

Salt Block Scallops

Maria Emmerich
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 4 x8x2 inch Himalayan salt blocks
  • 1 1/4 pounds large wild-caught sea scallops about 16
  • 2 TBS melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • Finely shredded zest and juice of 1/2 lime


  • Place the salt block over a low gas flame and heat for 10 minutes.
  • Raise the flame to medium and heat another 10 minutes.
  • Raise the flame to high and heat for an additional15 minutes, until it is uncomfortable to hold your hand about 2 inches from the surface of the block for longer than 3 seconds (approximately 500°F).
  • While the salt block is heating pat the scallops completely dry.
  • Coat the scallops with the melted coconut oil and pepper and let stand at room temperature until the salt block is hot.
  • Place the scallops on the hot block.
  • The scallops should almost skitter across the top.
  • Sear until browned and springy to the touch but still a little soft in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Work in batches until all the scallops are cooked.
  • Remove to plates.
  • Scatter the lime zest over top and drizzle with the juice.

 A great family testimony:

Dear Maria,

As we close out 2013, let me express my “trifecta of gratitude” for what your work has meant to us.

As the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 14, neither one of them have a fear of fat and in fact, know that it is good for them! Yes full-fat yogurt (sweetened with Stevia), eggs, nuts, avocados, and cheese are all things they embrace. Kale chips are a frequent request, as well as Brussel sprouts!

My 70+-year-old parents have drastically cut down on sugar/carbs/wheat, increased good fats and are enjoying food immensely! For many months over the course of years, my dad had all kinds of issues with nausea and not feeling quite right. A change in his eating and he’s feeling great! My mom is such a beacon of inspiration with her cooking/baking and another testament to the fact that you can make sweeping changes at any age!

Lastly, our family embarked on the most difficult journey of our lives in the summer of 2013, when finally after a year and a half of an odyssey through the medical system, my husband was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. At one point, we weren’t sure he was going to make it, as he just kept getting worse and more sickly by the day. Almost EVERYTHING you read about Lyme is the crazy inflammation and cutting out gluten/sugar to help get this issue under control. Thanks to becoming aware of your work a little over a year and a half ago, there was no deprivation involved in this way of eating and he hit it hard at the beginning of 2013!! I’m so thrilled to report, as I write, he is doing unbelievably well, which has been due to a myriad of variables (and the kindred spirit and knowledge of an ILADS certified doctor) but the changes in his diet I will always believe helped expedite his recovery and make him respond extremely well to treatment. My carboholic husband (French toast, cereal, spaghetti, and pizza were a huge “mainstay” in his diet) has done a 180 in his eating and is ending the year on such a high note.

Thank you, Maria, for your passion, commitment and sharing of knowledge!

Happy 2014 to you, Craig and the boys! -Nancy


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Olya says:

    OMG, I was looking forward to this post. I love curing in salt: it looks like salt block is making it easier and more fun! My health is better in a way that I have way more energy, don’t ever have to worry about weight (I eat and weight I did not know I had keeps on falling off). My hashimoto’s seems to be doing great too: energy and happiness are there. Thank you, Maria.

  • rosieg says:

    salt block cooking looks intriguing. can’t wait to try.

  • Marisa says:

    I have lost 20 pounds since July eating this way! I have so much more energy!

  • Molly S says:

    My family and I have rid ourselves of junk foods and we all feel fantastic! I spend more time in the kitchen, but I love to cook! My husband is even getting into cooking now, and my picky eater of a four year old is enjoying our “new” lifestyle!

  • Michelle says:

    I just discovered your website so I haven’t tried the keto adapted way yet. I am very excited to try it. I am trying to stay off insulin and I think this will do it.

  • vinessa chapatrs says:

    We used to. Get long colds every year not this year! I notice a huge difference esp since I had some sugars the other night. Immediately I have a sore throat :/

  • mary ann says:

    I have never tried salt blocking !!

  • Tovah! says:

    I am excited to feel a difference going grain free. Stomach ain’t as bloated. :). I haven’t tried salt block cooking though. 🙂

  • mariam says:

    I love the idea of cooking with a salt block! Thanks for so many great ideas!

  • Stacey says:

    I have just started learning about keto-adapted eating. Looking forward to 2014!

  • Judy says:

    When I eat this way, my inflammation issues (eczema, arthritis) disappear. They return as soon as I stop!

  • Cyndi says:

    I bought a Salt block for my Parents last year and we really like cooking on it. I love the salty flavor that is cooked into the food. I would love to have one for myself as I start my new Keto-Adapted eating plan. I am looking forward to a healthier year.

  • Debbie Meissner says:

    Salt block cooking looks very interesting. Would love to win the book and give it a try. Now that the new year is here, I want to try some new recipes and stick closer to eating the Maria way.

  • Joni Owada says:

    Just starting out but am going to get started…

  • Karen says:

    After leaving the hospital in October from keto-acidosis and my second heart attack, I knew I had to permanently change what I was eating, eventhough the certified diabetic educator said eat whatever I wanted and just take more insulin to adjust it. Luckily, I found you! I’ve gone from 120 units of insulin a day to 5-10. Which is big! Because the more insulin I’m on the more weight I gained. 25 lbs in 1 month! It’s nice to find someone who gets it! I’m saving my money for you’re services. In the meantime, thanks for all your free recipes and education on your website. It makes the change exciting!

  • chanin says:

    Just reading the book now so I can take advantage and feel all the health benefits for 2014!

  • Amy says:

    I’m in the early stages of becoming keto adapted as I’ve been suffering from many health issues–mainly related to thyroid problems– & am optimistic that this is the “cure” I’ve been seeking! I’m already sleeping better & have more energy!!
    Thanks for all you do, Maria!!

  • Susan Lynn says:

    Great recipes I would love to try!

  • emily says:

    I have much more energy and clearer thinking

  • Theresa says:

    Love the weight loss, but even more, love the knowledge I have gained, and how much healthier I feel!

  • Cynthia says:

    I cant wait to try salt block cooking!!

  • Jennifer says:

    Better energy, clearer skin, better thinking and just feel better!

  • Heidi says:

    I just feel better

  • Michelle Lewis says:


  • Sally says:

    I’ve been doing this for 2yrs and my family is healthier too

  • Cindy says:

    I feel so much healthier when I eat and drink this way.

  • Chick on a Chopper says:

    Love the article on salt blocks! I’ve seen them but never knew how they were used. I’ll definitely try them soon. Thanks!

  • Heather says:

    I’ve been eating this way for exactly a year (on January 5) in order to deal with Chronic Lyme Disease as well. It’s amazing what a difference a year of hard work makes! I am feeling so much better and I’ve lost 51 pounds too. Thanks! Even though it takes extra time and lots of planning to eat this way, we don’t feel deprived at all with all the great food that is available!

  • Tatyana says:

    Hi, Maria. I never knew about salt block cooking, I never knew something like this exist, but it’s not new technique for me. I’m originally from Russia and cured meat and fish is very popular over there. Cured salmon is the must have dish for New Year celebration. We make it a little bit different and cheaper way, then to use to salt blocks. We rub salmon with salt, put any spices you want, usually dill. Then you put the salmon in a dish in refrigerator for 24 hours. You have to turn it every 12 hours. After that, you clean off all the salt from it, rub it with any oil, put it in zip lock bag or wrap it clear wrap and freeze for 2 days in the coldest part of your freezer. After that, you can keep it in refrigerator. The reason of freezing is to make sure all bacteria die. I can share exact recipe, if you interested.

  • Caroline says:

    Feel awesome! Can’t wait to try salt block cooking! Thanks Maria!

  • April says:

    I can cook for my mother, who thrives on the ketogenic diet. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Bonnie says:

    Tomorrow my keto-adapted book is scheduled to arrive from Amazon along with the slow cooker cookbook. I am anxious for them to arrive so I can read more about the Maria way of eating. I am interested in salt block cooking. The scallops look so delicious!!

  • Vanessa says:

    Thank You for all your information! This book looks really interesting! I am also looking forward to your keto cookbook!!!

  • Diane says:

    I feel better overalls – less bloated, more energy, less aches and pains.

  • Ana says:

    I have never heard of salt blocks, very interesting – I’m going to try it out.

  • debora says:

    I have rheumatoid arthritis so I am on very potent drugs so I am juicing eating wheat,gluten, sugar free trying to help my poor liver Em zines love your blog recipes keep up the great work happy 2014

  • Dee says:

    I have lost 112 1/2 pounds & successfully kept it off for over a year. I now use a cane instead of a walker :o)

  • Rachael says:

    I feel great, I have fibromyalgia and PCOS, and since I changed my diet I have been ovulating more often (YAY!!) and my pain is much more manageable! Also my skin is much clearer and I just feel good!

  • Adri says:

    Hi Maria, sorry this is not related to your post, but I would love to know if you have a link to Your weight loss story, how long it took you to lose Your extra weight and if you had struggles or experienced plateaus, how you overcame them. If not would you please consider sharing with us at some stage?

  • Sandy says:

    I started off the New Year with a 23 pound head start on my weight loss goal thanks to this healthy (and delish) way of eating.

  • LindaCC says:

    Inflammation subsides, arthritis symptoms gone, 30 lb weight loss. Keeping brain healthy.

  • Kristin says:

    I sure would like to try salt block cooking! Would love this cookbook.

  • irina says:

    Just starting the diet. Can’t wait to see how it will transform our lives

  • Kristi says:

    Salmon on a salt block is amazing. Looking forward to getting your new book since I love all of your others. You used our story on Facebook yesterday. We are all still doing really well. Our son (16) has stopped taking meds for his ADHD. My husband is down 44 pounds and I am down 35.

  • Kristi says:

    The salt block cooking seems so interesting! Can’t wait to try. I feel mounds better eating the Maria way.

  • Brittany says:

    I feel so much better!! My skin has cleared up, I don’t feel bloated anymore. The new book is my favourite one yet!!
    Do you recommend getting the new keto adapted accelerated nutrition plan over the old accelerated plan? Is there a big difference between them other than the percentages??

  • Penny says:

    I’m dropping pounds, taking less medications, not feeling hungry all the time and have less daily aches and pains.

  • Mike G. says:

    This looks amazing. Thanks for the idea.

  • Christy A says:

    Salt block cooking is fascinating! Would love to try!

  • JAMIE says:

    I have lost 85 lbs and still going.

  • Susan Lawrence says:

    I have lost weight, clearer brain and much more energy!

  • kel says:

    I’d love to try salt block cooking! =)

  • Brooke Carlton says:

    I just started the lifestyle so I haven’t had huge results yet, but I have noticed an energy boost!! Can you use a salt block on an electronic stove?

  • Shari C says:

    Just found your blog, after getting a salt block for Christmas. I changed my diet over 6 months ago, and feel better than ever. Having 2 autoimmune diagnoses, I have gotten off all my medicine, lowered my BP and cholesterol, lost 38 pounds, stopped having migraines and steadied my blood sugar. This book sounds amazing, hope I win! Glad I found your site 🙂

  • Judy says:

    I would love to try salt block cooking.

  • matthew b says:

    this seems amazing

  • mariam says:

    Maria- can you put a salt block on your amazon store so we can buy it through you?

  • Diana says:

    I’m just getting started at getting Keto Adapted, Excited by all the Great Success Stories, Hopefully I’ll have one of my own Soon!

    I Love Himalayan Salt, I have it in my Salt Shaker & I have two pink salt lamps in my house! I will now will be looking to get some salt blocks and try this technique with the fish. I’m a Seafood Lover too, This is right up my Alley ☆҉ ‿↗⁀☆҉☆

  • Volanta Peng says:

    This sounds awesome! I’m so glad you brought this up because I have never heard of it before.

  • Liz says:

    Are salt blocks OK to use on flat top stoves

  • becki says:

    I love your website…so much information to share 🙂 ….I have been so frustrated with limited access to NEW information regarding using Himalayan salt blocks for cooking…they are SO useful and add such a tremendous flavor to food! I want to share this website http://www.himalayansaltblock.org with your readers, I am an avid follower of Mark Bitterman :), and finally found another site out there that has caught my attention as well….

  • Malainie says:

    After you’ve heated the salt block on the high setting, do you turn to stove off, or continue on high heat while you’re searing the scallops? Thanks for all you do, Maria. You’re great!

  • Steeped in a cup of water; of the liquid extract, 20 to 30 drops;
    of the oil, one to 2 drops.

  • daunsirsak says:

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me lunch simply because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah,
    thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your blog.

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