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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nitrate-Free Sausage

Open Nature Sundried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage

I’ve seen a few brands of nitrate-free sausage links. They are usually in specialty-type supermarkets like Whole Foods. Well, today I found a line of minimally processed chicken sausage links at a typical supermarket chain. And not just any chickens are used. This product is made with vegetarian chickens raised without antibiotics or hormones.

Even though nitrates aren’t added, sea salt sure is — resulting in 430 milligrams of sodium per link. The sodium is still high so you’ll want to keep your serving to one link.

Switching to minimally processed meat when possible is a healthful habit to get into because processed meats are linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Some experts suggest some of the increased is due to the nitrates, high levels of sodium or both.

The first five ingredients are: chicken raised without antibiotics, organic air dried tomato, organic basil, contains less than 2% of the following: organic chicken broth, sea salt.

Each link contains:
140 calories
14 g protein,
3 g carbohydrate
9 g fat
2.5 g saturated fat
60 mg cholesterol
1 g fiber
430 mg sodium

How did it taste?
The Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage looked appetizing and the taste didn’t disappoint.

This flavorful link can be featured in a sandwich or panini, or sliced and pan-fried (in a nonstick frying pan with some olive oil cooking spray) and served with a pasta sauce or stirred into a casserole.

If you have tried a nitrate-free processed meat product, let us know what you thought.

Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 7:56 am

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