Is it worth its salt?

Dear Heloise: Why is salt used in so many recipes? Even cake recipes have salt added. Why? — Rhonda S., Minot, N.D.

Rhonda, salt is used in recipes to enhance flavors. It often brings out such flavors as sweetness, or sometimes is used to counteract a flavor that’s bitter. It’s also a nutrient, because most table salt in the United States contains iodine, which prevents goiters. When salt is used in making bread, it has an effect on the texture of the bread, and it also is a color enhancer for many processed meats. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Need a substitute for salt? Try fresh lemon juice instead of sprinkling salt on your vegetables. The taste is terrific, and it’s healthy for those who need to limit their salt intake. — Kate L., Tiverton, R.I.

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Dear Heloise: I’ve found that if I refrigerate the cookie dough before I make cookies, they stay fluffy and full. I also have two baking pans, and I let the pans cool rather than placing the cookie dough on a warm pan, because this will flatten the cookies. — Gail S., Rockville, Md.

Dear Heloise: I recently discovered that those little containers that make one cup of coffee at a time now come in compostable containers. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I now can place certain brands in with my recycled items. As a devoted believer in recycling, I think it’s important to reduce landfill trash as much as we can. — Patty H., Ogden, Utah

Dear Readers: A growing trend is serving popular drinks in a copper mug. There’s nothing wrong with that, but those mugs should be lined with something, such as stainless steel or nickel, that will keep the copper from leaching into the drink (especially with acidic drinks). Why? Over a period of time, the exposure to copper could result in nausea, dizziness and irritation of the eyes, mouth and nose. — Heloise