My blood pressure is high and has been controlled now for over ten years by tablets and diet. One of the main things I had to do was to cut out salt as this pushes up blood pressure. Along with lowering cholesterol and having a milk allergy into the bargain finding things I can eat is sometimes a nightmare. At least there is one thing I can count on and that's my cooked meal. I love a cooked meal with chicken, vegetables and gravy and I do love homemade gravy. However, that's one of the things I had to cut back on as using flour and meat juices is bad for my fat and salt levels. So I tried gravy granules and first turned to Bisto, as it's still the best gravy you can buy.
Bisto has been making gravy for over 100 years and I still remember the adverts with fondness, first the Bisto Kids and then the family adverts with the 'Ah Bisto' making me smile every time I heard it. It always made me think of mum stirring the gravy browning into the meat juices and using the vegetable water for added taste and goodness.
I've tried most of the gravy granules but have to watch which I buy as some have milk proteins in them. Obviously I have to watch the salt content as well, so when I first saw the new reduced salt Bisto I tried it straight away.
How 'reduced is it?'
Health guidelines suggest we eat no more than the adult portion of 6 grams a day. That might sound a lot, but when you see a normal tub of table salt at 750 Gms then you soon realize that one sprinkle is more than you had thought. I certainly did and now I cook without salt, even though food isn't quite the same without a bit in the water. Instead I often add an onion to vegetables to add a bit of flavour.
The tub I'm reviewing is a standard 170g tub and costs about 80 to 95p in most shops. It comes in a red tub with a blue plastic top so it's easy to tell which one you are buying. The other plus for me is that this has no milk in it so I can buy it without looking at the ingredients. Now many reduced products are actually only in comparison to their other makes, so I checked this one carefully and it is still much lower in salt than any of the competition. An average serving of 50 ml contains 0.30g of salt, which is 5% of the daily guideline amount. As the other flavours range from 0.45 to 0.5 then this is about 25% less than the others.
When cutting down on salt it is important to make sure that other products don't have added salt, which happens with things like baked beans. Therefore I checked to see what other additions could be in this gravy. Apart from a slightly higher sugar content (still low at 0.5 g per serving), the fat content works out at 0.6g so I'm not compromising my cholesterol problem either.
How about taste?
I have read other reviews that say this doesn't taste as good as real gravy, but I haven't noticed any large difference. It is slightly less salty, but the ingredients are very similar to the other flavours, there is just less salt. I can also serve this to my daughter, as it's suitable for vegetarians so that's another bonus. I do like a large serving so I make sure my meat is low salt or I eat a vegetarian dish such as tofu instead. If I want added flavour then I use the vegetable water and as this normally has some onion and garlic added the taste is nice and spicy.
Making up the gravy is easy. Just add a half pint of boiled water to 4-heaped teaspoons and stir until thickened. I add the vegetable water and make a thick paste with a small amount, stirring so it doesn't go lumpy. Then add a bit more of the vegetable water and if is doesn't thicken enough I pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and that does the trick.
Allergy advice; This contains wheat, gluten and Soya so isn't suitable for people with those allergies, but for most of us it's a healthy alternative to heavily slated gravy, now let's all say Ahh!
Thanks for reading.
In 1908 two men invented Bisto, a MR Roberts and a MR Paterson, I doubt either of them were around to see the launch of this reduced salt granules version of their invention and to be honest they haven't missed much.
A 170g tub of this reduced salt version costs the same in Asda as the normal version, 96p. As a very regular user of the ordinary Bisto gravy granules I was keen to find out if these would taste as good, I hadn't bought these on purpose, my wife had picked them up by mistake but maybe they would turn out to be just as tasty but better for us.
No they didn't, they might be slightly better for us with the salt having been reduced but they certainly do not taste as good, the difference in taste is not just simply one of less salt, there is an odd kind of taste to these that I just cannot put my finger on and it.
The granules work exactly the same as the original ones and they thicken up nicely to make what appears to be a nice gravy and don't get me wrong it doesn't taste awful or anything it just isn't as nice as the original and seen as how I have made it to this grand old age eating lots of salt I doubt I will cut it out now just to eat food that doesn't taste as good.
I would certainly recommend the original to people over this version and I will be getting my wife's eyes tested to make sure she doesn't make the same mistake again. LOL
The History of Bisto..........
Bisto was invented by 2 men Roberts and Patterson in 1908 and has been available in granule form since 1979
The gravy granules available to buy are:
Bisto favourite this is the beef flavour - red tub
Bisto for turkey - Purple tub
bisto for vegetable dishes - green tub
bisto for chicken - yellow tub
Bisto onion - brown tub
and the ones I will be reviewing today
Bisto favourite Gravy Granuals - Reduced Salt.
A 170g tub, can be easily found in most supermarkets with an rrp of £0.98
These Bisto gravy granules come in a red tub with a blue push on lid, on opening there is a circle of foil to peel back.
Having used the regular Bisto gravy for the last 10 years at least, I thought I would give these a go, Bisto claim the reduced salt granules contains 25% less salt, what can I say, I am very impressed, they have all the flavour and taste of the original without the saltiness that had become apparant in them,
We all know too much salt is bad for us and I for one am always on the look out on ways to reduce it without having to actually put the salt cellar down.
Its easy to use I add 4 tablespoons to about a pint of boiling water and stir until smooth in consistency, or alternatly when making casseroles or stew, just tip a few directly in and keep stirring to thicken up your dish.
I have used this gravy now for a couple of months and none of my family or friends had noticed any difference, if I hadn't have told them I had used it, they would be none the wiser.
Nutritional information off the packet per 100g dry weight:
Energy 1734kj 413kcal
of which sugars 17.0g
of which saturates 11.2g
BISTO claim to be the Nations Favourite and I for one agree..........aaaah Bisto!!!