Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Organic Spice Mixes

Cooking is all about spices. This I’ve learned. If you’ve ever watched professional chefs work, you’ll notice they add spices, and particularly salt, by the handful, not the teaspoonful. I like a lot of spices. I want to taste my food.

When we turned over our organic leaf, I struggled to find organic versions of the spice mixes I’d become dependent on for seasoning taco meat, spaghetti sauce, pizza, seafood, and steak. It was hard to give up McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning (the secret ingredient in my husband’s famous burgers) and who wants steamed shrimp without Old Bay seasoning?

Most commercial spice mixes contain MSG, plus all kinds of preservatives that most people would not even consider food. For instance, Old El Paso taco mix contains silicon dioxide which is the same thing found in those little packets that say “do not eat” in your shoe boxes. It also features ethoxquin which is a preservative AND a pesticide. If you google ethoxquin you’ll find a huge controversy swarming around its use in dog food. Apparently dog owners don’t want their pets eating pesticide! Well, I don’t really want my kids eating pesticides either.

Organic versions of popular spice mixes are silly expensive and not always easy to find. And there’s no need to – you can make your own!

I purchase organic spices in bulk (for locals you can find ANY organic spice in the bulk room at Sonnewalds). Finding copycat recipes online is easy. I’ve tried a few and adjusted the ingredients to suit my family. Here are the five we use the most.

Taco Seasoning
(I mix this us in a large batch because I use a good 1/4-1/2  cup or more on two pounds of ground beef)
½ C chili powder
1/3 C paprika
¼ C onion flakes
2T salt
¼ C minced garlic (you can also use garlic powder)
¼ C cumin
2T oregano
1 t pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

Pizza Seasoning
1/3 C oregano
1/3 C basil
2T rosemary
¼ C thyme
¼ C sage
¼ C marjoram
¼ C minced garlic

Steak Seasoning (also excellent in burgers)
4T salt
1T pepper
1T onion
1 ½ t garlic
1 ½ t crushed red pepper
1 ½ t thyme
1 t rosemary
1 t fennel

Spaghetti Seasoning
½ C onion flakes
½ C parsley flakes
2 T oregano
1 T sugar or succanot
1 T dried thyme
1 T basil
1 T minced garlic
2 t black pepper
4 large bay leaves crumbled

Old Bay Seasoning
1 T celery seed
1 T whole peppercorn
6 Bay leaves
½ t whole cardamom
½ t mustard seed
2 whole cloves
1 t sweet paprika
¼ t mace
(grind all ingredients)

Although the picture below does look like I've had some experience dealing drugs, this is not the case. This is my cheap version of a funnel. I use whatever piece of paper happens to be hanging around to funnel the spices into the small mouths of the containers I use. Genius, I know.


1 comment:

  1. buy herbs and spices
    discount spices

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