7 Holiday Spice Mixes
Making homemade spices is healthy and inexpensive.
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Buying spice and herb blends from stores can be quite expensive since one is buying both the raw materials and the finished product. Furthermore, packaged, pre-made products may contain other additives that can be harmful to human health, such as:
- Silicon dioxide, which is believed to cause blood-related problems
- MSG (monosodium glutamate), which reportedly can cause the death of brain cells
- Modified food starch, which is often sourced from corn (a GMO concern) or wheat (a gluten concern)
- Maltodextrin, which can cause gastrointestinal problems
The good news is that homemade spice and herb blends are easy to make, and if the ingredients are ordered in bulk, they can be cost-effective. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare seven spice mixes for holidays and special occasions.
Homemade seasoned salt can come in handy in any recipe that requires seasoned salt, and it can substitute for other common seasoning blends. It can be modified with more or less of the other ingredients as preferred. It is possible to omit the celery salt, dill weed, or curry. Apart from being affordable, one of the greatest benefits of preparing homemade blends is versatility.
This seasoned salt blend can be used to enhance the tang of an otherwise bland skillet dish, stew, or soup. Use it to produce a zesty flavor in root vegetables or roasted potatoes.
- 6 tablespoons salt
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Put all the ingredients in a small blender, coffee grinder, or food processor and process on low speed to produce a fine and well-blended mixture. Store the mixture in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
This seasoned salt can be used in any recipe that requires seasoned blends or as a table salt.
Traditional Italian seasoning is among the most popular spice mixes. It is tasty and uses some of the most common herbs.
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
Place all the herbs in a food processor and blend for one minute or until they reach the desired consistency. Store the seasoning in a sealed container. It can be safely preserved for up to 12 weeks.
This spice blend is ideal for a wide variety of Italian recipes, such as zucchini lasagna, grain-free spaghetti, meatza, eggplant parmesan, and chicken parmesan.
This poultry seasoning blend can produce the best flavor in roasted turkey or chicken. Start by preparing a half batch of this seasoning mix and then adjust it to suit preferences.
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 pinch of onion powder
- 1 pinch of rosemary
Blend all the spices in a food processor, coffee grinder, or bowl. They should be ground with a mortar and pestle in order to produce a more powdery consistency. The seasoning should be kept in an airtight container, like a sealed plastic bag, spice bottle, or glass jar. The mixture can keep for one to three years based on the age of the oldest ingredients. To prolong its shelf life, store it in a cool, dry, dark area.
To use this spice blend, coat the chicken or turkey with olive oil and sprinkle the poultry seasoning blend over the bird until there is a small layer covering the whole surface. Then cook as required.
Homemade pumpkin pie spice mix is essential for winter and autumn baking. This blend is suitable for any recipe that uses any combination of these spices.
Place all these spices in a small cup or bowl and whisk or stir to mix them thoroughly. Then transfer the mixture to a small spice jar or canning jar. Store it in a cool, dark place.
Although pumpkin pie is the most common choice, this pumpkin pie spice mix can be used in sweet potato pies, tea, spiced cider, custard, and various cookies and cakes as well. It also makes a delicious topping for yogurt and ice cream.
This simple homemade chili powder recipe can be easily doubled.
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly. The above measurements will produce approximately 2 tablespoons. To produce half a cup, use tablespoons instead. Transfer the blend to an airtight container or jar for future use or immediately use it in a recipe. Store the mixture in a cool, dry place. This chili mix can last for up to six months after preparation.
This simple chili seasoning is perfect for meatloaf and burger mixes and Tex-Mex dishes. Since the spices’ potency deteriorates with time, this blend should be used as soon as possible.
Ranch dressing is one of America’s favorite salad dressings. It is delicious when served with a variety of foods from fried chicken to raw vegetables. However, care must be taken in regard to how much is consumed as 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing contain about 150 calories. For a healthier alternative that is still flavorful, try this ranch seasoning recipe.
- ½ cup dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes. The pulse setting on a food processor can produce a finer consistency. This blend should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three months.
Ranch seasoning is often used on poultry and various raw veggies, such as carrots, broccoli, and celery. It can also add an infusion of flavor to:
- Baked potatoes
- Potato skins
- Chicken nuggets or tenders
- Buffalo chicken sandwiches
- Grilled chicken breasts
- French fries
- Macaroni and cheese
- Tater tots
- Potato salad
- Mashed potatoes
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers
This homemade taco seasoning mix is salt-free, but salt can be added as needed. This blend takes about five minutes to prepare and can be stored in the pantry. Use about 2 tablespoons in any recipe that requires taco seasoning. The amount of hot paprika, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes can be adjusted to make the recipe more or less spicy.
- ¼ teaspoon hot paprika, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
Place all the ingredients in a cup or bowl and mix them until the blend reaches the desired consistency. The seasoning should be stored in an airtight container.
This homemade taco seasoning can be used to spice up casseroles, dips, burgers, meatloaf, soup, and tomato sauce. It can also be added to shredded beef or pulled pork for tasty sandwiches, tacos, and burritos.
Homemade spice mixes are healthy because they don’t contain additives. They also are convenient because the ingredients can be altered to suit one’s particular preferences. Another plus is that it is convenient and cost-effective to buy the ingredients in bulk.