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Homemade Spice Mixes

Updated on April 28, 2015
taco seasoning
taco seasoning

Stop buying store-bought seasoning mixes!

The truth is, store-bought seasoning mixes, such as Taco seasoning, contain more than just natural spices. If you have a packet in your cupboard, turn it over and look at the ingredients. You will see words such as "maltodextrin", "corn syrup solids" and "caramel color". Why do those ingredients need to be in there? Maltodextrin is just a food additive! I don't know about you, but I would rather not put unneeded chemicals in my body. You will also find ingredients such as modified food starch (a thickener), sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fat!!), MSG, silicon dioxide which is an ingredient that prevents caking, and hidden gluten!


So, my question is, why do all of these spice mixes need to have all of these additives in them? Basically they are just preservatives. But why do I want or need to put all of these unneeded ingredients in my body, when I can make my own spice mixes, right from home!

I researched the definition of maltodextrin...no thanks!

maltodextrin definition
maltodextrin definition

More reasons to make your own spice mixes

There are several more reasons why making your own spice mixes is the way to go.

  • First of all, making them at home saves you money! If you make a large amount of the mixes, you will be able to use them several times before having to make more, considering that some of the mixes only call for 1 or 2 TBSP per use. This is better than having to buy a new spice mix each time you want to make a certain recipe.
  • Secondly, there is no way to tell how long a mix has been sitting on the shelf at a store. I often see food on clearance where I shop, and it is because the foods are reaching their expiration date. This means that product has been sitting on the shelf for quite some time. Making your own spice mixes guarantees freshness of the ingredients. Especially if you have grown the spices needed in your own garden!
  • Thirdly, the taste of homemade spice mixes will beat the taste of a store bought mix, hands down, any day. The ingredients are fresh, and you can taste the freshness when you eat them.
  • Lastly, if you are feeling creative, customizing your spice mixes is easy to do. Don't like certain spices? Leave them out. Allergic to a specific herb? Leave it out.

Ready to try it?

Now, it took some serious trial and error, but I have found recipes for seasoning mixes that taste even better than those you would buy at the store. I even used them without telling my husband that I used my own mix instead of the packets, and he did not notice a difference!

And you know what? It is very likely that you have these ingredients already in your cupboard, being that they are very typical spices. Also, you do not need to have the expensive spices to make these recipes. I used the spices that only cost $1, as well as spices that I grew and dried from my garden last year.

I thought I would show you just how simple it is to make these seasonings, and I thought making the Taco seasoning would be the best recipe to show you, since it uses the least amount of ingredients. All you need is:

  • A tablespoon and a teaspoon measuring spoon
  • A jar or any container to store the mixture in
  • The spices listed below

Taco Seasoning

  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper

This is how much the recipe makes:

Homemade taco seasoning mix
Homemade taco seasoning mix

Just give the jar a good shake. This amount of mixture lasts my family a little while because we only have tacos once or twice a month. However, if you want to make more so that it will last you longer, all you need to do is double, triple, or quadruple the ingredients!

When you are making taco meat, all you need is 2 TBSP of the mixture, per 1 pound of meat. A typical seasoning packet bought at the store measures 1 oz, which equals to 2 TBSP.

Be sure to check out my recipe for Baked Tacos with Salsa, which is also on my Hub!

Looking for more?

Below I have listed the ingredients for Fajita Seasoning, which works perfectly for homemade fajitas; Cajun Seasoning which is great for many recipes including Cajun Chicken; Ranch Seasoning which can be used to make ranch dressing, in any recipe that calls for ranch dressing mix, or to be used as a dry rub; and Chili Seasoning which works perfectly for making Chili, or Chili Dogs!

Fajita Seasoning

  • 2 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 3 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or 1 tsp if you like things really spicy!)

Easy enough, right?! When making fajitas, all you need is to use 2 TBSP of the mixture per 1 pound of meat.

Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

When using this recipe, for example on Cajun Chicken, I just sprinkle it on. I think it depends on how spicy you like your food! I usually just make sure the top of each chicken breast is evenly covered, and that seems to be enough.

Ranch Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup dry buttermilk
  • 2 TBSP parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp salt

When using this recipe as a dry rub, I just sprinkle it on until evenly spread. When making a recipe that calls for "ranch dressing mix", just use the same amount that the recipe calls for.

Chili Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup Chili Powder
  • 1 TBSP Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 2 TBSP Cumin
  • 1 TBSP Basil

That's it! When making chili, just use 2 TBSP of the mixture per 1 pound of meat.

Lastly...

...not only is it better for you to use homemade spice mixes because then you are not consuming unneeded additives, making these seasonings at home is easier on your wallet because they last for a long time, instead of having to buy a new packet from the store each time you want to make something! I sincerely hope that you enjoy these seasonings, and thank you for visiting my Hub!

So, what do you think?

Cast your vote for Homemade Spice Mixes

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