Friday, March 1, 2013

Guest Post: Homemade Seasoning Mixes

Hi- Hannah here! I’m a friend of Kate’s, and she asked me if I’d be willing to write a quick post about homemade seasoning mixes. After learning about the MSG and other preservatives that are in most seasoning packets, I decided to start making my own. You probably have everything you need at home in your spice cabinet, and a serving of homemade seasoning mix costs pennies instead of dollars!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Taco Seasoning: Use approx. 2-3 TBSP of mix per pound of meat.
1 TBSP chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little spice!)
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin (or more, if you love cumin!)
1 tsp salt (I often use less, and then salt the dish as needed)
1 tsp black pepper
Optional: You can add a bit of flour or cornstarch to the mix to help the seasoning stick to the meat if you’d like. I’d start with a teaspoon of either and go from there.

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, and then store in an airtight container. Tastes just like you bought a taco seasoning packet at the grocery store!

Chili Seasoning- in the winter, I make a LOT of chili. We love it at my house. I much prefer homemade chili seasoning to the store-bought stuff. Make it as spicy as you’d like by adding more chili powder or red pepper flakes! I use at least 3 TBSP of seasoning for a crockpot of chili. I like a lot of flavor!

¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp chili powder
1 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and then store in an airtight container.

Ranch Seasoning- Homemade ranch dressing is delicious. After you make it once, you’ll never want to go back to bottled ranch dressing again. I’m a convert, that’s for sure. According to this recipe, you add 1 TBSP of the mix to 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of buttermilk. It all depends on how thick or runny you like your dressing to be, or if you even like buttermilk. I usually do a mixture of 2 parts mayo to 1 part sour cream (lowfat is fine), plus about a ½ cup of buttermilk. Just play around with it! More sour cream will make the dressing closer to a dip consistency, and more mayo and buttermilk will give it a more liquid consistency. This recipe is also good for making a garlic herb butter. For either the dressing or the butter, add as much mixture to the liquid ingredients to suit your taste. Keep in mind that the flavors will get stronger after a few hours in the fridge.

4 saltine crackers
4 tbsp dried parsley
4 tbsp dry minced onion
1/2 tbsp dill weed (or less if you’re not a fan of dill)
1 tbsp onion salt (I left this out…didn’t have any)
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder

Mix the saltines, parsley, minced onion, and dill in a food processor. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and store in an airtight container.

I hope that you will consider making your own seasoning mixes at home! It’s easy, delicious, and a good way to save some money. Happy mixing!

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