Skip that store bought mix! For pennies you can make homemade Taco Seasoning that’s more flavorful, has less sodium, and easily a gift your friends will enjoy.
I make my own seasoning blends. And you should, too. Not only are they healthy and delicious, but they make for thoughtful and inexpensive gifts. When you make something from scratch, like a spice mix, they appreciate it more. At least that’s my experience.
I used to purchase taco seasoning. It’s easy. They’re right there in the spice aisle, they cost less than a $1, and they’re convenient. However, they’re packed with sodium. Did you know that? Since I’m seriously sensitive to sodium, I wanted to try my hand at making some taco seasoning from scratch. I have all the spices so why not?
There’s a few reasons why you should make your own spice blends. First, they fresher than the store-bought mixes. At least at AKHA they are. I grind and blend spices in their whole forms for the freshest blends.
Next, you can add whatever you want to your spice mixes. If you’ve scrolled down and checked out the ingredients, you’ll notice a few items you wouldn’t expect to see in a taco blend. For example, dried bell peppers. I know there’s chili peppers in taco seasoning but I haven’t seen bell peppers in there.
And then there’s the citrus. I was inspired to add citrus after reading about criollo mojo and several other Latin American seasonings and marinades. Especially the one for Cuban pork. Oh my. That’s some delicious marinade and it consists mainly of citrus! So, I felt it necessary to put some citrus peel in there.
When you make your own spice mix, you can make it as spicy as you want! Do you love that cayenne burn? Add some more! For me, I love the smoky, so I add lots of cumin and smoked paprika. Don’t like the smoke? Try regular paprika instead. Therefore, it’s better to make your own spice blends. They’re easily customizable for your tastes and palettes.
Plus, here’s the best part, they make great gifts from the kitchen! I don’t know about you, but I love homemade gifts from the kitchen. They’re usually delicious and they’re always thoughtful! Anyone can purchase a gift, but it takes a creative and thoughtful mind to make a gift for you!
Spice mixes are super simple to make. You more than likely have everything you need to make the most common ones in your pantry right now. Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning; these are all made from spices most people keep in their pantry. If you branch out with just a few more basic spices, you can make a tandoori spice or even a masala spice mix. Doesn’t that sound like a great gift??
See all those layers of flavor? You know it’s going to be delicious. You might want to double the batch because you’ll go through a jar quickly, too! There’s oregano. Yes, oregano is typically Italian, but it adds a nice flavor you can’t quite put your finger on. Then there’s cornstarch to thicken the liquid either in the meat or you put with the meat. There are layers of cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder.
It’s like I said! You have everything you need in the pantry right now to make this. Well, maybe not the dried bell peppers or the citrus peel, but everything else in there. And if not, why not? These are basic herbs and spices you should have! Okay, maybe not the cayenne if you don’t like spicy food. But honestly, you should have all the others.
Yeah, it doesn’t look so great once you combine it all together. The cornstarch just sort of makes it all one color; beige. About the cornstarch, when you make tacos, there’s typically beef and some liquid of some sort. To make that delicious sauce to puts your tacos over the edge, you need a thickener. That’s where the cornstarch comes in. It makes that delicious sauce for amazing tacos.
I bet you didn’t even know that was in there, did you?
Not only are spice mixes easy to make, they’re pennies on the dollar! Why buy a packet for a dollar when you can make almost a jar of it? It just makes no sense. So, not only are homemade spice mixes delicious, they’re also easy on the budget.
What’s your favorite food gift to give? Or to receive?
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 tablespoons ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons dried, ground bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Combine all ingredients, in batches, in a spice or coffee grinder. Process until ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months or in the freezer for up to 4 months, if it lasts that long.
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