Tuesday, 8 April 2014

5 Homemade spice mixes

Welcome to Mommyhood: Homemade spice mixes
I'm writing about spices, spices, and spices! In my home, clean eating is really important. I cook everything almost everything from scratch. Of course we have cheat meals, and we eat out every now and again, but we love a good, home cooked meal completely from scratch. One of the most important aspects of having tasty, home cooked meals has been to add lots o flavah with herbs and spices! I buy our dried herbs and spices at the local market, and have actually started growing my own herbs indoors.

It took us a while to get to the point where hubs was finally convinced that cooking completely from scratch is just as tasty, and more often than not, is actually tastier than pre-packaged foods, and those packages of spice mixes you can buy. You know, the ones with all of those e-somethings, food colouring, and other chemicals that you really shouldn't be eating.  They are so popular here in the Netherlands - people simply don't cook without them or use them more often than not. Hubs says that the spice mixes just contain spices/herbs, so what's the problem?

I read him the ingredients list from one of those packages that we have had stashed in the back of our pantry, gathering dust: paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, ginger, cayenne pepper, serrah. Not too bad, right?

Let's continue, shall we? There is also: flour, oil, more oil, sugar, a third, fourth, and fifth oil, E304, milk, E551, lactose, glucose syrup, 'natural aroma', modified cornmeal (what is this???), salt, anti-caking agent (like what??), milk protein, a sixth oil, colouring agents, caramel. So, we have six spices, the same number of oils in various quantities, flours, milk proteins, sugars, and a few mystery items. Yum! 

After reading this, my husband was convinced and I am given free reign to figure out alternatives that are 'just as tasty'. I had a lot of experimenting to get done before figuring out what works for us.


Welcome to Mommyhood: homemade spice mixes




I researched - looked up spice mixes, and tried out different things in the kitchen. I bought a bunch of spices and here are some spice mixes to replace those store bought ones. No extra e-somethings or chemicals!


Homemade spice mixes


Stir fry 



  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sereh
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Welcome to Mommyhood: homemade spice mixes

Chili

  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons dried coriander
  • 2 tablespoons oregano 
  • 2 tablespoons chives 
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon chili flakes 
  • We also add fresh onion, garlic, and celery to our chili


Cajun

  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon celery (or we use about one celery stalk)
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon spanish peppers 
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger (or grate about a thumb sized portion of ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
We use this on meatballs, with a rice dish, to give meat some extra flavah!, in a soup or stew, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Tuscan 

  • 2 tablespoons paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander 
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
We use this one in a red pasta sauce


Pasta

  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Note: we add fresh onion and garlic 

Meat rub/slow cooker meat 



  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coriander 
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
We use this when we are cooking meats of some kind on their own, or making a stock. It adds a lot of flavor!  

Welcome to Mommyhood: homemade spice mixes

This is a basic list of some of our favourite spice mixes. A lot of days, I find myself throwing in whatever spices I have on hand and just trying something out. I love having a large collection of dried herbs and spices that I can choose from - it gives me flexibility and it's cheaper than buying those packages even though it may be a larger investment initially. 

Psst- some of these aren't too easy to find. Try an asian specialty store. They are cheaper there, and you can find some new flavors to try out!

What are some of your favourite spice mixes? Do you have any go to spices or herbs that you use all the time?

Today, I am linking up at Link'n Blogs

 Link'n Blogs

List it Tuesday hosted by Angie at Many Little Blessings and Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, and Natural Living Monday hosted by Andrea at Homemade by Elle

Thank you for reading, 
Yuliya