As you’ve probably figured out by now, I don’t like buying things I can make myself so that’s why I make homemade Mrs. Dash, Old Bay and seasoned salt. It’s not just about the money; I also don’t like fake ingredients, unnecessary preservatives, and excess packaging.
I first got into making my own mixes when I learned how to make homemade taco seasoning. Things kind of snowballed after that, and I’ve been making most of our spice mixes ever since. Once you’ve given it a try, you’ll discover how much fresher they taste… and how much kinder they are to your wallet, too!
If you haven’t tried Mrs. Dash before, then stop what you’re doing and whip up this seasoning mix, then sprinkle it on anything you’d ordinarily sprinkle with salt. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor this stuff imparts to just about everything!
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon savory
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon zest (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Now, although we’re trying to cut the amount of sodium we consume, we’re not about to stop sprinkling it on meat before grilling. Steaks, burgers, ribs, chops — this, and some mesquite wood chips — add such an amazing flavor! What I haven’t told my husband, though, is that my version uses less than half as much salt as the commercial product. Sometimes what he doesn’t know is something he doesn’t need to know!
- ¼ cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground oregano
- dash white pepper
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch (optional...helps make the mix easy to sprinkle)
- Combine ingredients in a blender or coffee grinder and whir for 5 seconds.
- Store in an air-tight container or salt shaker.
Have you ever wondered why your home-boiled shrimp or crab cakes don’t have the same oomph as when you eat at a restaurant? Here’s the reason: Old Bay Seasoning. Now, the store-bought stuff really isn’t all that expensive but somehow I always forget to buy it. Once I had to whip up a homemade mix at the last minute I realized it tasted much fresher than what I was used to, and it was so easy to make that I now don’t even think about buying it anymore.
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 1½ tablespoon celery salt
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- 1½ teaspoons black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- Crumble bay leaves and whir them in a blender, coffee grinder or food processor until they're powdery. (A coffee grinder works, too.)
- Measure 1 tablespoon of the bay leaf powder and add it to the other ingredients in an air-tight container.
- Shake well.
As with all homemade mixes, the flavor of yours will depend on how old your herbs and spices are. If you don’t remember buying that tiny container of mace in your drawer, it’s time to replace it.
A good rule of thumb is to replace whole spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns) every 3 years, ground spices every 2 years, and dried herbs every year. Not sure how old it is? Open the container — if it doesn’t smell potent, it’s probably time to buy new stuff. This time, so you know when to replace it, write the date of purchase on the bottom of the container before storing it in a dark, cool place.
Equipment I Use: