I don’t like buying things I can make myself, so that’s why I make homemade Mrs. Dash, Old Bay and Seasoned Salt using the recipes below. It’s not just about the money — I also don’t like artificial ingredients, unnecessary preservatives, and excess packaging. You can call it being cheap, but I prefer to think of it as a smart use of our money.
I first got into making my mixes when I learned how to make homemade taco seasoning. Things 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!
Homemade Mrs. Dash
If you haven’t tried Mrs. Dash before then stop what you’re doing, whip up this seasoning mix, and sprinkle it on anything you’d ordinarily season with salt. You’ll be amazed at how much heart-healthy flavor this stuff imparts!
- 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.
Also see: Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers Recipe
Homemade Seasoned Salt
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 seasoned salt plus some mesquite wood chips on the coals 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. Hey, when it comes to my family’s health my kitchen operates on a purely need-to-know basis!
- 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.
Homemade Old Bay
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 since they stash it near the fresh seafood department (and I usually buy frozen) I always forget to buy it.
Rather than continue rushing back to the store every time we want a Low Country Boil, I’ve taken to mixing my own Old Bay. It’s so easy to make that I don’t even think about buying the commercial stuff 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.
Be sure you store your spice mixes in air-tight containers to preserve their freshness.
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.
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