I don’t like buying things I can make myself, so that’s why I make homemade Mrs. Dash, Old Bay, and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt using the recipes below.
Why Make Homemade Seasonings?
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!
Using Spices Can Lower The Need for Salt
Modern foods contain an enormous amount of salt. Our bodies need salt, of course, but consuming too much salt is associated with a variety of health issues.
Many times when a dish is somehow lacking flavor, we automatically reach for the salt shaker. But, if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, there are other cooking tricks that will impart flavor without additional salt.
One of those tricks involves using certain spices. Thyme or oregano add an earthy, deep flavor. Cayenne brings a fiery heat while ginger adds a sweeter hot note.
So, if you’re wanting to reduce how much salt you consume, making and using spice blends like homemade Mrs. Dash or Old Bay is the way to go. Even the Lawry’s Seasoned Salt copycat below can be adjusted to accommodate a lower-sodium diet — just replace the sea salt with a salt substitute like Nu-Salt.
Tips on Making Homemade Spice Blends
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.
How Often to Replace Spices and Herbs
A good rule of thumb is to replace whole spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns) every three years, ground spices every two 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.
Homemade Mrs. Dash Recipe
If you haven’t tried Mrs. Dash before, stop what you’re doing! Now, go whip up this seasoning mix and sprinkle it on anything you’d ordinarily flavor with salt. You’ll be amazed at how much heart-healthy flavor this stuff imparts.
That’s a cooking trick
Homemade Mrs. Dash
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried savory
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried lemon zest - optional
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Homemade Seasoned Salt
Although we’re trying to cut the amount of sodium we consume, we’re not about to stop sprinkling it on steaks, burgers, ribs, or chops. This seasoned salt plus some wood chips on the coals add such a fantastic flavor!
I don’t feel guilty about using this liberally. That’s because using fresh herbs and spices means you can cut down on the amount of salt needed. This homemade Lawry’s seasoned salt contains considerably less sodium than that jar from the store, but it works the same flavor magic.
Homemade Seasoned Salt
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 2 tablespoon celery salt
- 2 tablespoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon ground dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 dash white pepper
- 1 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 Seasoning
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 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.
Uses for Old Bay Seasoning
As mentioned above, herbs and spices lose their flavor over time. So, unless you eat a lot of crab cakes, you may find yourself wondering how to use up Homemade Old Bay Seasoning before it gets stale. Here are some great ideas:
- Add it to Bloody Marys
- Sprinkle it on popcorn
- Top loaded baked potato skins with it
- Swap it for paprika on your deviled eggs
- Combine it with cream cheese and chopped baby shrimp for a quick seafood dip
- Add it to melted butter and brush it on corn on the cob
- Top homemade sweet potato fries with a dash
- Use it in place of the other seasonings on homemade pita chips
Basically, anywhere you’d use paprika you can use homemade Old Bay. So get creative!
Homemade Old Bay Seasoning
- 7 dried bay leaves
- 3 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1.5 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1.5 tablespoon ground cloves
- 1.5 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1.5 tablespoon paprika
- 1.5 tablespoon ground red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon mace
- Crumble bay leaves and whir them in a blender or food processor until they're powdery. (A coffee grinder works, too.)
- Add the bay leaf powder to the other ingredients.
- Shake well before each use.