Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Blends

Make Your Own Herbs and Spices Blends

I love cooking. 

And I love spices. 

I also love cooking with seasoning blends — curry powder, chili powder, Herbes de Provence, Chat Masala…the list goes on and on.

I really enjoy trying new spices and blends and seeing how they can work with different foods.

If you check out my different popcorn seasoning recipes you will see what I mean!

But besides just being a fun source for culinary experimentation, there are distinct advantages to making your own homemade seasoning blends and they are a great way to introduce more healthful eating into your kitchen in a fairly easy way.

1.  You have complete control over the ingredients.

Have you noticed that a lot of spice mixes on the market include fillers such as sugar, anti-caking ingredients (so the spices don’t clump up), or even MSG?  Or perhaps someone in your family has an allergy or intolerance to an ingredient in your favorite spice mix.  If you make your own mix, you can simply eliminate the offending ingredient or substitute another similar ingredient that works for you.

2.  Making your own spice blends saves you money – for two reasons.

  • First of all, spice blends always cost more than the sum of their parts.

Looking at prices in a popular spice catalog, if you were to purchase Herbes de Provence from this particular company, you would pay a hefty $21.45 for 8 ounces.  However, the prices for the individual spices that make up Herbes de Provence range from $3.85 – $18.99 per pound, with the average price being $12.00.  So you can see how you can easily save about 50% on your spice mixes by making your own.

  • Secondly, you can save by purchasing more of your spices in bulk when you make your own blends.  Spices are typically only for good for one year or so.  Basically, they are good until they don’t smell strong any longer.  Of course, you can use them even after they don’t smell as strong and just use more of them (which is better than throwing them out), but the best thing to do is to just purchase as much of a spice as you can likely use in one year and no more.  By making your own seasoning blends, you are able to purchase more of the plain, individual spices, thereby purchasing them in bulk and saving money.

Instead of purchasing only a small amount of oregano and garlic, you can purchase more than usual, knowing that you will use it up more quickly since you will be using it to make your own chili powder.

And last, but not least, one other reason to make your own homemade seasoning is…

3.  You can easily involve your children in kitchen fun.  Your children can learn to measure and pour and learn about good stewardship at the same time.

In future posts I will continue to share more of my favorite homemade blends.

For now, check out my posts on:

Wondering where to get spices?  My two favorite places currently are Mountain Rose Herbs and Frontier.

Bon appetit and have fun with whole savings and whole health in your kitchen!

Do you have any homemade seasoning blends that you make?  Please do share!
 
 
(Photo credit)

Comments

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  1. Where do you get your bulk spices? So far I’ve found Harvest Health to be cheaper than the grocery store. I wasn’t sure if you had other sources.

    • I LOVE herbtrader.com. We purchase from them regularly if you would like to join us. In fact, we will be ordering this Wednesday and you can get 15% off anything and 25% off all bulk (excluding sale prices). Mountain Rose Herbs is great for organic and it is better for smaller portions. However, I think Herbtrader’s quality is superior.

    • GrammaTeddyBear says:

      I buy my bulk herbs through Azure Standard, along with all of my groceries and I LOVE them!! Check them out at the website as well as on Facebook!

  2. Is this your spice cupboard?

    • No, but it’s really neat, isn’t it? If you see the photo credit at the bottom you can see it isn’t mine.
      The photographer stated that it is made from hardware containers that are typically used to hold tools. Cute, but probably not what I would choose as they are not food grade :-).

  3. Ya know, I usually only make my own when I run out of the stuff I bought and needed it right away. It really does make better sense to make my own. We stopped using lemon pepper seasoning specifically because it had MSG in it…I’m sure homemade would taste much better too! Thanks for the post!

  4. Paul Bulger says:

    I like Penzeys but spend too much. Local Fred Meyers store has bulk spices and it is much cheaper and fresher than buying those little bottles. I mix a general Italian marjoram, basil, oregano, etc However big use is a cinnamon, nutmeg sugar (splenda ) for toast, pancakes, waffles, cakes.

    • Thanks for sharing! We used to make our own cinnamon sweetener blend as well so you have reminded me of something that we have forgotten about!
      Have you ever tried Mountain Rose Herbs or Frontier brands? They have organic for less money than Penzeys, which only carries conventional. By the way, just in case you aren’t aware and are trying to avoid sugars, did you know that the filler in Splenda is, in fact, sugar? I have met people who had diabetic reactions after eating it. Take care.

  5. I love making my own seasoning blends. My all-purpose version my son has nicknamed “the Sprinkle”, goes on just about everything that isn’t sweet, but he especially likes putting it on his sandwiches. (He wants me to leave the recipe to him in my will, lol) I’m going to try you curry blend, because I don’t like spicy either.

    Up here in Alaska everything costs more, but especially the spices. Even with shipping it is generally cheaper to order them. (I like Penzey’s and Mountain Rose, too.)

    • Hi Davette – Would you mind sharing your “Sprinkle” recipe :-). How cute!

      And Alaska – how wonderful. I have always thought how much I would love to visit there. A family from our neighborhood moved there a few years ago and one of our local ice hockey players (professional) is from there as well. Take care, ~ Adrienne

  6. Would you like me to put it here in the comments section or give a link to my post?

    • Whatever you like – thank you! However, perhaps a link would be best. Then, if my family likes it, I can write a post on it and link to you :-). You are also welcome to email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com.

  7. Thank You Adrienne!

    For the sandwich sprinkle, to the Base Seasoning [http://davettebrown.com/time-saver-tuesday-tip] add 2 Tbsp. Paprika and 2 Tbsp. Onion Powder. Everything can be adjusted to your taste (you could up that to as much as 1/4 cup each).

  8. I order from Penzey’s Their stuff is fresh, bright and amazing quality and their prices are so reasonable. check out the web site. Penzeys.com

    • Hi Karen. I used to go to Penzeys all the time, but I will say that I have recently switched to Frontier and Mountain Rose Herbs (and the occasional Costco purchase). We have done several taste tests here (blind :-)) and Frontier won every one. I like that I can get organic spices from them or Mountain Rose Herbs for the same price (or less) than Penzeys. I did love the experience of going to Penzeys, however.

  9. Laura Bickmore says:

    Hello again, Adrinne – so if those aren’t your spice storage containers pictured above, what do you store your spices in? I would love to buy bulk, but I just have a small pantry and haven’t found a good bulk system that works yet – bags of spices in a shoe box just doesn’t seem to cut it… :) Thanks!

  10. I’ve used spices from http://www.pureandnaturalspices.com (Marshall’s Creek Spices). I’ve never gotten them through mail order, but they’ve been setting up shop at a local flea market for years and I buy a good portion of my spices from them. My favorite from them is a blend they make called Essence (like Emeril’s). They have a good selection and seem to add to it all the time. Thanks for this posting!

  11. please email the answer…I was trying to get Davette’s base spice recipe and could not open up her website. Do you have the base recipe?

    thanks so much, love your site!
    karen

  12. jars and canned products do not agree well with me and i avoid.
    i realllllyyy miss chicken with bbq sauce!!!
    What can i do to sub the tomato paste in this recipe?
    Do you have any recommended homemade bbq sauce recipes for chicken (without jars/cans, and without sugar/sweets/fruit [i avoid that too])

  13. Christy says:

    I appreciate your providing this mix. I’ve yet to run across a masala recipe that doesn’t call for whole spices that you have to grind. I don’t mind that except I already have all the spices ground. And since I too am frugal…..:D