Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food: Seasoning Mixes

Prepackaged seasoning mixes make meals tasty and predictable. I relied on them for years for tacos, stew, stir-fry, burritos etc. Besides having all the flavor enhancers in one flavor sealed envelope, there are instructions and recipes on the back. You can’t go wrong unless you are in the process of eliminating GM food from your diet. They almost all contain some form of corn and soy along with preservatives aplenty and MSG.
Cooking from a recipe will avoid the use of these convenient packets. But, it you are in a hurry, you might want to have some homemade seasoning mixes at hand to prepare your favorite meals. For instance, tacos are popular with most people and a homemade seasoning mix only uses six ingredients: chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic salt, oregano and cayenne pepper. Compare that list to the ingredients listed on a commercially prepared mix. Yep, you just knocked out a whole slew of bizarre sounding ingredients that act as stabilizers, flavor enhancers, thickeners and preservatives.
Where to Get Herbs & Spices
First stop is your spice cabinet to make a list of what you have on hand. You probably already know where the spice section is in your grocery store and it is a fine option if you are only making small amounts. However, the grocery store herbs and spices are expensive and not the best source if you’d like to make up mixes to store for later use. We have “Amish” stores around here that repackage bulk ingredients and they are the cheapest we’ve found. The quality has been fine. If you decide to go into this in a big way, you will probably find your best deals online at places like Starwest Botanicals.
Mix It
The easiest way is to shake it up in whatever container you will be using to store it in. If the ingredients aren’t integrating well, give it a spin in the blender.
You will want airtight containers for your mixes and mason jars are fine for this as are ziplock bags. Be sure to store in a cool dark place. In other words, not above the stove. Include an index card with the recipe. That way when you run low, the recipe is right there so it’s easy to mix some more. Don’t forget to include directions for use on the card.
The beauty of making your own mixes is you control how much of the various ingredients you include. If you enjoy experimenting, you can play around with the herbs and spices until you hit on the combinations and amounts that make a perfect-for-your-family mix.
7 Popular Seasoning Mixes
There are 16 tablespoons in a cup, 8 in a 1/2 cup and 4 in a 1/4 cup. You may want to cut some of these recipes in half and see if you like them.
Chili Powder

2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 teaspoons oregano
4 tablespoons paprika

Chili Seasoning
1 cup chili powder
1/2 cup cumin
1/2 cup garlic powder
6 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 cup oregano
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup is the equivalent of 1 package of store bought chili seasoning.

Beef Stew Seasoning
4 tablespoons basil
8 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons celery seed
8 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
8 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
8 teaspoons oregano
8 1/2 tablespoons paprika
4 teaspoons rosemary
8 1/2 tablespoons salt
Add 1-1 ½ tablespoons per pound of meat.

Fajita Seasoning
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons sea salt
Use about 1 teaspoon per chicken breast or steak when making fajitas.

Italian Seasoning
1 cup leaf basil
1/4 cup garlic powder
1 cup leaf marjoram
1 cup leaf oregano
1/2 cup leaf rosemary
1/2 cup leaf thyme

Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
This makes one tablespoon which is enough for most chicken dishes. You might also want to add ginger, allspice, dill, marjoram or allspice.

Taco Seasoning
2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup cumin
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon leaf oregano
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup sea salt
Three tablespoons is the equivalent of 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning.

Herbs & Spices Needed to Make These Seasoning Mixes
  1. cayenne pepper
  2. celery seeds
  3. cumin
  4. basil
  5. black pepper
  6. garlic powder
  7. marjoram
  8. onion powder
  9. oregano
  10. paprika
  11. rosemary
  12. sage
  13. thyme
  14. salt

Related Posts
Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food: What about Non GMO Soy & Corn?
Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food: These Are Not Your Grandma’s Corn Flakes
Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food: Some Thoughts & a Planning Tool
Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food – Baby Steps
What Can We Do About Genetically Modified Food?

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