Friday, June 28, 2013

Make Your Own Taco, Ranch and Dry Onion Soup Seasoning Mix

Did you know that you can make your own Taco, Ranch and Dry Onion Soup Seasoning Mix? Yes, you can! Plus, you’ll get more, save some bucks, it’ll certainly taste better and you’ll cut out nasty additives. Additives?!

Oh yeah, additives! I recently took the time to look at the ingredient list at the back of a taco seasoning mix and I was appalled to see all kinds of nasty additives, among them: maltodextrin, corn syrup, carbometylcellulose and my own personal enemy monosodium glutamate (MSG). Like everyone else, I sometimes have to reach for convenience foods or shortcuts to get dinner on the table. But by doing this, not only am I sacrificing money and taste, I am also sacrificing my health. MSG is something I react to very badly, from extreme fluctuation in blood pressure and swelling to migraines. So when I realized how toxic these mixes were for me, I set about making my own mixes.  And you know what? I think mine taste better, I certainly get a bigger quantity and I get to control how much of each spice or herb goes into my mix … in other words customization!

Taco Seasoning Mix

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Sweet Smoked Paprika
½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Cumin Powder
¼ Teaspoon Coriander Powder
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Dried Ancho Chili, cut down into small pieces (optional)
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper  (or to taste)
⅛ Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
¼ Teaspoon Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

Run all the ingredient together through a spice grinder (a.k.a coffee grinder) and store in an airtight jar.

Ranch Seasoning Mix

¾ Cup Dry Buttermilk
2 Teaspoons Onion Powder  
1 Teaspoon Onion Flakes
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 Teaspoons Dried Dill Weed
2 Teaspoons Dried Chives
½ to 1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper

Run all the ingredient together through a spice grinder (a.k.a coffee grinder) and store in an airtight jar.

To Use Dry: 1 tablespoon is equal to 1 envelope of mix
To Use as a Dressing:  1 tablespoon to one cup each mayonnaise and milk. Or you can use a combination of ¼ cup sour cream and ¼ mayo, switch out the milk or buttermilk. Want to cut the calories, use Greek Yogurt in place of the the mayo and switch the milk to skim milk or use vegetable broth.

Dry Onion Soup Mix

½ Cup Dry Minced Onions
¼ Cup Beef Bouillon Powder (I prefer the low-sodium variety)
2 ¼ Teaspoons Onion Powder
⅛ Teaspoon Celery Seeds
2 Small Pinches of Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper

Run all the ingredient together through a spice grinder (a.k.a coffee grinder) and store in an airtight jar.

Recipe Notes:
I have found that sometimes the herbs settle together in one layer or the salt goes down to the bottom of the container, which means you may get too much of one spice/herb and not enough of the other. That is why I run the mix through the spice grinder, it helps keep the ingredients well blended.  If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can use a blender or food processor. It is a good idea to always shake ANY blended spice mix before use to get even distribution of the ingredients.
Remember these mixes are all about customization. Adjust the herbs and spices to your palette, for instance, if you like a more “oniony” flavor add ¼ teaspoon more of the onion powder. The point is to experiment and find your perfect mix!

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