There is little doubt that the convenience of a spice blend saves time in the kitchen. Having a portioned, ready to use combination of spices that will give your dish a particular flavor is a definite time saver. No matter what flavor you want there are plenty of blends out there to choose from. So whether you are looking for the perfect poultry, bbq or pumpkin spice; or you’re looking to add the ethnic flair of a curry, jerk or Chinese 5 spice, the answer can be found in a bottle.
Making a homemade spice blend is easy. The only equipment needed is:
accurate measuring spoons and cups
Optional: a mortar and pestle or grinder for fresh herbs
You may be questioning, why would you bother to make a spice blend when you can just buy a bottle of whatever you want from most grocery stores? Isn’t convenience one of the main objectives? Yes, but there are definite reasons why you should make your own home-made spice blends. What are those reasons? I thought you’d never ask:
5 Reasons you should ditch the ready-made spice blend and mix your own
1. More of the Good Stuff, Less of the Bad
Read the first ingredient in your favorite spice blend. What is it? Most likely it is salt (or sugar for the sweet blends). When you blend your own spices you can eliminate the use of salt as a filler and add it in proportion, to taste. How about all of the preservatives and stabilizers that are added during manufacturing? Unwanted, unneeded and eliminated from your homemade blend.
2. Eliminate the big bad, MSG!!!
Spice blends that are branded as naturally flavored or low in sodium, most likely contain MSG (Monosodium glutamate), which is used as a commercial flavor enhancer. Monosodium glutamate is simply the salt of the glutamic amino acid. Many people are sensitive to this additive. Those who suffer from MSG Symptom Complex may feel weak, flushed, feverish or nauseous after consumption. They may also develop headaches or heart palipitations, and these are considered the mild symptoms that don’t require medical treatment. Studies seem to show a correlation between eating MSG and diseases such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers and ALS, although these studies are deemed “not conclusive”. So the FDA allows MSG to be sold in the US, but still, it’s best to avoid it.
3. Cheaper price
You’ll find that there are certain base spices; such as garlic powder, onion powder or black pepper that will be used in multiple different blends. These spice can be purchased in bulk. This will save you money!
4. Less waste from expired ingredients
Since you will be able to make an individual portioned blend for a single meal, as well as making the more used blends in bulk, there will be less waste from rarely used blends that go bad.
5. Better Tasting Food
The overall benefit of using fresher spices, that are actual spices and not just flavored salt, is that your homemade blends will have more flavor! Not only that, but they will be your own custom blends, blended to your taste. All of this ultimately means that you will have more consistant, healthier, fresher, delicious food!