DIY Spice Mixes And Herb Tips

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Making your own spice mixes is a super easy way to save money and also a great way to educate yourself as to what spices go into what kinds of dishes. This knowledge will help you know which spices to place in your food storage and how much of each to purchase for long term storage. I’ve written a couple of posts about storing and preserving spices: “Putting Up” Herbs, How And Why To Store Salt and Storing Herbs And Spices For Long Term Storage but today I want to give you my recipes for common spice mixes and explain a little about how I manage my spices and spice mixes. Also, I found a few fun Ball products that will give you a few options as to how to preserve herbs.

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If you have not clicked over to Storing Herbs And Spices For Long Term Storage, this is basically how I store my spices for long term storage. I vacuum pack them with my FoodSaver in Mason jars and label them.  This works well for spices that I don’t use very often as well. Yeah, I know that the Anise on the end is missing an “e”. I’m not the greatest speller, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you probably already know that.

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For everyday use the spice jars in my cabinet look something like this. The spices are labeled with the name of the spice but my spice mixes have the name of the spice as well as the recipe. I  use masking tape, nothing fancy, and it comes off easy so I can wash my lids and jars. Those canning labels are also easily removed (Ball dissolvable labels). I have a ton of them I found on sale last year. Otherwise, I would just use masking tape for the label as well. Keeping the spice recipe on the spice jar is handy because when I run out I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and find the recipe.

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I found these herb jars from Ball and wanted the give them a try to see how they would work in my spice cabinet.

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 They sell just the lids too.

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The 4 oz jars in the herb jar kit are the exact same jars you can buy by the case for small batches of jam. They don’t have the quilted pattern on them but other than that they are identical. The thing that makes the tops different is the shaker caps. They are not like the cheap caps that come with spice bottles you buy at the store full of spices. I hate those things and getting rid of those was one reason I placed all my spices in 4 oz Ball jars. They open up from the top while still allowing you to take the cap off and spoon out your spice or spice mix.

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Here are two spices I thought would benefit from a shaker top. I probably will never sprinkle pumpkin spice on anything so the plastic top I already have on that spice mix is fine.

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 I moved the recipe to the back so it’s still handy when I need it.

Here are the spice recipes I use the most.

Spice Recipes:

Garlic Salt

(4oz container)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
6 tablespoons salt

Italian Seasoning

(half pint container)
2 tablespoons Basil
2 tablespoons Marjoram
2 tablespoons Oregano
2 tablespoons Rosemary
2 tablespoons Thyme

Pumpkin Pie Spice

(4oz container)
4 tablespoons Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Nutmeg
3 teaspoons Ginger
1 ½ teaspoons Cloves

Berbere

(4oz container)
An Ethiopian spice commonly used in vegetarian dishes
2 tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
4 tablespoons Sweet Paprika
1 teaspoons Fenugreek
3/4 teaspoons Ground Cardamom
1/2 teaspoons Coriander
1/2 teaspoons Cumin
1/2 teaspoons Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons Ground Allspice
1/4 teaspoons Turmeric
1/8 teaspoons Ground Cloves
Adapted from the Happy Herbivore

Taco Seasoning

(4 oz container)
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Black Pepper

Curry Powder

(1/2 pint container)
5 tablespoons Ground Coriander
2 tablespoons Cumin
1 tablespoon Turmeric
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
2 teaspoons Ground Fenugreek Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Cajun Spice

(4oz container)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
2 teaspoons Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons Oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons Thyme

Chili Powder

(1/2 pint container)
1/2 cup Paprika
2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons Onion Powder
2 tablespoons Oregano
1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon Cumin

Jerk Seasoning

(1/2 pint container)
4 tablespoons Dried Onion
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Thyme
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Allspice
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Salt

Cinnamon Sugar

(4 oz Container)
6 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Poultry Seasoning

(4 oz container)
3 teaspoons Rosemary
3 teaspoons Sage
3 teaspoons Thyme
3 teaspoons Marjoram
3 teaspoons Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Chili Seasoning Mix

(1/2 pint container)
2 tablespoons Flour
4 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoons Dried Onion
1 tablespoons Garlic
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Parsley
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Garam Masala

(4oz container)
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

Herb Tips:

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If you haven’t clicked over to “Putting Up” Herbs, I usually just dry herbs from my garden and then vacuum pack them for the Winter.  However, when I saw the Ball dry herb jars I also found this frozen herb starter kit. So I thought I’d give it a try. I love the idea of making mint leaf ice cubes and it’s super handy to have herbs frozen in olive oil.

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Here is what the trays look like. They are made of silicone and the lids are plastic.

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Then of course I saw these herb scissors. Yeah, I went on a shopping spree. But, hey, it all works together, at least that’s what I keep telling my husband.

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 Harvest your herbs. My middle child would be the class clown if he were in school.

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The herb scissors worked great on the dill.

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Here you can see we are using them on basil. They worked great on all the herbs and I would recommend them if you use a lot of fresh herbs.

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Place the herbs in the freezing tray.  Here I have dill, basil, parsley and cilantro.

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I added olive oil to the first tray. After the cubes are frozen they will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Take them out whenever you need to cook with herbs. The basil and olive oil cube would go great in spaghetti sauce and the cilantro and olive oil cube would work great when preparing Mexican dishes.

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It’s easier if you freeze one herb at a time. They recommend you remove the frozen cubes and store them in a plastic bag or another air tight container. However, with freezing different kinds of herbs in one tray I wanted to be sure we would be able to figure out which cube contained which herb after it was frozen. To do this I placed a number at the top of the tray to indicate it was the top of the tray.

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Then I just labeled the top of the tray.

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On the second tray I wrote the number 2 and filled it with mint and dill and filled it with water.

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Here are both trays ready for the freezer.

This method would never replace my regular drying and vacuum packing method, but this is certainly an option to have a bit of variety with storing herbs. Also,  it’s a great alternative when you have to buy herbs from the grocery store and there’s not enough to dehydrate (or not enough to make it worth dehydrating).

  • Sue C says:

    Thank you. I have not seen ingredient lists for these spice mixes before. I have a question, though. What does the “2T FOUR” refer to in the Chili Seasoning Mix?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Sue C,

      I left out the “l” in Flour so it read Four. I fixed it! Thanks for letting me know!! And thank you for your kind words!

  • Debbie Y says:

    Thank you for sharing this Jennifer. I to have not seen ingredient lists like this before. I like to prepare my food from (as they used to call it) scratch. Producing, preparing and storing my herbs this way will be perfect.

    Also, do you have a way of adding a “print” feature? I would love to print these recipes and instructions. With the current setup the DIY cheese would take twelve pages. Just wondering, if not it’s ok.
    Thanks again.

  • Carolyn Lawver says:

    I appreciated the article with recipes and pictures. I definitely will see about locating the scissors. This picture showed clearly how well it cuts the spices in very small pieces. So much easier than using a knife, and a time saver as well. I am still searching for an ideal spice jars.

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