Healthy Eating

DIY Spice Mixes

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By Henry Ford Health System Staff

Healthy cooking does not mean that the food you’re eating needs to be bland. In fact, you can amp up the flavor by increasing your use of herbs and spices while cutting the salt, sugar and fat. A bonus: Even small amounts of spices such as cinnamon, oregano, ginger, and turmeric can provide a healthy dose of antioxidants.

While the grocery store is filled with prepackaged spice mixes, making your own can save you money and ensure that you are getting the flavor you love without extra preservatives or added sodium. Here are some ideas for homemade spice mixes to use to season your favorite dishes:

Taco Mix
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Italian Seasoning Mix
½ cup dried basil
½ cup dried marjoram
½ cup dried oregano
¼ cup dried rosemary
¼ cup dried thyme
2 Tablespoon garlic powder

Chili Mix
½ cup chili powder
¼ cup garlic powder
3 Tablespoon onion powder
¼ cup oregano
2 Tablespoon paprika
¼ cup cumin
1 Tablespoon thyme

Ranch Mix
¼ cup dried parsley
¼ Tablespoon dill
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Fajita Mix
¼ cup chili powder
2 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon cumin

Pumpkin Spice
¼ cup cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cloves

The same recipes can double as rubs and spice mixes for grilling, roasting, sauteing, you name it. It’s up to you decide what to get spicy with: beef, chicken, fish or veggies. We’ve adjusted the amounts to cover about a pound of meat or 5-6 cups of vegetables.

Italian Seasoning Mix
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Ranch Mix
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dill
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

 Fajita Mix
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cumin

Read more healthy eating tips in our EatWell section and subscribe to get weekly emails of our latest posts on nutrition, staying fit, reducing stress and more.