A new passion: Spice blending

I have always been intrigued by spices, both fresh and dried. Heaven knows how many times I bought fresh sage, basil and parsley to use in a recipe, and eventually the remnants ended up wilting in the vegetable drawer of the fridge!

spice-blending-pinterest

But, I admit it, my knowledge of how they should be combined is really, really limited. I have never used more than one or two spices per dish, and I have never been so adventurous to try something out of my “comfort zone”. Usually, spice blends like curry mixes, taco seasoning or spice rubs have always been bought pre-made, with all the additives that might come along.

If you follow my profile on Pinterest, you might have noticed a board titled “Cooking & Co.“, where I generally pin images not related to a specific recipe, but stuff like conversion sheets, how to-s and cooking tips. One of these pins is this marvellous cheat sheet from Women’s Weekly, showing simple spice combinations that can be prepared at home, and do not require unusual purchases:

Image from Women's Health post.
Image from Women’s Health post.

Being quite bored with my usual way of seasoning lately, I decided to have a thorough look at this chart and take inspiration for my own spice blends. I also found the perfect container for this purpose! A tiny pot I saved and I almost forgot to have, with a little teaspoon that perfectly matches in size. Isn’t it lovely?

spice-pot

Chilli seasoning

This blend was the cherry on top of an impromptu vegetarian chilli (recipe to come, stay tuned) and it worked divinely with the vegetables I chose for the recipe.

chilli-seasoning

Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of:

  • cayenne pepper
  • hot paprika
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • salt

If you like some extra heat, add between 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of chilli flakes (or even more, if you’re brave!).

Italian seasoning

It is perfect for simple meatballs in tomato sauce. And it is also amazing for a simple tomato sauce for pasta! Ok, let’s say that it’s perfect with anything tomato-y. I guess it might even work on a fresh caprese salad!

italian-seasoning

Mix 1 teaspoon each of:

  • oregano
  • basil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • garlic powder
  • salt
Soup spice blend

Come on. Let’s be honest. We all had a vegetable soup consisting of vegetables and stock, right? And yes, it might be tasty, but sometimes it feels like something is definitely missing. That is the reason behind this blend. Hot spices can be swapped with smoked versions or milder alternatives, if you don’t like too much heat.

soup-spice-blend

Mix 1 teaspoon each of:

  • hot paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • white pepper
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • garlic powder
Mediterranean blend for fish

A foreword is required to introduce this blend. I. LOVE. PASTA. WITH. TUNA. Yes, student food is still in my heart, and always will be. Obviously I’m a grown up now – well, sort of – and I like things a little bit more refined. So my last pasta with tuna was prepared with whole grain spaghetti, sustainably fished tuna and this Mediterranean blend.

mediterranean-blend-for-fish

Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of:

  • oregano
  • basil
  • garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon

I’m 100% sure that this would work divinely with grilled fish as well. Can’t wait to try it actually!

Vegetable spice mix

It’s cooking with leftover time! With some boiled barley and roasted sweet potatoes left from a lunch time Buddha bowl (check out the post about them here), an addition of frozen vegetables would work well to have a filling meal without much fuss. But the flavour was quite bland. Not with this blend though!

vegetable-spice-mix

Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of:

  • thyme
  • sage
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • basil
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper

How about you guys? Do you use prepared spice blends or do your own? Do you have a special blend you would like to suggest? Let me know in the comments below!

Enjoy!

Teo

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8 thoughts on “A new passion: Spice blending

  1. So glad you’re doing this. Its also so much less expensive. I always though buying Italian Seasoning Herbs was so silly, but I have relaxed in my old age, and have discovered some fabulous spice mixtures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Considering that I have so many spices in the pantry, I thought it was a massive waste to leave them there and to use them only once in a while. I’m definitely going to master some more blends in the future! 🙂

      Like

      1. Nope I don’t, if I need to toast seeds I normally use a saucepan… but it doesn’t happen that often… something else to add to the bucket list I guess! 🙂

        Like

      2. Go to my blog and in search, type in “toasting seeds.” It shows my seed toaster and it is one of the handiest gadgets I own! It keeps seeds, especially oily seeds, from popping all over the place!

        Liked by 1 person

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