Homemade spice blends play a huge role in my cooking. I like to consider myself a flavor-first dietitian. My food has to be delicious first, and “good for me” second. If it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it. I don’t care what nutritional value it brings. The same goes for my clients. Nobody should have to eat lifeless boiled broccoli void of salt or seasoning. (Unless that’s your thing.)
The beauty of it is, in many cases, you can have your cake and eat it too. That is to say, flavor and flavonoids (the phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables) don’t have to be mutually exclusive. One of my favorite cost-effective ways to amp up the flavor in any dish is through spices and seasonings. Case in point: Steel-cut oats can taste kind of meh on their own, but add a teaspoon of my pumpkin spice blend (below), and the flavor is enhanced tenfold.
Since many of you are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic and are sheltering in place, we figured it would be the perfect time to create a variety of DIY spice blends that your tastebuds will love. Each of these seven blends is designed to make your life easier by helping you prep in advance. Because nobody has the time to sift through cabinets to find 18 separate spices for a sheet pan recipe (actually, we probably do have the time, but that’s not the point here).
For all these spice combos, you’ll just mix them together in the specified amounts and store them in airtight containers, where they’ll keep for up to two years.
My favorite way to store the spices is in four-ounce mason jars. But if you want to keep things extra literal, you can even buy cute glass spice bottles that come with a funnel and labels (!!!) ($ 18, Amazon)—for the DIY nerd in all of us.
Note that each homemade spice blend makes about half a cup. And keep in mind that you can still add salt to taste to your cooked dish when needed.
Ready to spice up your life? Keep reading.
1. Pumpkin spice blend
Who said fall has to stay in fall? Enjoy the flavors of this beloved season all year with my cozy pumpkin-pie spice blend.
- 4 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons dried ginger
- 2 teaspoons all spice