Homemade Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix - The Rising Spoon

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Homemade Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix

Yum
A slightly spicy homemade taco seasoning made by blending spices from your kitchen pantry. Make your own to save money, cut down on sodium in pre-packaged brands, and avoid artificial ingredients! Adjust the heat level to your taste by reducing or increasing the amount of crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper.

Do you still use those foil-lined packets of taco seasoning from the grocery store? Sure, they're convenient when you have little to no spices around and want to make a quick meal with Tex-Mex flavors; however, if you take a peek at the back label, you'll find a laundry list of undesirable ingredients. Things that have absolutely no business being in a taco seasoning mix!

Questionable or Odd Ingredients You'll Find in Popular Taco Seasoning Mixes:
  • maltodextrin
  • modified corn starch
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • autolyzed yeast extract (a sneaky name for MSG)
  • whey (milk)
  • sugar (doesn't belong!)
  • citric acid (highly processed preservative made in a lab from mold!)
  • cellulose (basically wood pulp to keep things from sticking together, commonly used in shredded cheese)
  • spice (what the heck does this vague language mean?)
  • caramel color (sulfites) (chili powder has plenty of color, why is this necessary?)
  • silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent, commonly used in table salt)
  • natural flavor (this could mean anything)


And that's not even including the insane amount of sodium in these packets. Salt is usually the second ingredient in the package, preceded by some type of thickener like wheat or corn flour (which I also find unnecessary).


Why I Care So Much (Other Than Being a Real Food Proponent)

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know I love tacos. We fix different variations using this seasoning recipe (like my grass-fed beef tacos or spicy turkey chili soup) regularly in my home. 

And when I don't feel like cooking, my boyfriend and I visit local taquerias here in Dallas, Texas where we order chorizo and pork street tacos with lots of cilantro, white onion, lime and those famous red and green sauces. 

I can't get enough of them, and consider my belly (ahem) a slight addict expert. Which is why I have to tell you guys something. In the interest of peace and goodwill. 

For the love of all things good and yummy in the taco world, puh-lease ditch those pre-made mixes and make your own taco seasoning at home. 

It's so stinking easy, fast, and cheap to make your own. Even better, you can tweak the recipe to make it as salty or spicy as you like. If you buy the spices in bulk either in store or online and make a larger batch, it'll stay fresh for six months to a year and save you even more money.

Homemade Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix


Homemade Spicy Taco Seasoning
A slightly spicy homemade taco seasoning made by blending spices from your kitchen pantry. Make your own to save money, cut down on sodium in pre-packaged brands, and avoid artificial ingredients! Adjust the heat level to your taste by reducing or increasing the amount of crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper.
Yield: a little more than 1/3 cup (roughly 6 tablespoons)

Ingredients
2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder 
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt 
--I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt--
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper (or ground black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Directions
Blend ingredients together and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If using newer spices, the seasoning should last for up to a year.

Notes & Tips
  • Want to experiment with the spice mix? Add in a teaspoon of smoked paprika or ground coriander!


Ideas For Using Homemade Taco Seasoning

This seasoning works in lots of different recipes! Swap out the spices for taco seasoning in a variety of dishes to give them a Tex-Mex kick:

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite recipe to fix that incorporates taco seasoning? Would you consider making this mixture at home instead of using the store packets?

A slightly spicy homemade taco seasoning made by blending spices from your kitchen pantry. Make your own to save money, cut down on sodium in pre-packaged brands, and avoid artificial ingredients! Adjust the heat level to your taste by reducing or increasing the amount of crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper.

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Elaina Newton is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter

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