Let’s talk about taco seasoning. You can buy it at the store in the form of those little convenient packets, or you can add maybe 3 minutes to your total cooking time and make your own from the spices sitting in your pantry. It is EASY and tastes just as good (if not better!) than what you get in the packets. Plus, even if you don’t want to make it a habit of making your own, someday you may realize you are out of taco seasoning right before you wanted to whip up some tacos. Now that problem is solved!
All you need are 7 common spices, plus salt and pepper. Give them a stir in a little bowl and continue on with your dish as usual! Like I said, it’s so easy. One batch of this mixture is equal to one packet of taco seasoning. If you are making tacos, you will need to add 2/3-3/4 cup water just like you would with the seasoning packets.
Now, I’m going to jump on my soap box about why you may want to start making it a habit to prepare your own taco seasoning. Packaged taco seasoning has many unnecessary and even unhealthy ingredients. For example, take the list of ingredients from a name brand taco seasoning I found in my pantry: maltodextrin, chili pepper, salt, onion powder, corn starch, garlic powder, spice, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, yeast extract, silicon dioxide, sunflower and/or cottenseed oil, spice extractive, and ethoxyquin. Um, what? I can hardly pronounce some of those unrecognizable ingredients. And “spice”?? Why don’t they name the spice? The first ingredient listed, maltodextrin, as well as “yeast extract” are alternate names for Manufactured Glutamic Acid, aka MSG (source). And the partially hydrogenated soybean oil? Trans fats (source). The side effects of MSG and trans fats have been pretty well documented and I encourage you to read up on them if you haven’t already. Ok, ok. I’m done. All I want to say is if you are going to buy pre-packaged taco seasoning (which, let’s face it, we all probably will from time to time), read the ingredients list and make sure you select one where all they list are regular spices. No preservatives or ingredients you don’t recognize, k?
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp freshly ground sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
1). In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients. (This mixture will be equivalent to one packet of taco seasoning).
Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/