If you’ve ever bought spices from the store, you probably noticed that they often contain ingredients like “ant-caking agent” or “natural flavor” (AKA MSG). Many often contain trace amounts of soy or other fillers, and sometimes these don’t even have to be listed on the ingredients.
Mystery fillers aside, these spices also often sit on the shelf, in plastic bottles, for a long time. By the time you bring them home, they have lost much of their flavor (and did I mention they might contain soy, MSG, or other additives!)
As with many aspects of natural living, simple is often cheaper, easier, and more healthy. Making your own garlic, onion and chili powders (or a blend of all three) can be one of the easiest and tastiest changes you can make. These are also a great addition to homemade spice blends!
- Fresh (preferably organic) onions, garlic cloves or chili peppers of choice to dry.
- Gather a few onions, several heads of garlic, or 8-10 peppers (sweet, spicy, or mixed all work). You can also mix these three to make an all purpose seasoned salt.
- Make sure all are clean, and peel onions or garlic cloves if using those.
- For onions and garlic: slice into thin slices (1/4 inch or less) and put on sheet in dehydrator or on lowest setting in the oven (170 or less). For chili and peppers: slice in half and remove seeds (or leave if you want a really spicy version!) Place on dehydrator sheet or on baking sheet in oven on lowest setting.
- Dehydrate until they are completely dry and not leathery. They should be brittle enough to break by hand. Depending on type of peppers, onions and garlic used, they may take different times to finish. Check every few hours and remove any pieces that are done.
- When all are done drying, put into coffee grinder, food processor or blender. If you want individual spices, blend separately. If you want a mixed seasoned salt, blend them all together.
- Once they are finely powdered, leave in food processor or blender with lid on for at least 10 minutes to let it settle. This is important! Trust me... I learned the hard way! Opening it too soon will lead to a rapid sinus cleanse :-)
- Store in glass jars and enjoy!
Ever made your own spices? How did they turn out?