I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Make-Your-Own Taco Seasoning

Even before I made the conscious decision to cut out processed foods, I would have told you that I wasn’t guilty of eating a lot of it in the first place.  But then I realized while cleaning out my pantry in preparation for the October Unprocessed Challenge that processed foods have a way of sneaking into your pantry and ultimately your food without much thought given to the how and why.

The sneaky culprits for me were prepackaged mixes like marinades, taco/chili seasoning, dip mixes and dry soup mixes.  These were simple convenience items that I regularly purchased without a second thought but now that I’m a better label-reader, I know not to put these into my grocery cart anymore.

Take a look at the ingredients in Old El Paso taco seasoning:

salt, maltodextrin, chili pepper, red pepper, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, yellow corn flour, spice, sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide, yeast extract, ethoxyquin

That’s a lot of ingredients for such a small package – and scary, processed, fake ingredients at that! Two teaspoons of seasoning accounts for 24% of your sodium intake and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of eating more than one serving of chili for dinner.  (I’ve been accused in years past of having no heart, but maybe in actuality my heart was just shriveled up and inoperable because of so much sodium intake!)

Making your own seasonings is simple and easy, especially if your spice collection looks anything like mine - you probably already have most of the needed ingredients on hand.  You can mix them according to your taste and control the ingredients – maybe you like a little more spice and a lot less sodium in your life.  This single batch of taco seasoning took less than 5 minutes to put together but most of that time was spent rummaging through my spice drawer to find everything (maybe reorganization is due?)  You could easily mix this in batches and store in resealable bags to have on hand for those emergency dinner prep nights.

This isn't just for tacos either!  You can also use to season homemade chili.

Make-Your-Own Taco Seasoning 
makes enough to mix with 1 lb. ground meat

2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix all items together in a bowl.

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