Ever get bored with your same-old gluten free meals? Perk them up and make them way more enjoyable with flavors only herbs and spices can provide. With herbs, I usually have the basic ones growing in a pot somewhere – fresh rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano. Just pick, chop and toss in a salad, or sprinkle on some sautéed meat and vegetables and you have a sensational meal experience. But, unless I want to grow dozens of herbs, dehydrate them, etc., my drawer of bottled herbs and spices get a workout on a daily basis.
I’ve posted several spice blend recipes in the past year or so, including Chipotle Dust, Ranch Mix, Chai Mix and Taco Seasoning. Buying premed blends are certainly an option, but it takes a bit of time to read the label – making sure no one stuck a little gluten in there in the form anti-caking agents or fillers. And as a person with celiac disease, don’t get me started on cross contamination during processing (when I research spice companies, it’s pretty typical to discover they “don’t test for gluten, but follow cleaning protocols to prevent the allergens from carrying over to subsequent processing.” Whatever.). Making your own blend can be very cost effective, you can make whatever amount you need and you won’t need to mess with maltodextrin, silicon dioxide or other mystery anti-caking ingredients to keep it shelf stable for months on end.
Where to Start?
It’s not that difficult when you get a basic knowledge of spice combinations that blend well together.
- Start Small: When you create blends that appeal to you, make a bigger batch and store in airtight jars in a cool place (cool as in temperature, not as in awesome, unless your pantry is an awesome place as well).
- Add a little salt or coconut sugar to your mix to enhance the flavor profile (salt is particularly helpful with meat rubs, and sugar is awesome in many BBQ recipes).
- Don’t forget garlic powder, onion granules or different types of ground chili peppers! These add extra yumminess and kick, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Here’s an awesome chart from Just a Little Spice that will help you get started on exploring different cuisines! Enjoy!
PS: Just A Little Spice’s products are organic and tested to be GF. OK, I get a little too excited when I find companies that take some of the work out of being GF, i.e. no worries about cross contamination, anti-caking agents or fillers. And they are a small business – check them out! Their herbs and spices are truly fantastic!