Tips to help bring out the flavor of your homemade spice blends

Spice blends can add a lot of flavor to your meals. However, they can also be quite expensive, depending on the spices you use.

Fortunately, spice blends are pretty easy to make. Whatever flavor combinations you choose, here are some tips to get the most flavor out of them.

Things you’ll need

Before you get too excited about making your own spice blend, here are some things that you will need:

  • Your choice of spices
  • Jars or sealable containers
  • Bowls to blend the mixes in
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Spice grinder
  • Tablespoon or teaspoon for stirring
  • Labels (optional)

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Tips to make the best spice blends

Use a store-bought blend as foundation

Develop a spice blend recipe from one that you already love. Start by reading the label of your favorite blend and gathering the ingredients. These are usually listed by volume from highest to lowest, so while you will not have the exact measurements, you can make good guesses. You can also build up from similar recipes in cookbooks or from online guides to help you figure out the proportions. (: 7 must-have spices to stockpile for survival.)

Combine several recipes

It is also fun to piggyback off other recipes. Simply pick one recipe you would like to try or combine a few recipes that look good so that you can mix them together. When combining several recipes, it is useful to add up the ingredients on a spreadsheet and divide them by the number of recipes you used.

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Develop your own blend for recipes you use

If you always use the same combination of seasonings on your vegetables or salad, you can make a larger version of what you already use and put it in a jar for next time.

Add a bit of natural sweetener

While it is not always necessary, adding a bit of natural sweetener to your spice blend can give you amazing results. The slight sweetness balances out the spices and adds a little something to it, the same way a little salt brings out the sweetness. Depending on the sweetener you use, it can also add caramelization to the dishes for a tasty finish.

Add some salt

Salt is usually a foundation for many seasoning blends, but remember not to use too much of it. The idea is for salt to enhance the flavors of the spices without overwhelming them.

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Toast the seeds

Toast spices like cumin, coriander, clove, whole peppercorns and other larger spices in a pan over medium heat. Toasting the spices adds depth of flavor to your spice mix and enhances the flavor of the blend.

Grind the spices

Use a coffee grinder or spice grinder for ingredients like peppercorn, cumin, larger dried herbs and spices into a fine powder. Your ingredients will then be a lot fresher, and your ingredients will mix easily.

Test your blends

You’re going to want to test your blends before you store them in their jars. Use small batches of plain food such as scrambled eggs or rice to test their flavors so that you will know exactly how you can improve on it.

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Store your blends properly

Make sure that you store your blends in an airtight container, preferably glass. If you don’t have glass containers on hand, you can also opt to put them in mason jars instead.

If your spices happen to clump, blend them again using the spice grinder before using them. You can also store them in shaker jars, adding some rice or a few dried beans to absorb moisture.

Spice blends can be expensive, as companies charge more for blends than individual spices, so if you use a lot of spice or if you buy them in bulk, you’re going to save a lot of money by mixing your own blends.

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It also helps you control the ingredients in case you have allergies or food sensitivities.

Finally, making your own spice blends make them typically fresher than the store-bought versions, especially if you grind the spices yourself. This makes the flavors shine.

Homemade blends usually have their best flavor within two weeks, but if you store them in airtight containers, they tend last longer.

Read more about how to make your own spice blends at

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