DIY Spice Mixes And Herb Tips

Making your own spice mixes is a super easy way to save money and also a great way to educate yourself as to what spices go into what kinds of dishes. This knowledge will help you know which spices to place in your food storage and how much of each to purchase for long term storage. I’ve written a couple of posts about storing and preserving spices: “Putting Up” Herbs, How And Why To Store Salt and Storing Herbs And Spices For Long Term Storage but today I want to give you my recipes for common spice mixes and explain a little about how I manage my spices and spice mixes. Also, I found a few fun Ball products that will give you a few options as to how to preserve herbs.

If you have not clicked over to Storing Herbs And Spices For Long Term Storage, this is basically how I store my spices for long term storage. I vacuum pack them with my FoodSaver in Mason jars and label them.  This works well for spices that I don’t use very often as well. Yeah, I know that the Anise on the end is missing an “e”. I’m not the greatest speller, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you probably already know that.

For everyday use the spice jars in my cabinet look something like this. The spices are labeled with the name of the spice but my spice mixes have the name of the spice as well as the recipe. I  use masking tape, nothing fancy, and it comes off easy so I can wash my lids and jars. Those canning labels are also easily removed (Ball dissolvable labels). I have a ton of them I found on sale last year. Otherwise, I would just use masking tape for the label as well. Keeping the spice recipe on the spice jar is handy because when I run out I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and find the recipe.

I found these herb jars from Ball and wanted the give them a try to see how they would work in my spice cabinet.

The 4 oz jars in the herb jar kit are the exact same jars you can buy by the case for small batches of jam. They don’t have the quilted pattern on them but other than that they are identical. The thing that makes the tops different is the shaker caps. They are not like the cheap caps that come with spice bottles you buy at the store full of spices. I hate those things and getting rid of those was one reason I placed all my spices in 4 oz Ball jars. They open up from the top while still allowing you to take the cap off and spoon out your spice or spice mix.

Here are two spices I thought would benefit from a shaker top. I probably will never sprinkle pumpkin spice on anything so the plastic top I already have on that spice mix is fine.

I moved the recipe to the back so it’s still handy when I need it.

Here are the spice recipes I use the most.

Spice Recipes:

Garlic Salt

(4oz container)
2 T garlic powder
6 T salt

Italian Seasoning

(half pint container)
2T Basil
2T Marjoram
2T Oregano
2T Rosemary
2T Thyme

Pumpkin Pie Spice

(4oz container)
4 T Cinnamon
3t Nutmeg
3t Ginger
1 ½ t Cloves


(4oz container)
An Ethiopian spice commonly used in vegetarian dishes
2T Cayenne Pepper
4T Sweet Paprika
1t Fengreek
3/4t Ground Cardamom
1/2t Coriander
1/2t Cumin
1/2t Nutmeg
1/2t Ground Ginger
1/2t Cinnamon
1/4t Ground Allspice
1/4t Turmeric
1/8t Ground Cloves
Adopted from the Happy Herbivore

Taco Seasoning

(4 oz container)
2T Chili Powder
1/2t Garlic Powder
1/2t Onion Powder
1/2t Cayenne Pepper
1/2t Dried Oregano
1t Paprika
1t Cumin
2t Salt
2t Black Pepper

Curry Powder

(1/2 pint container)
5T Ground Coriander
2T Cumin
1T Turmeric
2t Ground Ginger
2t Dry Mustard
2 t Ground Fenugreek Seeds
1 1/2t Ground Black Pepper
1t Cinnamon
1/2t Ground Cloves
1/2t Ground Cardamom
1/2t Cayenne pepper

Cajun Spice

(4oz container)
1T + 1t Salt
1T + 1t Garlic Powder
1T Paprika
2t Black Pepper
2t Onion Powder
1t Cayenne Pepper
2 1/2t Oregano
2 1/2t Thyme

Chili Powder

(1/2 pint container)
1/2c Paprika
2T Garlic Powder
2T Cayenne Pepper
2T Onion Powder
2T Oregano
1T +1t Cumin

Jerk Seasoning

(1/2 pint container)
4T Dried Onion
1T + 2t Thyme
1T + 1t Allspice
1T + 1t Black Pepper
1t Cinnamon
1t Cayenne Pepper
1t Salt

Cinnamon Sugar

(4 oz Container)
6T Sugar
1T + 1 1/2t Cinnamon

Poultry Seasoning

(4 oz container)
3t Rosemary
3t Sage
3t Thyme
3t Marjoram
3t Celery Salt
1/2t + 1/4t Pepper

Chili Seasoning Mix

(1/2 pint container)
2T Flour
4t Chili Powder
1T Dried Onion
1T Garlic
2t Sugar
2t Cumin
2t Parsley
2t Salt
1t Dried Basil
1/4t Black Pepper

Garam Marsala

(4oz container)
1T Cumin
1 1/2t Ground Coriander
1 1/2t Ground Cardamom
1 1/2t Ground Black Pepper
1t Cinnamon
1/2t Ground Cloves
1/2t Nutmeg

Herb Tips:

If you haven’t clicked over to “Putting Up” Herbs, I usually just dry herbs from my garden and then vacuum pack them for the Winter.  However, when I saw the Ball dry herb jars I also found this frozen herb starter kit. So I thought I’d give it a try. I love the idea of making mint leaf ice cubes and it’s super handy to have herbs frozen in olive oil.

Then of course I saw these herb scissors. Yeah, I went on a shopping spree. But, hey, it all works together, at least that’s what I keep telling my husband.

Harvest your herbs. My middle child would be the class clown if he were in school. The herb scissors worked great on the dill.

Here you can see we are using them on basil. They worked great on all the herbs and I would recommend them if you use a lot of fresh herbs.

Place the herbs in the freezing tray.  Here I have dill, basil, parsley and cilantro.

I added olive oil to the first tray. After the cubes are frozen they will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Take them out whenever you need to cook with herbs. The basil and olive oil cube would go great in spaghetti sauce and the cilantro and olive oil cube would work great when preparing Mexican dishes.

It’s easier if you freeze one herb at a time. They recommend you remove the frozen cubes and store them in a plastic bag or another air tight container. However, with freezing different kinds of herbs in one tray I wanted to be sure we would be able to figure out which cube contained which herb after it was frozen. To do this I placed a number at the top of the tray to indicate it was the top of the tray.

Then I just labeled the top of the tray. On the second tray I wrote the number 2 and filled it with mint and dill and filled it with water.

This method would never replace my regular drying and vacuum packing method, but this is certainly an option to have a bit of variety with storing herbs. Also,  it’s a great alternative when you have to buy herbs from the grocery store and there’s not enough to dehydrate (or not enough to make it worth dehydrating).


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