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Recipe: Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

What to do with used glass jars and bottles? How about making up seasoning mixes to give for gifts, or to keep in your own pantry. Stored in a cool dry place, these should last for up to six months.

The chili seasoning mixes in my local supermarket do contain the ingredients you’d expect, like paprika, chili, cumin, oregano, pepper and garlic, but they also contain “Spices” (why not specify which spices? Seems a bit suspicious to me) and” Anti-caking Agent (551)”. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not consume anti-caking agent.

As well as using better ingredients, it’s also far cheaper to make your own and you can experiment to find your favourite blend.

I’m growing a few different types of pepper in my veggie bed, so when these are ready, I’ll be dehydrating them and adding them to this recipe. In the meantime, I buy ready dried peppers. I’ve got an Indian shop and a much larger Asian supermarket near me, so I tend to try this with a few different varieties of chili peppers. I’ve seen so many varieties – Cayenne, Serrano, Cascabel, Habanero, Tabasco, Poblano, Guajillo, Jolokia, Chipotle, Ancho, Ayenne, Bullseye and Bullhorn – so see what’s available near you and try a few different blends.

Recipe: Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 whole dried peppers of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregeno
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked)
Instructions
  1. In a hot pan, toast the chili peppers for a few minutes, taking care not to allow them to burn. When the smell starts to release, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in the same pan, again stirring constantly to ensure they don’t burn.
  3. Remove the seeds from the chilli peppers to be used in another recipe. If you want your seasoning extra hot, you may like to add in a few of these seeds.
  4. With a pestle and mortar (if you’re old school, if not, try a blender) grind up the chilli peppers and cumin seeds into a powder.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Make sure you store in an airtight container (like a jar) to keep it dry.
  7. Shake the container before using to ensure thoroughly mixed.
  8. Note: If you want to use fresh chili’s, dry them thoroughly in a dehydrator first, then roast them. It’s essential you ensure they are fully dry first, otherwise your mixture could go mouldy.

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Herbs Spices Seasoning Moisture Storing Clumping Caking the Paleo Network-min

How to stop herbs and spices clumping together

It can’t just be me – I come to use a particular jar of dried herb, spice or seasoning, to find it completely stuck together and impossible to get out. It’s so frustrating, and seems to be worse with onion and garlic powder, which always seem to cake soon after the containers are opened.

This happens when moisture and humidity get into the container causing it to clump together and form a rock. Whilst the moisture will reduce the flavour and strength of the herbs, a lot of them you can re-invigorate by removing the moisture. Far less wasteful than throwing unused herbs and spices away.

Herbs Spices Seasoning Moisture Storing Clumping Caking the Paleo Network-min

How to remove the moisture

The easiest way is in the oven. I heat my oven to about 125C (250F) and use a metal skewer to get break the clump (or in this case garlic powder) out of the container, onto a sheet of baking paper, on a baking tray.

After just a couple of minutes, the heat will have removed the moisture, and I remove the tray and allow it to cool. Once cooled, I transfer it back into the container using a funnel and it now dispenses freely!

To prevent it happening again

Make sure the containers you store your dried herbs,spices and seasonings in are completely air-tight and always shut the lid/ close the container properly. Storing somewhere cool and dark (or even in the freezer!) will also help prevent moisture coming into contact with the inside of the container.

Avoid the temptation to shake the container directly into a pot of steaming food – this will allow moisture in. Spoon what you need out of the container, away from the stove top.

You can also add some dried beans or rice to the container to absorb any moisture and prevent the mixture from clumping.

Storing the containers upside down will also help prevent air getting in, making them last longer.

iherb paleo supplies discount coupon

Where Do You Get Your Paleo Supplies From?

Whilst the main elements of a Paleo diet are fresh, local and seasonal – such as meat and vegetables, there are a few important ingredients and supplies that aren’t so easy to find. I used to get these items from health food shops, but I found they could be really expensive, there wasn’t much choice – and they were heavy to carry home!

I now do the non-fresh part of my Paleo shopping almost all online. My favourite supplier is iherb, as I’ve found them to be the cheapest, they have a large range – and they deliver Worldwide (even to Australia!) quickly and cheaply.

Iherb have just reduced their delivery charge to Australia – it’s now only $10 on orders over $60. They also offer $10 off your first order over $40 – or $5 discount on smaller orders. Definitely the cheapest way to stock up on Coconut Oil and fill your Paleo pantry!

These are the items on my non-fresh Paleo shopping list

Coconut Oil

No Paleo kitchen is complete without Coconut Oil! I go straight for the largest containers as it doesn’t last long. I really like this huge container of Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I also have a smaller jar of Artisana Organic Extra Virgin Raw Coconut Oil in my pantry.

Coconut Aminos

I love Coconut Aminos and use it regularly, exactly as you might use Soy Sauce, for instance in sauces and to marinade meat.

Coconut Butter/ Manna

I first read about these products on US websites; but couldn’t find them in Australian stores.

Paleo Baking

I’ve just got a new Paleo recipe book “Paleo Indulgences”, with lots of recipes for occasional treats and special occasions. Quite a few of the ingredients I didn’t have, so I have just ordered from iherb.

Coconut Crystals

I’ve just ordered these Coconut Crystals as a few of the recipes call for them.

Coconut Nectar

Similarly a few recipes call for Coconut Nectar, so I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of these too

Arrowroot Starch

Coconut Flour

Almond Flour

Shredded Coconut

Coconut Flakes

Flax Meal

Hazelnut Flour

Sunflower Seed Butter

Almond Butter

Yeast

Salt

I tend alternate between Celtic sea salt and pink Himalayan sea salt.

Herbs and Spices

I also have to stock up on the herbs and spices that I use regularly in my cooking. I generally use a lot of turmericParsleyGingerNutmeggarlic powdercurry powderoreganocuminbasil and cinnamon

Kelp Noodles

A recent addition to my cooking is kelp noodles as a great pasta alternative.

Supplements

Depending on time of the year and nutrition, there are a few supplements I sometimes take.

Vitamin D

Many of the Vitamin D3 capsules sold are in very small doses – instead of taking several, I prefer to take one capsule at a higher IU

Omega 3

Treats

After reading on so many American Paleo sites about Larabars, I’ve also tried some from iherb, for an occasional treat!

Toiletries

Other than food, I also order paraben-free shampoo online as many of the brands I find in shops locally have lots of undesirable ingredients.

Which non-fresh Paleo supplies do you regularly buy? Where do you source your Paleo supplies from? Are there any items you have trouble finding locally?