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Make Your Own Seasoned Salts + Sugars

March 25, 2011 by Joan Nova in Condiments, Finishing Touches, Recipe Development, Techniques | 15 Comments

Flavored salts and sugars are all the rage, but I started making my own ‘house seasoning’ out of sheer frustration a while back.

If you’re like me, you have a cupboard full of infrequently-used spices. The likes of caraway seeds, pumpkin spice, juniper berries, etc. were taking up valuable real estate in the cabinet and it annoyed me when I had to fish around searching for the ones I wanted. So, one day I decided to make my own blend. You know, like the expensive ones you see in the market and say “I could make that“. Well, I did!

My Favorite – The FOODalogue House Seasoning
Seasoned Salt Honest Cooking
In this blend, I ground 1 teaspoon each of my preferrred spices: fennel seed, star anise, red pepper flakes, and oregano in my favorite kitchen item, the Magic Bullet, and then mixed it thoroughly with 1 cup of coarse salt.

And that, folks, is the basic recipe: blend 1 cup of coarse salt (or sugar) and teaspoons/tablespoons of ground spices of your choice.

A Variation
Mexican: salt, chipolte, cumin, oregano, chile

Why not sugars too?
Ground vanilla bean, star anise and turbinado sugar

Clearly, the combinations are endless. Here’s a few more ideas:

Porcini Salt
coarse salt, black pepper and ground dried porcini mushrooms
Sun-dried Tomato Salt
coarse salt, sun-dried tomato, red chili flakes, oregano
Cocoa Sugar
turbinado sugar, cocoa, ground vanilla bean
Expresso Sugar
turbinado sugar, coffee granules, ground vanilla bean, star anise (for that Sambuca flavor)

Note: I keep the blends in metal containers on my counter and rarely go into the cabinet these days. Now all I have to do is grab a pinch of one my perfect blends. Kitchen efficiency? culinary smarts? or the height of laziness?

What would you mix to make your favorite spice blend? I’m curious.

[A version of this article also appeared in Honest Cooking.]


NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Peter says:

    Great ideas Joan and pics look fab! You could sell these…hmmmm.

  2. Torwen says:

    That’s a great idea! Would be a lovely bring-along, too.
    I really want to try this with Italian herbs and spices, since this is a mix I use quite frequently.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. bellini says:

    You did mention that I should make my own salts to give away at Christmas. Funnily enough my daughter gave me some Vancouver salts in my stocking, but as you say I have tons of unused spices taking up real estate in my cupboards.

  4. I like your thinking here. I always have ones that I wonder about their freshness in the back of the cupboard.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

  5. Brilliant! I’m digging the chipotle especially!

  6. What a splendid idea! Instead of reaching out for this and that (which I hate to do) I could do my own seven-spice seasoning mix and have it in one jar only! Love the sugar one with star anise; bet it smells heavenly!

  7. norma says:

    This is a good way in getting out of making me the batch I asked you to bring with you…

    This is wonderful, I am off to make my favorite…

  8. I love flavoured sugars and salts. My fave would be a cardamom, orange zest and yuzu which I haven’t yet made :-) but have thought about!

  9. Brii says:

    ciaooo Joan!
    i’ve tried it to.
    usually I make herb salt, but I’ve tried also
    liquorice and orange salt

    and the sugar with flowers :-D

    yours look wonderful! will try some of them!

  10. Jessica says:

    Going to try this out this week. In fact headed to the store this morning so I am so glad I saw this post. Wish me luck!

  11. redkathy says:

    I haven’t tried making flavored sugars yet, great idea. Have you tried making flavored vinegars? They are easy and delish!

  12. I especially like the seasoned sugar. I can see using that to make a last minute rice pudding very special and unique

  13. You could use these personalized seasoning for butter. I usually do that with softened butter when I serve brunch. It’s always a hit. (love the idea of an espresso sugar).

  14. How did I miss this? I musst have had my food in the road or deep in remodeling. Making your own blend of salt is such a great idea. I saw Paula Deen’s house blend on one of her shows, but she only combines salt and pepper. Yours is sooo much better. I’ve made my own for years too. I’ve seen vanilla sugar, but love the star anise idea.

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