Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taco Seasoning {DIY} [Recipe}

I really didn't know whether to label this as a DIY or a Recipe, because it's really both.  So I did what any sensible person would do, and I did it as both.  It IS a recipe, but it really is a DIY, because you are in fact doing it yourself. 

Ok, let's look for a second at what is actually in the crap the stores call taco seasoning you get at the store shall we???

Taco Seasoning - misleading products on 100 Days of Real Food
If you know anything about ingredient labels, the first ingredient is the ingredient that the MOST in your little packet.
Maltodextin-  is a  carbohydrate made from rice, corn, potato starch, barely or wheat.  It's used as a filler or a thickener.  It's also found in sugar substitutes.  Ok, So it's by far not the worst thing in the word for you.  But it's not something that you could just easily make in your own kitchen either.  But WHY is it the FIRST ingredient.  Why is Taco seasoning primarily composed of it???
Corn starch- I actually get this one, because once in a while, I add cornstarch to my taco meat.  It thickens the water up that you add to it so that your meat is a little "saucier".  If you're Paleo/Whole 30, then this isn't compliant!
Spices - Just what spices are they talking about exactly. 
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil- Click on that link to read more about that.  Seriously,  Read it.  Have you read it yet?  Good.  Ok.  Now WHY IN THE WORLD is that in taco seasoning???  To promote shelf life?  To add Flavor? 
Yeast Extract- You might as well read MSG. 
Silicon Dioxide- Sand. They are putting sand in our food.  Wonderful.  It's not going to kill you, and it's used to the seasoning doesn't get caked up....but still.  Not Necessary. 
Ethoxyquin- is a quinoline-based antioxidant used as a food preservative and a pesticide. It is commonly used as a preservative in pet foods to prevent the rancidification of fats. (Wikipedia)  They use this in a lot of DOG FOOD.  And a lot of vets don't recommend it for your animal.  So if it's not good enough for a dog to eat, why are we feeding it to our families?  Oh yea, so the fats in the taco seasoning don't go rancid.  Why is there fat in Taco Seasoning???
Sunflower Oil/Cotten Seed Oil- Just go click that link.
Ok--So I'm guessing you get my point.  But don't just take my word for it.  Google it yourself. 
How much is a packet of Taco Seasoning at the store right now? At your typical grocery store, for the name brand stuff, it's probably around $0.89.  Add in your tax, and it's right at a dollar.  For ONE OUNCE!  Last night I made a quart jar of it (32 oz).  With that being said, the store ounce is probably a weight ounce not a liquid ounce, and I didn't weigh my ingredients last night, so I guess we really aren't comparing apples to apples here.  But if we were, my jar of taco seasoning would have cost me approx. $32.00.  I made it last night for practically nothing since I had all the seasonings on hand already.   
The last night I made taco seasoning was early spring I would guess.  It is now October and I just ran out, and I even gave some of it away!   
You don't have to get carried away like I did and make a whole quart of it.  I took the recipe I used and multiplied it by 10 because I'm lazy and like to do a whole lot at once so I don't have to do it again for a while!  And we eat tacos or taco salad probably 3-4 times a month.
I got the original recipe from
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Then I multiplied it by 10.
1 1/4 cup chili powder
1 T + 2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 T + 2 tsp Onion Powder
1 T + 2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 T + 2 Tsp Oregano
3 T + 1 Tsp Paprika (smoked is YUM!)
1/2 C + 2 TBLS Cumin
1/2 C Salt
1/4 C + 3 T Pepper
I dumped all my ingredients in a bowl.  Minus some of the salt, because that seemed like A LOT to me.  The recipe that I used before didn't have much or any salt in it that I can remember, but I always ended up adding salt when I cook my eat, and then when I added my taco seasoning.  This is one of those things where you'll have to try it out and see what is right for you and your family's liking!  I also used Smoked Paprika because we really like the flavor of it!  If your family likes things on the mild side, use a little less Red Pepper Flakes.  I like my food SPICY!  I also added some Tony Chachere's to mine as well, but we put that on everything, so don't mind me!  With the onion powder, at the last minute I decided to do 1 Tablespoon powder and 1 Tablespoon Onion Flakes.  I did that more because I had the onion flakes on hand than anything, but I thought it would give it a little different flavor too!  I started off mixing it all together with a fork, but then I poured it all in my ninja to get all the spices mixed together really well! 
This is one of those recipes that you get to play around with.  I never measure my taco seasoning anymore when I add it to my tacos, but 2 Tablespoons is recommended per pound of meat.  I just pour, and taste...then add a little of this and a little of that :) 
When I brown the hamburger in my skillet, I always start off by sautéing some onions and garlic in butter, and usually will throw in some sliced mushrooms.  I also cook with salt.  My grandma always has said that if you cook with salt then you don't use as much salt later.  A little bit of salt goes a LONG way to enhance flavors!  I have made the switch over to sea salt though, so I don't feel quite as bad about it! 
The best part of homemade taco seasoning is that you are in control of what you put in it!  And, it literally just costs pennies instead of dollars each time you make tacos!    
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  1. Yes! It is so nasty what they put in those little packets! And the sodium level is ridiculous too. Once I found out what was in them, I started making my own. And it tastes so much BETTER than the packets! It's amazing the taste difference when you're trying to make more unprocessed foods.

  2. I definitely don't use the taco seasoning packets! For one thing, they aren't sold in Malaysia, so my Mom was always inventive with seasonings when we wanted to make tacos, and when I married Angel he said, "Mexicans don't use taco seasoning!" I just typically splash in a little cayenne, chili powder, pepper, garlic powder...whatever I have in my cupboard at the time.


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