An Important Tip To Keep In Mind When Creating Your Own Spice Blend

Wood bowl with spice blend and spoon
Wood bowl with spice blend and spoon - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Spice blends are so useful for so many reasons, from seasoning steaks and seafood to flavoring cake mixes. And while you can purchase them pre-made, there are also multiple ways to make them right at home, so you'll always have the perfect concoction for your craving.

You can purchase spices jarred and pre-ground — or in their whole form to grind yourself (a coffee grinder is handy for this purpose). Additionally, you can augment your blends by dehydrating your own ingredients (think garlic, peppers, shallots, mushrooms, and so much more). Regardless of method, creating your own blends also helps ensure maximum quality and freshness, plus the peace of mind that you won't be sprinkling tons of additives or preservatives on your food.

DIY spice blends are an adaptable art form, but one critical tip will keep yours replicable and consistent. While it might be tempting to toss the ingredients together on the fly and modify to taste, once you land on that perfect formula, there's a good chance you'll want to revisit it. So, take the extra step to weigh your spices as you go, and write down your recipe so you never regret not being able to recapture the magic.

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How To Make The Most Of Your DIY Spice Blends

Bowls of various spices and blends
Bowls of various spices and blends - Zest_marina/Getty Images

There are a few ways to make the most of your efforts when putting together a homemade spice blend. First, select spices with care and an eye on quality. When possible, it's a good idea to skip the ground spices in favor of whole ones, which are generally fresher and less pricey.

Before you start grinding, you may want to toast your spices in a dry frying pan over low heat to allow the aromatics and volatiles to release, essentially activating your ingredients in a whole new way. Heat makes a difference once your blends are fully prepared, too. A process known as blooming, which is essentially frying your spices in oil, will help express the compounds within your spices, and using this technique means you'll achieve a more even infusion into your dish.

Once you've measured and made notes about your blend's composition, you can store your finished product in a jar or plastic bag — just be sure the vessel is airtight to avoid unwanted moisture. On that note, don't be shy about using your blend. Spices — particularly once ground — begin to deteriorate quickly, so don't hold on to your powder for too long. Since you've gone through the diligence of weighing and documenting your ratios, it should be a snap to replenish your stash.

Ways To Spin Your Spice Blend

Man sprinkling spice blend on a steak
Man sprinkling spice blend on a steak - Christian Arfsten/Shutterstock

When coming up with ideas for spice blends, you can find inspiration from cuisines all over the globe. There's Egyptian dukkah, India's panch phoron featuring fennel and fenugreek, classic Creole seasoning, and so much more. Start with a home cook's 10 essential spice blends, including garam masala and za'atar, and work your way from there.

It's also helpful to think outside the spice cabinet. You can complement spices with ingredients like citrus zest and dried herbs and even grind up your morning roast to make grilled coffee-coriander strip steaks. And your spices don't have to stop at savory; mix up your own pumpkin pie spice blend come autumn for your favorite pies, muffins, breads, and even lattes.

If you have time and interest, you can learn more about which spices perform the roles of base, middle, and top notes in the context of a blend, and experiment based on the flavor profile you're aiming to achieve. Spice blends make excellent gifts, too, and once you have your formula on paper, you'll have no trouble refilling for friends and family when they ask for more.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.