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Mar 24, 2011 07:38 AM

Spice Mix Ideas

I work in a food pantry, and one of our initiatives has been collecting spices to give out at pantry. Our initial drive yielded us lots of spices and even some money to purchase spices. We've been buying spices in bulk to hand out. This month we did T Tbs. bags of curry powder along with a recipe for spinach chickpea curry. The curry powder made me think that there might be other spice mixes we could make using bulk spices. We have some bay leaves, some thyme, some oregano, some nutmeg and access to whatever other spices we might need for mixes. What are some good spice mixes and what can they be used for? I'm especially interested in a spice mix that could be used to flavor soups and stews.

P.S. I've introduced several of my team members to the collective brilliance that is the chowhound message board and they are loving it.

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  1. What an awesome idea for a food pantry!

    I buy whole spices, roast and grind them and make my own blends. Currently I have an Italian blend, Herbes de Provence, Tagine Blend, Sumac Seasoning, Sichuan Seasoning, Za'atar, Ras el Hanout, Berbere, Baharat, Dukkah, Rosemary Orange Salt. I also do lots of rubs. A favourite includes cacao nibs. Most, however, include lots of exotic spices I pick up on travels. But if you are interested let me know and I'll post.

    However, a few of the following may be relevant for soups and stews:

    Bouquet Garni

    4 t dried thyme
    2 1/2 t dried marjoram
    1 1/2 t dried parsley
    1 t crushed bay leaves

    Cajun Spice Mix

    1/4 c paprika
    1/4 c dried basil
    8 t dried onion flakes
    2 T garlic powder
    4 t salt
    4 t cracked black pepper
    4 t ground fennel seeds
    1 T dried parsley
    1 T ground cinnamon
    1 T dried thyme
    1 t freshly ground white pepper
    1 t cayenne pepper

    Garam Masala

    4 t ground fennel seeds
    2 1/2 t ground cinnamon
    2 1/2 t ground caraway seeds
    1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 t ground cloves
    1/2 t ground green cardamom seeds

    Italian Blend

    4 t dried basil
    1 T dried thyme
    2 t dried marjoram
    2 t dried oregano
    1 t dried sage
    1 t dried garlic flakes
    1 t dried rosemary

    Melange of Pepper

    3 T whole black peppercorns
    2 T whole white peppercorns
    4 1/2 t pink schinus pepper
    1 T green peppercorns
    1 T cubeb pepper
    1 T Sichuan pepper
    1 T whole allspice

    Roast on dry heat then grind.

    Chili Powder

    2 T chili powder (I like to grind my own chiles)
    1 T ground cumin
    2 t sweet paprika
    1 t dried oregano
    1 t salt

    Mixed Herb Blend

    4 t dried thyme
    2 1/2 t dried sage
    1 1/2 t dried oregano
    1 t dried spearmint
    3/4 t dried marjoram
    1/2 t dried parsley

    Apple Pie Spice

    4 t ground coriander seed
    2 t ground cinnamon
    2 t ground cassia
    1/2 t ground nutmeg
    1/2 t ground allspice
    1/2 t ground ginger
    1/4 t ground cloves
    1/4 t ground green cardamom seeds

    Quatre Epices

    2 T freshly ground white pepper
    2 1/2 t ground nutmeg
    2 t ground ginger
    1/2 t ground cloves or mace

    Stuffing Mix

    5 t sweet paprika
    2 t ground coriander seed
    1 t dried sage
    1 t dried thyme
    1/2 t ground cumin
    1/2 t dried oregano
    1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
    salt to taste


    1 T dried thyme leaves, crushed but not powdered
    1 t sumac
    1/2 t toasted sesame seeds
    1/4 t salt

    Taco Seasoning

    1/4 c pure ancho chile powder
    2 T dried oregano
    2 T dried onion flakes
    1 T garlic flakes
    1 T dried tomato (or sundried not packed in oil)
    2 t coarse sea salt

    Herbes de Provence

    2 T dried chervil
    2 T dried marjoram
    2 T dried tarragon
    2 T dried basil
    1 T dried thyme
    1 T dried lavender (optional, of course)

    Fines Herbes

    2 T dried chervil
    2 T dried chives
    2 T dried parsley
    2 T dried marjoram
    2 T dried tarragon

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefathome

      Thank you so much! This is exactly what we needed, can't wait to experiment.

      1. re: justlauralibrarian

        That's wonderful! Good luck - you surely are participating in an honourable endeavour!