Make Your Own Herb Blends
- create “signature” seasonings from homegrown herbs -

Posted on August 10, 2017

Make Your Own Herb Blends

Everybody knows that the foundation of any “secret family recipe" is the magical balance of herbs and seasonings that makes Grandma's spaghetti sauce taste the best! Make your family's “secret recipe" even more special by using herbs harvested from your own garden. Herbs can be harvested and used fresh, or dried and stored. Fresh herbs can also be frozen for later use. In all cases a mixture of different herbs can be pre-blended and stored away so they are ready to go next time you are ready to cook.

Popular Herbs for Traditional Family Favorites

Pizza - These are the herbs at the heart of every pizzeria's sauce:

Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Parsley

Pasta - Whether you prefer Alfredo sauce, marinara, or pesto, these herbs can be used to create a medley of authentic Italian flavoring:

Sage, Oregano, Basil, Fennel Seeds, Thyme, Rosemary

Tacos - Make it mild or make it spicy; these herbs are a perfect complement for any Mexican recipe:

Oregano, Cilantro, Garlic, Coriander

The freshness of home-grown herbs enhances the quality of any dish you prepare. Once you have created an herb blend that you especially love, you're sure to want to keep a batch of it on hand. Dried seasoning blends should keep well for about a year if stored in an air-tight jar or container. Here are a few basic blends to get you started. Don't be afraid to experiment with quantities and increase or delete herbs to create your signature blend.

Any of these herb mixtures can also be used for flavoring fresh popcorn!


Pizza Seasoning

Ingredients

2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
½ tablespoon thyme
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon salt (optional)

A few variations to try:

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon rosemary

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Store in a tightly sealed container or jar.

3. When ready to use mix with one 15-ounce can of tomato sauce.


Pasta Seasoning

Ingredients

2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic)
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Optional:

1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Directions

Mix together herbs and blend with one 15-ounce can of tomato sauce.


Taco Seasoning

Ingredients

Mild:

4½ teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon salt (optional)

Spicy add:

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Use 2 tablespoons of the mixture with 1 pound of cooked beef or chicken. Add the seasonings and 2/3 cup of water, stir and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated.

Taco seasoning can also be used to season sour cream or cheese dips.


Tip: Dried herbs are usually more potent than fresh herbs. Use these guidelines to adjust recipes for fresh or dried herbs:

1 teaspoon of a dried herb = 1 tablespoon of fresh herb

1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder = 1 clove of fresh garlic


Growing Your Own Herbs

To be sure you have all the right ingredients at your fingertips, these are the herbs you'll want to include in your garden. Don't have a garden? No problem, these herbs also grow great in containers placed on a patio, deck, or balcony.

Ocimum basilicum - Sweet Basil Coriandrum sativum - Cilantro Coriandrum sativum - Coriander Foeniculum vulgare - Fennel Origanum vulgare - Oregano
Basil Cilantro Coriander Fennel Oregano
Petroselinum crispum - Parsley Rosmarinus species - Rosemary Salvia officinalis - Sage Origanum majorana - Sweet Marjoram Thymus species - Thyme
Parsley Rosemary Sage Sweet Marjoram Thyme

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