Taco Seasoning – Ditch the Packets

IMG_3351 Here on the Pickle-farm I have made an effort to minimize processed foods in our kitchen. One of the easiest things to ditch are packages of pre-made seasonings. I don’t care if you are talking about rubs for the bbq, salad dressing, or taco seasoning, if you have a spice rack there is no need to purchase a little packet of crazy-flavor at the store. Take a quick look at the ingredients in Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix:

Ingredients: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color (sulfites). Lets break it down.

  1. Yellow Corn Flour.  The first ingredient is a filler, maybe a thickener. Do you need a thickener? No. Plus, I can almost guarantee the yellow corn flour is GMO and therefore contains glyphosate residues.
  2. Salt. We all know pre-made seasonings are salty, usually too salty.  Trust me, the salt in these packets is not unrefined sea salt with the essential trace minerals your body needs.
  3. Maltodextrin.  A fancy way to hide monosodium glutamate (MSG) in food. MSG may be one of the most dangerous food additives out there.  Read more about MSG here and here.
  4. Paprika.  Oh look, a spice!
  5. Spices.  Now I am confused, what kind?
  6. Modified Corn Starch. Most likely added as a thickener but also contains up to 10% maltodextrin which we already know is a fancy way to hide MSG in your food.
  7. Sugar. Come on now, do we really need to put sugar on our tacos?
  8. Garlic Powder. Oh yay! Another spice.
  9. Citric Acid. A preservative.
  10. Autolyzed Yeast Extract. More MSG.
  11. Carmel Color. The news gets worse, did you know that carmel color is probable carcinogen.  No thank-you, not in my tacos.

So really, I think you get it.  Seasoning packets are not ‘real food’.  But you know what is? The spices sitting on your shelf. So how do we make taco seasoning?  Get ready. It is so easy.  I can count my list of ingredients on one hand and every single ingredient is completely recognizable and not hiding anything except flavor. One tablespoon garlic powder. IMG_3334 One tablespoon chile powder, a 1/2 teaspoon cumin, plus a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. IMG_3332 IMG_3335 One teaspoon unrefined sea salt (Celtic Sea Salt is my favorite). IMG_3337 Next add 1/3 to 1/2 cup salsa of your choice.  Add more salsa if you like your tacos saucy. IMG_3340 Mix all your seasoning ingredients into 1-pound of browned grass-fed ground beef, chicken, or turkey. IMG_3338 IMG_3345 We like to serve our tacos with non-gmo crispy shells, lettuce, onion, non-gmo grass-fed cheddar cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeños, and salsa.  Sour cream is great too. IMG_3350 Mixing up spices to make taco seasoning is just as easy as opening a store-bought seasoning packet and reading the directions. Ingredients 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon chile powder 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, add more if you like spicy tacos) 1/3 to 1/2 cup salsa of your choice. Add all the ingredients to 1 pound of browned ground beef and you are ready to rock and roll. Don’t forget the margaritas.

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