(NaturalNews) Switching to a natural foods diet sometimes means saying goodbye to some of your favorite recipes because they call for store-bought ingredients (e.g., bouillon) that are full of hidden MSG and other health-depleting additives. However, if you are dedicated enough and willing to experiment a little, it is often possible to find homemade equivalents for such items that will serve your purpose just fine. For example, following are homemade versions of 4 widely-used seasoning mixes, all of which can be prepared ahead of time for added convenience.
TACO SEASONING Commercially-available taco seasoning mixes generally contain lists of ingredients like the following: "wheat flour, salt, dried garlic, maltodextrin, chili peppers, spice, dried onions, monosodium glutamate (MSG), paprika, sugar, silicon dioxide, soybean oil and malic acid."
It is simple to make your own homemade, additive-free taco seasoning using nothing more than dry seasonings and salt. This recipe is so delicious that you won't even miss the MSG! Combine the following dry spices and store the mix in a sealed container. This amount is equivalent to 1 packet of store-bought taco seasoning, and it can be used accordingly in your regular recipes.
2 tsp chili powder (see recipe below) 1 1/2 tsp paprika 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp onion granules 3 1/4 tsp garlic granules 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
CHILI POWDER You may assume that chili powder is just ground up dried chili peppers, but often this is not the case. Check the ingredients list on the chili powder jar in your cupboard, and you may be in for quite a shock! Many varieties contain MSG, anti-caking agents, and other flavor enhancers and additives. The good news is that it is quick and easy to make your own. Combine the following dry spices, and store the mix in a sealed container.
DRY ONION SOUP MIX Dry onion soup mix adds great flavor to recipes like meatloaf and roasts. Unfortunately, commercial varieties contain MSG and other additives. Mix together the following dry spices. Use the mix immediately or store it in an air-tight container for later use. This recipe is equivalent to one packet of store-bought onion soup mix and can be substituted in all of your favorite recipes!
3 TBSP dry onion flakes 4 tsp onion granules 1/2 tsp celery salt 1 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp garlic granules
BEEF BOUILLON CUBES Many cooks rely on bouillon to add a "kick" of flavor to gravies, soups, roasts and other recipes. Unfortunately, most of this "kick" in commercial varieties comes from the MSG they contain! This recipe requires a bit more effort than the seasoning mixes above, but it will last a long time because it yields about 42 cubes!
Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan without any liquid. Cover and cook over the lowest heat setting for 2 hours. Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen solid, transfer cubes to freezer bags or air-tight containers, and store them in the freezer for future use. Dilute these cubes at a rate of one cube per half cup of water.
Anglesey, D. Battling the MSG Myth: A Survival Guide and Cookbook. Kennewick: Front Porch Productions, 1997.
Blaylock, R.L. Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. Santa Fe: Health Press, 1997
About the author
At GroceryGeek.com, Christy Pooschke teaches consumers how to reduce their reliance on processed food. Christy is also the author of an "Additive-Free" Cookbook & Grocery Shopping Guide, and she offers personalized consultations, as well! Check out her blog to learn how to shop for and prepare additive-free, natural foods. You'll love the free recipes, shopping tips and videos! Subscribe to "Grocery Geek" via email on the site's main page or follow Grocery Geek on Facebook! Christy's passion for eating REAL food was sparked in 2007 when she eliminated her Fibromyalgia symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Until this time, she had been ingesting a Standard American Diet of boxed dinners, soda pop, candy and fast food; and she was very ill. Since regaining her health with an additive-free diet, Christy has been on a mission to educate others about the dangers lurking in their cabinets and to help them achieve maximum health by reducing their reliance on processed foods. In her free time, Christy operates Completely Nourished, Inc., a non-profit organization she founded to educate folks about natural foods, natural health and natural living. Check out the resources, recipes and online community available at www.CompletelyNourished.org. It's free!