Homemade Herb & Spice Blends to Enrich Everyday Recipes

As an herbalist and wannabe chef, experimenting in the kitchen with new herb and spice blends is one of my favorite ways to infuse my culinary endeavors with my love of herbs. These homemade concoctions wind up in everything from coffee and cocktails to ice cream and cookies. Though I use these homemade herb and spice blends to flavor my dishes, most of the herbs in these recipes can also be used medicinally – so they’re not only delicious, but healthy too. These blends are easy to prepare and they make any meal feel extra special. I also love giving them as hostess and house warming gifts, or to young people learning to cook for themselves.

My 3 Favorite Herb & Spice Blend Recipes

HOMEMADE RED PEPPER SPICE BLEND

This blend works well to heighten the flavor and add a little heat to any savory dish. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes for more or less heat. I grind this savory spice blend on everything from eggs to soup, even popcorn.

¼ cup dried rosemary
¼ cup dried thyme
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1-2 tbsp red pepper flakes or smoked red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

Instructions: Simply combine all the herbs and spices in a small bowl and mix well. Place the blend in a pepper or herb grinder and enjoy!

HOMEMADE HERB GARDEN BLEND

If you grow culinary herbs, you may be able to create this entire blend (or one like it) with dried herbs from your own garden. To me, it feels meaningful to use and gift herb blends from ingredients I grew myself. This one pairs well in dishes with Italian, Spanish, or Middle Eastern flavors.

¼ cup dried rosemary
¼ cup dried thyme
1 tbsp dried sage
1 tsp dried fennel seeds
1 tsp dried lavender flowers
Other Options: Basil, Marjoram, Mint, or Savory

Instructions: Simply combine all the herbs and spices in a small bowl and mix well. Place the blend in a pepper or herb grinder and enjoy!

HOMEMADE INDIAN SPICE BLEND

This blend uses spices traditionally found in food and recipes from India. It elicits a sweetness not found in the other two blends, but works well on savory dishes. I love it on roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Some of the spices in this blend don’t grind well in a pepper grinder, so I recommend using powdered herbs and spices, or grinding them beforehand with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

2 tbsp decorticated cardamom or ground cardamom
2 tbsp dried fennel seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon chips or powdered cinnamon
1 tbsp dried ginger or powdered ginger
1 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted for 3-5 minutes in a heavy pan
1 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted for 3-5 minutes in a heavy pan

Instructions: If you are not using powdered herbs and spices, grind each ingredient with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder (dedicated to your herbal endeavors). Combine all the powdered herbs and spices in a small bowl and mix well. Place the blend in a small glass jar with a shaker top and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the simple pleasures of these aromatic,flavor-enhancing homemade herb and spice blends. I’d love to see how you incorporate them into your own culinary adventures! Snap a picture of your favorite dish and tag it with #nectarapothecary to share and inspire.

Cheers,
suzanne

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