Often the spice blends that you buy in the stores have a lot of salt, sugar and additives in them. After kicking my sugar addiction I am vigilant in finding hidden sugars so as not to set up those awful cravings again. Even more important for me is that store-bought usually has corn starch and other additives to keep everything stable, dry and from clumping. That often means added gluten and more unnecessary carbs sprinkled into my cooking pot. For these reasons plus control over the ingredients, I make my own spice blends. They are less expensive than store-bought as well.
Where do you find organic, natural, non-GMO, gluten free, sugar and MSG free spices? Check out this web site by Simply Organic to start your search. They have a ton of useful info about spices, are reasonably priced and also have great recipes to boot.
Ingredients to make my Creole spice mix:
(Note: the garlic powder is not particularly Creole, but I LOVE garlic and use it in addition to my minced fresh garlic, so there you go.)
2 tbs onion powder
2 tbs garlic powder
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs dried basil
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs fresh ground pepper mix (black, white and red peppercorns)
2 tbs dried red pepper flakes (omit if you do not like so much heat)
2 tbs cayenne powder
5 tbs paprika
3 tbs sea salt
Mix all ingredients together. Store the dried mix in an airtight container along with your other spices. How long can you store it? Beats me. I use this mix often, even sprinkling it over my veggies that go into the roaster. It sticks around my place for about 3 or 4 months and then I have to make a new batch.
What gives this soup/stew the fabulous Creole taste are the spices. When I cook a dish such as this I usually throw in 3 or 4 tablespoons of the seasoning depending on how big my soup pot is. I also sprinkle this spice mix onto veggies in preparation for roasting. Used as a meat rub before tossing into the Insta-pot or crock pot makes the meat taste amazing. It is so full of flavor and heat.
NOTE about the soup pictured above: This post is not so much a recipe for the soup as it is to share the spices that I use to make the Creole spice mix, but just in case you are wondering, the soup base here was ground turkey sausage, riced cauliflower, sliced and halved zucchini, bell peppers, sliced green olives with pimento, sliced black olives, diced onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and a couple cans of chicken stock.
In short, it was everything that is not jambalaya but it sure did have that old Louisiana kick. I had no seafood on hand, but this spice mix was the secret to a great Creole taste.