I remember the first time I was cooking for my grandma after she found out she had celiac disease. It was a family function and we were having Mexican food. Yum. I was making the meat to go along with our little Mexican Fiesta. It should be easy peasy, right?
I had assumed it would be as easy as picking up the ground meat, a few seasoning packets and whipping it together. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that all of the taco seasoning packets at the store had gluten in them.
There are certain things in life you’d just assume are gluten-free. You know, things like seasoning packets.
Why can’t life be simple?
Reasons to Avoid Pre-Packaged Seasoning Packets: wheat, money, and more
Things have changed a lot in the food industry since back in the day when my grandmother found out she had celiac disease. At that time, nobody really knew much about it. You couldn’t find gluten-free foods easily. It’s actually not nearly as difficult to find a gluten-free seasoning packet as it was then.
While some seasoning packets don’t contain wheat, I’ve yet to find one at my local grocery store that doesn’t contain other nasty (or sometimes allergenic) ingredients you need to watch out for. Below are just a few ingredients you need to watch out for:
- whey (a problem if you need to be dairy-free)
- sugar (why, oh why, does my taco seasoning need sugar?)
- maltodextrin (often contains MSG)
- yeast extract (aka MSG)
- …and more.
There are certainly more speciality grocery stores that probably carry spice mixes with just, you know, spices, it’s so incredibly cheap and easy to mix up your own! Why would you do it any other way?
Seriously friends, you can do this!
Below you’ll find my go-to Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix. I mix up a big batch of it and keep it in my spice cabinet for frequent use. Because this Mexican-food-lover uses a lot of Taco Seasoning (it’s not just for ground beef you know)!
1 Tablespoon chili powder (1 cup)
2 teaspoon ground cumin (2/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon paprika (1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon oregano (1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt (1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
- To make a small batch use the measurements on the right side. If you'd prefer to make a larger batch (aproximately 3 cups of seasoning mix) use the measurements to the left of the ingredients.
- Mix your spices together and store in an airtight container.
- Season your food to taste!