Southwest seasoning is a great, all-purpose spice blend perfect for fajitas, chili, as a dry rub for chicken and pork and even on eggs. Make it once and store with your other dry spices, you'll keep coming back for more of this one.
Did you know that "Maltodextrin" and/or "Modified Food Starch" are in some spice blends? Yep. And gelatins, sauces, sometimes beer (not that you're drinking beer) and many, many other packaged, processed foods.
Both maltodextrin and modified food starch are starch-derived food additives. Maltodextrin is a type of modified food starch and is usually made from corn in the USA and wheat in Europe. Modified food starch can be made of any starch, including corn, potato, tapioca, and wheat (although wheat is required to be labeled in the USA due to gluten allergens). Both are commonly used as thickening or filling agents in a range of commercial foods and beverages. They're even added to low-carb foods and because of the small quantity, it may or many not be listed on the carb count, despite the fact that they're very high on the glycemic index (85-105).
To read more about the uses of modified food starch and the prevalence within the food industry, see this journal-- although this article sees it as a positive addition to the food industry. We do not. Read more information here on how food starches are modified.
Maltodextrin in particular, is one of those sneaky ingredients that will spike your blood glucose, so it's important to be extra vigilant, read every label and avoid it at all costs.
I choose to make my own spice and seasoning blends for this reason. I know exactly what goes into them and (bonus) I can control the ingredients to get the taste I want. It takes just a few minutes, you can put the finished seasoning in decorative jars and keep one to sit on the counter and another jar or two can become gifts to to friends or family.
I've adjusted the ingredients and added a few of my own to make this a perfect savory seasoning for meat, fish, chicken and vegetables (okay, I also use it on eggs, and just about everything I cook).
Magic Mushroom Powder is also a great alternative to bouillon cubes/granules in cooking, although I usually just substitute homemade bone broth.
diaVerge Magic Mushroom Powder
(based on a recipe from NomNomPaleo)
3 oz. Dried mushrooms (I use a mix of dried shitake & dried porcini mushrooms)
1 cup Sea salt
1 Tbsp. Dried onion
2 Tbsp Dried red pepper flakes (divided)
2 Tbsp Thyme (divided)
2 Tbsp Oregano (divided)
1-1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
Process the mushrooms in a coffee grinder (in batches), high-powered blender or food processor until it becomes a fine powder. Be careful to let the dust settle after grinding before opening the machine!
Pick out any large pieces of dried mushroom that may not have been ground and set aside, then re-grind with the next batch or with the spices to follow).
Place the ground mushroom powder (you will have approx. 2 cups of ground mushrooms) in a medium sized bowl and mix in the salt.
Place 1 Tbsp each of the crushed red pepper, thyme, oregano and dried onion in the grinder and process for just a few seconds, until it is a uniform powder.
Add the ground spices to the salt/mushroom powder mix.
Then add the remaining 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper, oregano, thyme and black pepper directly to the bowl with the other ingredients and stir gently to blend.
Using a funnel, gently spoon or pour the blended mushroom powder into a decorative jar (or jars) and sprinkle liberally on your favorite foods before cooking. Yum!