This homemade jerk seasoning blend is a great way to add spice and flavor to chicken, fish or other lean protein, and it also makes a great marinade.
My spices are stored in a stow-and-spin lazy Susan turn-table cabinet, in the corner of my kitchen. This past week, I took all of the spices off the rack and cleaned it. Wow, I found some very old spices pushed to the back. That got me thinking about ways I can use my older spices.
How Long Do Spices Last?
Many of us buy individual spices to make a special dish. But, after you make that dish, what do you do with the spice? If you’re like me, they get pushed to the back of your spice rack and forgotten about. As the years go by, those spices become aged and can lose their flavor. There is a way to revise them, though!
Dried spices last a very long time, but not forever. Whole spices, like peppercorns and caraway seeds can last 3-4 years in your spice rack, while ground spices, like chili powder, paprika and cumin, can last between 2-4 years. Whole and ground leaf herbs, like oregano and rosemary last between 1-3 years. If you’re wondering what the shelf life is for a specific spice, McCormick shares a lot of information on their website.
What Can You Do With Older Spices?
Before you toss the spices you rarely cook with, see if they could be used to make a spice blend. Some blends, like homemade taco seasoning mix, are used regularly by many families. Others, like this jerk seasoning mix, might only be sued to make a particular dish. Making a homemade seasoning blend means you don’t have to rely on the seasoning packs at the store. They are great to have on-hand, and can make meal planning easier.
How To Make Jerk Seasoning Blend
There are many different ways to make a jerk season blend. For this recipe, I used spices that I had on hand. I used this mix to make jerk chicken tacos, chicken skewers on the frill & spicy rice. It can also be mixed with some oil & vinegar, and used as a marinade for beef, fish & other protein dishes.
All you have to do is combine garlic powder, cayenne powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, salt and a teaspoon of sugar together in a bowl, then store in an air-tight jar or container. It’s a great way to use your individual spices before they get too old.
There’s no better time like the present to clean your spice rack. Take everything out, wipe down your rack and evaluate what spices might need to be tossed. Then, use what you have to put together some seasoning mixes like this jerk seasoning blend.
Do you have a favoring spice blend that you make? Share it in the comments below.
Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Cayenne chili pepper
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp thyme, ground
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 months
- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp.
- Nutrition Facts (per serving): 25 calories, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein, 0 fats, 2% DV calcium
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