jars of homemade vanilla extract

Homemade Spice Blends and Baking Extracts

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Knowing what’s in your food is super important. Making your own homemade spice blends and baking extracts will help you avoid a lot of unhealthy ingredients. It’s a great basic cooking skill to start changing your health and your life.

homemade spice blends and baking extracts in jars in a basket

Not only are homemade spice blends and baking extracts much healthier, but they are also far tastier and help you make tastier food. You can use them to make your own homemade dressing, dip, and sauce recipes too.

Baking and cooking are art. Fresh, real food is the canvas, and what you decorate with makes a huge difference in how your dishes turn out. Food nourishes the body but also the soul.

Making homemade spice blends and baking extracts is not difficult or time-consuming. It just takes a little preparation and you’ll have resources at your fingertips to make amazing food.

Homemade spice mixes for gifts

Not only do spice mixes and extracts make your food tastier and healthier, you can also share them as wonderful gifts. Your friends and family would love receiving these gifts made with love that will make their lives taste better too!

Click here for free printable gift tags or labels. Just save the one you want to your computer and print it out. It’s the size of a business card, so you can make tags with pre-perforated business cards if you’d like.

Homemade spice mixes

I LOVE having premade spice mixes to throw in all my dishes. The first one I learned to make is our favorite taco seasoning mix. I’ve been making it for about 25 years. It tastes better than anything from the store. People ask me for the recipe for it all the time. We use it all the time to cook beans in the crockpot with a Mexican flare. So good!

taco seasoning and ranch seasoning

We use it all the time in our taco soup recipe too. And to make tacos and all kinds of other stuff. And our chili seasoning mix is the second most popular. It has just the right amount of spice for making things like this 4 Ingredient Rotel Chili!

And don’t forget about this amazing fajita seasoning mix. It’s to die for too! We use it all the time for these air fryer fajitas. And don’t forget about steak seasoning! It’s great for so many things. For the best chicken and turkey ever, try making this poultry seasoning. It’s one of my absolute favorites!

making homemade chili seasoning

The most versatile spice mixes we make are ranch seasoning mix and garlic bread seasoning mix. I developed the garlic bread seasoning mix with my sister and it’s a masterpiece. The ranch seasoning mix also goes in the taco soup above. I use it also for my restaurant style ranch dressing and crack chicken spaghetti squash. It’s amazing.

jar of fresh homemade restaurant style ranch dressing

They can both be used in so many ways including soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes, as dry rub, to make dressings, dips, and butters and so much more. You can put them in scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, just about anything you can think of.

Another favorite homemade spice mix is the bbq rub. You can make it into a wonderful homemade barbecue sauce as well. I created that recipe with my sister too. My favorite way to use the rub is on a pork roast. It’s so good!

barbecue rub in a jar on the table

We can’t forget the Italian seasoning mix. It’s wonderful as well and can be used in a ton of different ways from sauces to marinades to seasoning meat as a dry rub. We use it in our homemade spaghetti all the time as well as pasta, soups, and all kinds of things. We even grow the herbs we put in it.

italian seasoning mix in a basket for gifts

Homemade baking extracts

I LOVE the difference homemade extracts make in my baking. It’s a night and day difference and so worth doing. It doesn’t take much time. The hardest part is getting to the liquor store and figuring out what alcohol to buy. (I am not a drinker, so I am unfamiliar)

They take a few weeks or months to steep, but you don’t have to do much to them. They make themselves with some time.

My very favorite homemade baking extract is chocolate extract. It makes all of my dishes really extra chocolatey. It’s great in devil’s food cupcakes and grandma’s chocolate pie. There’s no mistaking the difference over using just vanilla. They make old fashioned desserts that grandma would be proud of!

jars of chocolate extract on the table

Of course, the old stand by, homemade vanilla extract, is a super important part of the baking cabinet. It goes in so many things, it’s an everyday staple. I couldn’t make it without it.

vanilla beans on the cutting board
jars of homemade vanilla extract

In addition to vanilla extract, you can also make vanilla powder which gives a different level of vanilla to your dishes. It’s fun to experiment. Did you know you can also make vanilla without using alcohol? We also love to make vanilla sugar to fancy up our desserts. It’s amazing.

There are more extracts to make for special dishes such as lemon extract. It is great in these lemon lavender bundt cake and anything else lemony you like to make. You can make mint extract with home grown mint from your garden too! I love that part. I use it in cookies, hot cocoa, and tea among other things.

bottles of homemade lemon extract on the counter
jars of homemade mint extract on the counter

Extracts and flavorings

Making your own homemade spice blends and baking extracts will change your cooking, make it easier and give you more flavorful outcomes.

It’s so much fun to really be invested in what you are serving your loved ones (and yourself) to eat. Change your routines and change your life.

For herb gardening basics, check this out.

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