Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Homemade spices, mixes and soups for little £

I used to spend a lot of money on cocoa/hot chocolate mixes, spices, soups and so one - staples that get used in many meals. It was costing a fortune. I started cutting back on what I bought and then decided I should try and make my own. 

So cruised the internet for homemade seasonings, mixes, soups and everything else I usually spend a lot of money on. 

Here is the list I’ve come up with over the past few months. They are all easy to mix, taste wonderful, are very handy and save lots and lots of £££!

I use the pancake mix a lot and the taco seasoning mix. The Chai Tea mix is ridiculously good and don’t get me started on the homemade hot chocolate! Divine.

You can get a lot of the  ingredients at a pound shop or in less expensive stores. If you know a good spice store in London that's reasonable, please let me know where. I used to buy spices in bulk in Manhattan but don't have a clue where to go here in London!

Try them out and let me know what you think.

Homemade Rice Seasoning Mix
¾ cup chicken bouillon granules
½ cup dried parsley
1 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp dill weed
2 tbsp, dried onion flakes
1 tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
Mix together and store in an airtight container. When preparing rice, combine 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, and three tablespoons of the seasoning. Bring your water to a boil and add rice & seasoning. Reduce to simmer and cook for eighteen minutes.

Homemade Baking Mix (AKA for pancakes and breads)

5 ½ cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp baking powder
1 cup shortening

Mix all ingredients well until crumbly. Store in an air tight container.

Homemade Italian Dressing Seasoning Mix

1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp ground oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp salt (adjust to your own personal preference)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground basil
¼ tsp ground thyme
½ tsp dried celery flakes
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.  To prepare the dressing: Mix two tablespoons of the mix with ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water, and ½ to 2/3 cup olive oil or canola oil.

Homemade Croutons

6 slices of bread
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano, liberal sprinkling of garlic salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cube bread into desired size and toss into a bowl. Sprinkle all of the seasonings on top of your bread cubes. Drizzle olive oil over the cubes and then toss gently with your fingers. When all pieces have been coated, put cubes into a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. Allow to cool. Place in an airtight container and these can be stored for up to weeks in this container.

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

¾ cup instant minced onion
4 tsp onion powder
1/3 cup beef-flavored bouillon powder
¼ tsp celery seed, crushed
¼ tsp sugar

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. To use, add two tablespoons mix to one cup boiling water. Cover and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Make-Your-Own Canned Tomato Soup

6 ounce can tomato paste
24 ounces milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed

Put tomato paste in a small saucepan. Add the milk, salt, & celery seed. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 cup instant nonfat dry milk solids
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
3 tbsp melted margarine

Combine all ingredients and process with an electric mixer until smooth. This can be stored in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used.

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ tsp poultry seasoning
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp parsley
Dash of paprika
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cup flour

In a medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, ½ cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining one cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until the mixture boils and thickens.

Homemade Cocoa Mix

4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Place mix in a sifter and sift to make a really fine powder (or you can use your food processor for this step). Store in an airtight container. Add ½ cup of mix to an 8 ounce mug and fill with hot water

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder.  Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.

Taco seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, 
paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container. 3 tbs per 500g of mince or chicken.
***Instead of buying expensive taco kits, I just buy a packet of tortilla chips and make it into a ‘nachos’ type dinner or salad. Layering lettuce, avocado, shredded cheese, tomato, onion, tortilla chips, mince, soured cream, etc. It’s delicious.


  1. Only last week , I did exactly the same with the tortilla chips, usually have taco kit but not anymore. I will certainly be giving the taco receipe a go. Thanks very much

  2. Miss Piggy Bank, the taco recipe is a lifesaver. You can make it as hot or mild as you like it. I use it on mince, chicken and even veggies to use in the taco salad. Even the kids will eat it!

  3. Thanks for the recipes. I make most of what you mentioned from scratch, but for some reason had never thought of making my own condensed milk, so that's a new one for me.

  4. Claire: I couldn't find sweetened condensed milk here in the UK so I searched all over to find a do-it-yourself recipe. It's so much better than the tinned milk I don't think I will ever go back! Thanks for stopping by.


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