Happy Wednesday my friends! I planned on posting something completely different today but when I find out something new and interesting, I like to share it with people I care about. Do you make your own taco seasoning mix or do you use a packet? After you hear this, you’ll ditch the packet!
Last night I decided to make burritos for dinner. For years I’ve bought the Old El Paso taco seasoning mix from the grocery store. It’s only about a dollar a pack and let’s face it, it’s easy and good. A few months ago my husband and made some Rachel Ray super nachos and pretty much made our own seasoning using her recipe. So, just to compare, I looked up Rachel Ray’s ingredients versus the ingredients on Old El Paso before making our burritos.
Each of the ingredients in Rachel Ray’s recipe is made of natural spices we typically keep on hand such as chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, etc. It’s super easy and very tasty. On the back of the Old El Paso packet, the first two ingredients are 1-Chili powder and 2-Maltodextrin. What is that? I’m fairly sure I don’t stock that in my pantry. So, I looked up Maltodextin and here’s what I found out via Wikipedia.
Maltodextrin is a food additive produced from starches and typically used in soft drinks and candy. And don’t manufacturers need to list their ingredients in order of their content? So, if Maltodextrin is #2, then it is only second to chili powder. It also says this product is an inexpensive additive used to thicken products such as infant formula or as a sugar substitute. Yikes! And, it gets more interesting…
It lists other uses of maltodextrin as a horticultural insecticide. So it can be sprayed in greenhouses or in the field with no “biochemical” action and if sprayed in a 50% solution on pests, it causes “death by asphyxiation” when it dries. (via Wikipedia) Hmmm. Wonder if Terminex uses taco seasoning? It also says on the bottom of the packet “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering”. Sounds even more appetizing, right?
So, I will sprinkle my last two packets of Old El Paso seasoning in my wood pile out back. Maybe it kills snakes too? I will make my own from here on out, thank you. Here’s a version of Rachel Ray’s seasoning mix. (She uses the first four ingredients.) We add a few other things such as onion and garlic powder and paprika so I included these too. And our burritos turned out delicious! And hopefully insecticide free.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix:
1 ½ teaspoon dark chili powder
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Rachel Ray uses a lot more but I think it’s a bit hot for our taste)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
Add all of the above ingredients to one pound of ground beef after it is browned and drained. We also add about ⅓ cup of water to the ground beef mixture and spices and allow to simmer. Then add your favorite toppings to a taco or burrito! Yummy!
TIP: Let’s all check those food labels and question ingredients you don’t recognize. I am going to be extra cautious in the future. I’m also going to check the treats and dog food I buy for Lacey and make sure they are safe for her too! Cheers to making 2018 a safe and healthy year for our families and pets! xoxo Dell