Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and a few other spices make up this easy to mix clean taco seasoning. Paleo and Whole30 approved!
For years I bought taco seasoning packets to season a variety of foods. It never occurred to me that I could use the spices I already had in my cabinet to season taco meat. Like many of you, I was conscious of eating healthy but the focus then was not on “clean” foods. Looking at the ingredients of packaged foods just was not part my education around eating healthful. Big food must long for those days.
When I first became aware of the importance of reading the ingredients, I downloaded a very helpful app to my smart phone, called Fooducate. The purpose of the app is to get instant information on the product before purchasing by simply scanning the bar code using the camera on the phone. This process was very informative. I began scanning all the pre-packaged food I normally would buy and then would make a decision based on the rating Fooducate would give me. The ingredients in question would appear along with an explanation for why it may be harmful plus the sources if I wanted to dig deeper.
Of course I scanned the packet of taco seasoning I had purchased many times before.
Here is the information I received from the Fooducate app…
The ingredients: Maltodextrin, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Spice, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Starch, Yellow Corn Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Natural Flavor, Ethoxyquin and BHT (Preservatives).
Contains trans-fats! Even if label says 0!
Consumption of food containing trans-fat has unequivocally been shown to increase the risk of heart disease by raising levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and lowering levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
Why do the nutrition labels on some products say that there are no trans fats, while Fooducate insists there are?
Unfortunately there is an FDA loop hole here. If the amount of trans-fat in a product is less than half a gram per serving, manufacturers can round it down to 0.
But even 0.49 grams of trans-fat is bad for you. And don’t even get us started on the actual consumption versus the tiny serving size.
So how do you know if a product does have trans fat in it?
Look for “partially hydrogenated” oils and fats in the ingredient list.
Monosodium Glutamate is responsible for the umami (savory) flavor of foods, but some people steer away from it as it causes them adverse reactions.
Controversial additive BHT present
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is an additive used to retard rancidity in oils and foods containing oils and fats. Some studies have shown it to be carcinogenic. Best to avoid.
This product is highly processed. If you’ll take a look at its ingredient list, you’ll discover new words to add to your vocabulary. Many of theses ingredients are required to increase the shelf life of the product and improve the flavor that disappears when food is not fresh.
Natural flavors added. Learn why
Companies add flavorings to make products taste better. They are created in a lab and the formulations are guarded as trade secrets.
Flavorings can compensate for flavor loss during processing, substitute for ingredients, lower production costs and increase shelf stability. Natural flavorings are more expensive to source than artificial flavors, but tend to be better received by consumers.
People sensitive to MSG, vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies should pay special attention to the phrase “natural flavorings” since glutamates, animal products or allergens may be the source of natural flavors. You can always contact the manufacturer for more information.
Learn about Maltodextrin, found here
Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. A polysaccharide is a type of carbohydrate. It is produced from starches of corn, wheat, potatoes or rice. Its flavor can be slightly sweet or almost flavorless. Maltodextrin is used as a bulking base for artificial sweeteners, for example in Jell-o it is used in conjunction with Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium. It is also the bulking agent in Splenda.” So it includes GLUTEN!”
Needless to say, from that day on, I never bought taco seasoning again. I found it easy to just make it in bulk and keep it on hand.
Another really great feature to this app… instead of being frustrated that you no longer want to buy what you intended to purchase, Fooducate will list alternative brands with better ratings to replace the product. So this is one of the many ways I became educated and aware of what we were consuming. You might find it helpful as well.
This taco seasoning mix makes one cup. Three tablespoons equals one packet of packaged taco seasoning.
(3 Tbsp = 1 packet of taco seasoning)
- ¼ c chili powder
- ¼ c cumin
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all spices.
- Transfer to an 8 ounce mason jar and label with ingredient amounts for an easy refill process!
Did you make this recipe? Tag @trueats and hashtag #trueats on Instagram or on True & Simple Eats facebook page. I’d love to know what you think! Enjoy!
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