The holiday season is here, and it’s time to spice things up. One of our favorite ways to add a sense of occasion to mealtime is with festive DIY seasoning mixes for mains, sides, and drinks.
Creating your own mixes is a fun, easy weekend project, and bonus — your blends make clever reusable gifts when you package them in the Pocket Stasher! Give a little inspiration to first-time holiday chefs, or send a taste of home to loved ones who may miss the family gathering this year. No matter who you’re mixing for, throw some love and creativity together, and send your very own Seasonings Greetings!
You probably already have a bunch of these ingredients in your pantry, and the rest are readily available at any grocery or natural food store. Eco pro tip: Grab your Stand-Up Mid and buy your spices in bulk to save money and plastic waste!
Here are some of our favorite blends to get you going.
Up the Ante on Your Festive Drinks
Seasonal mulling spices
There are few things more festive than a big pot of mulled cider on the stove for Thanksgiving. Not only is it tasty, warming, and delightful, it also fills your home with the wonderful scents of fall. You can add the spices to a sachet to steep in your cider, or throw them in loose and strain before serving. And for happy hour, the mulling spices are delicious in red wine!
2 cinnamon sticks— crushed up a bit using a knife
1 tsp of cloves
1-2 star anise pods
1 tbsp cardamom pods (crushed)
1 tsp allspice berries
Optional but fun:
If you love this one as much as we do, you can also double or triple the recipe to keep on hand or give as a gift (hint, hint: check out our limited edition Holiday Prints). The beauty in this recipe is that you can make substitutions or leave things out as needed so you don’t need to run to the store. Just make sure you have the cinnamon and cloves.
Top Off Your Entrees or Side Dishes
Versatile dukkah spice blend
An Egyptian spice blend, dukkah is the perfect topping for so many things, we always try to keep some around. Sprinkle it on salads, mix it in soups, rice bowls, and roasted veggies, or use it to create your favorite dips like hummus. It even makes a great dry rub for proteins!
½ cup walnuts
⅓ cup almonds or hazelnuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Spice blending isn’t an exact science. If you prefer the “dash of this, dash of that” method, that works too. And if there’s an ingredient you don’t love or you have a nut allergy, just leave it out.
Add Flavor to Your Entrees or Sauces
Go-to three pepper mix
We love this blend of three ground peppers for a variety of uses: to use as a rub on chicken, to mix into mayonnaise or yogurt for a quick sauce or faux-aioli, or to season beans for taco night. It’s a versatile mix to have on hand that spices up so many dinners and side dishes.Mix up:
2 parts smoked paprika
one part chipotle powder
one part garlic powder
Cayenne to taste (or not!)
Brighten the Start or End of Your Day
Yummy spiced chocolate
Inspired by traditional Mexican hot chocolate recipes, this one is always a crowd pleaser — just stir into 1 ½ cups of the steamed milk of your choice. But you can also use this mix to elevate coffee, oatmeal, applesauce, smoothies or ice cream, just by sprinkling it on top.
¼ cup cocoa powder (we love dark cocoa!)
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
Don’t have all the ingredients? Don’t worry. All of these blends are made to be flexible and customizable, so add what you have, experiment a little, and make it your own. If it tastes great to you and comes from the heart, that’s really all that matters.