Salts and Seasonings

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chipotle puree

Salts and Seasonings

Fresh herbs and spices are very flavorful, especially when layered into a dish throughout the cooking process – from marinade to condiments to garnish.

In recent years, food marketers have recognized the value of these tasty, fat-free, low-calorie flavor helpers and have put a variety of new products on the market – from flavored salts to different combinations of spices, like barbecue rubs and Italian seasoning mixes.

But with minimal effort, you can create your own unique seasoning blends, which not only saves you money but also lets you customize your flavor agents and control sodium content.

There are many ways to create your own signature spice blends.

The following techniques let you have instant flavor ready in your pantry.


These mixtures coat the surface of food before cooking – adding a flavor kick with few calories and no fat.

Flavored salts

Salt infused with another layer of flavor does double duty for the amount of sodium added to the recipe.

Herb blends

Created from mixtures of your favorite dried herbs, they’re simple to make and give you easy access to the flavors you love for sauces and meals.

Purees and pastes

Blending up a batch of pureed chile peppers or olives to dab onto dishes later is another time saver, as well as a way to pinch pennies at the supermarket.

Recipe of the Day:  Chipotle Puree

Because the flavor of chipotle chile peppers is so intense (and hot!), a teaspoon or a tablespoon is often all you need to give the smokiness and heat you crave.

Add a little of this puree to barbecue sauce, salsa, eggs, guacamole, or chili.

Makes 1 cup

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce (see note)

1/4 cup water

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

Puree the contents of the can and the water in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

The puree keeps refrigerated for 1 month or more.

Note:  Chipotle chile peppers are ripe jalapeno peppers that have been smoked.

They’re packed in a spicy sauce called adobo and sold in cans.

They’re available in Latin food markets, specialty food stores, and some supermarkets.

Per teaspoon:  2 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 1 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars), 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.

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Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay


from Flavor First by Cheryl Forberg, RD

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