Jarred seasonings aren’t really something I regularly think about containing harmful ingredients … I mean, it’s just spices, right? Well, as it turns out, many pre-packaged seasoning mixes actually do contain undesirable ingredients in order to increase shelf-life and in turn a manufacturer’s bottom line. (Shocking, right? Not.) This week we are going to take a look at a few of the big name brand seasoned salts and then give you a quick homemade alternative that tastes just as good, if not better!
First up is the well known Morton’s Season-All. The less than desirable ingredients are emboldened below.
Ingredients: Salt, Spices (Including Chili Pepper, Black Pepper, Celery Seed), Onion, Paprika, Maltodextrin, Garlic, Silicon Dioxide (Added To Make Free Flowing), And Annatto (Color).
As you can see, it isn’t just a recipe of simple spices but has a few unusual ingredients added to it as well, the most concerning of which, in my opinion, is maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a food additive, derived from starch (most commonly corn in the U.S. and wheat in Europe.) As we have learned from Dr. Brown, both corn and wheat are pro-inflammatory foods, and inflammation causes havoc in the body. So this is one place where grains might actually be sneaking into your diet without you realizing.
Although silicon dioxide is naturally occurring (mostly in the earth’s crust but also in many vegetables) and generally considered safe, there is still some concern out there in using it as a food additive. As for annatto, it is also naturally occurring (from the seeds of the achiote tree), but there are many (anecdotal) reports of it causing gastrointestinal distress when used as a food coloring agent for some people.
Next let’s look at Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.
Ingredients: Salt, Sugar, Spices (Including Paprika And Turmeric), Onion, Cornstarch, Garlic, Tricalcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking), Natural Flavor, Paprika Oleoresin (For Color). Contains No Msg.
As we can see the second ingredient in the list above is sugar. I think we are all familiar with the undesirable effects of consuming sugar (especially processed sugar.) Who would think it would be added to seasoned salt as it is generally considered a savory flavor not sweet? I know I hadn’t!
Cornstarch, like maltodextrin, is derived obviously from a grain, so it could be adding to the inflammation problem and should be avoided.
Tricalcium Phosphate, like the silicon dioxide, is naturally occurring and actually beneficial to our bodies. Many people even supplement with this compound. I would just be curious on the source and quality of the ingredient in this specific product. It may be totally fine, but I suspect that it could be of low quality and/or synthetically made.
In general, I would just be cautious when ingesting these “natural” additives because most have been highly processed. Even the salt in the two products above isn’t ideal because of the high heat processing it goes through, which is why Dr. Brown recommends using sea salt instead and why we have used sea salt in the recipe below.
So without much further adieu, check out this simple recipe and see how easy it is to make your own “seasoned salt” without all the questionable ingredients.
- 1 T sea salt
- 1 t garlic
- 1 t onion
- 1 t oregano
- 1 t paprika
- ½ t turmeric
- Combine all ingredients together and evenly mix.
We also have our additive-free version of pizza seasoning. Now leave the unnecessary junk on the grocery shelf and start making your seasoning combos yourself!