Dry Spice Blends are Better than Marinades for You & Your Wallet
Dry spice mixes and rubs offer a tasty, healthier and often less expensive alternative to bottled marinades and sauces from the supermarket. The benefits of choosing dry spices over bottled flavor aids include: cost savings, less waste, not ingesting preservatives, higher quality ingredients, greater nutritional content, and the ability to customize flavor to your tastes.
Dry spices weigh much less than bottled marinades and sauces and therefore cost less to ship. When purchasing dry spices, you are not paying to have water shipped. In addition, the smaller container sizes require less packaging. When cooking, you have the option to season your meats and vegetables with dry spices, or to convert blends to marinades using liquids you already have in your kitchen.
By converting your blends to marinades at home you can avoid the heat treatments and preservatives used commercially to extend shelf life (i.e. expiry dates). Once opened, dry foods also have a much longer shelf life than wet foods, so you are much less likely to end up having to toss half of what you’ve bought. Picture your fridge and ask yourself how many half-used, expired sauces should be tossed. You also avoid common commercial additives like high fructose corn syrup, sodium citrate, artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, red 40 and blue 1.The nutritional content may also be higher, as certain vitamins such as Vitamin C, are destroyed by heat.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to using dry spices and blends is the ability to adjust the flavor to suite your taste buds and diet. Customization can be done with the dry ingredients or when adding water, broth, juice or oils to make marinades, dressings and sauces. Whether you desire less salt, more fire, or have a sudden craving for fennel, rosemary or chipotle chili pepper– your flavor cravings are easily satiated.
While store bought spice blends offer many benefits over their marinade counterparts, the greatest cost savings, customization ability and spice freshness comes from preparing spice blends at home from scratch. However, this is admittedly not always practical or convenient. So for those lacking the culinary confidence or time to do to prepare homemade spice blends on a daily basis, TasteTro is dedicated to harnessing innovation to address these challenges – stay tuned!
Contributing Author: Kevin Stanton, Chef & Food Scientist, KTS Culinary Solutions, New York