DIY Spice Blends by American Diabetes Association

Looking to cut back on sodium? Make your own spice blends to add more flavor to your dishes, cut back on salt, and give your heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes a personal touch.

DIY Spice Blends When following a heart-healthy meal plan often one of the hardest things to tackle is lowering the amount of sodium in your diet—eating less salt. This is a challenge since salt can add a lot of flavor to your dishes, but there are many other ways to create flavorful dishes with little or no salt. One way to do this is to create your very own spice blends. To start, take a look in your pantry or spice cabinet and see what you have. Some chefs recommend keeping the following spices as staples in your kitchen: garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, dill weed, paprika, cayenne, allspice, thyme, chili powder, dill weed, curry, cumin, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon. Many of these spices can be used on their own to add flavor, but when used in combination, you create whole new flavors. Try out some of these combinations:

Italian Blend

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

Dry Rub*

  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
*For more of a kick add in some cayenne

Jamaican Jerk

  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Thyme
  • Parsley

Moroccan

  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cayenne
  • Allspice

Tex-Mex

  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper to taste

Curry Blend

  • Turmeric
  • Cardamom
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne or chili powder
  • Dry mustard
  • Ginger


The amount of spice used in each blend varies, but the advantage of making your own blend is that you can make it just how you like it. Play around with the amounts, you can even add, remove, or substitute the spices. Once you have found a good blend that works for you and your taste, you can make a larger amount to store in an airtight container and use it for other recipes later.

Breakfast Dinner Foodie Holidays & Entertaining Lunch Main Dish Salad Dressings & Condiments Sauces Sides Low Sodium Asian Caribbean Grilling Indian Italian Latin American Mediterranean Mexican/Southwestern

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