I’ve found, through years of experience, that in life as well as in my pantry, it’s the simple things that serve me best in life and the foods I prepare. Because of their ease, adaptability, and sumptuous flavor, DIY pantry staples similar to the DIY flavored and seasoned salt gift jars recipes below have found their way into many of my recipes over the years.
Energized salts, as I like to call them, fit nicely into many of my recipes. Taking just a few minutes to put-together ingredients from your spice cabinet in a way that closely recreates a store-bought counterpart cashes in on extra flavor for your recipes as well as saving a few cents (maybe even dollars) at the same time.
I am always amazed at the fresher flavor of DIY versions of flavored and seasoned salts and contribute this freshness to the absence of those “often questionable” ingredients used to preserve or enhance a products flavor or texture. Many people are watching their sodium consumption these days, so adding a group of natural flavors to some Himalayan salt from my spice cabinet makes a small amount of salt go a long way.
Store your flavored and seasoned salts in airtight containers, spice jars or even decorative jars from the dollar store for several months. Use your seasoned salts and flavored on just about everything from burgers and roasted vegetables to hard-boiled eggs and even homemade Chex mix (organic, of course). Be creative and try your DIY flavored and seasoned salts on other foods as well.
Why Pink Himalayan Salt?
Containing over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, pink Himalayan sea salt does more than just make your food taste better.
Himalayan crystal salt is mined from salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range. The salt from these mines has experienced enormous pressure over the years and said to be over 99 percent pure. Pink Himalayan salt is very different from table salt that involves a great amount of unnatural interference. Table salt is heavily processed which takes out many of its minerals. Commercial table salt is usually 97.5 percent to 99.9 percent sodium chloride. A high-quality unrefined salt like Himalayan sea salt is only about 87 percent sodium chloride. Table salts contain one mineral (sodium), a bit of added iodine and usually some health-hazardous anti-clumping agent like yellow prussiate of soda. Most commercial table salts are bleached, contain aluminum derivatives and other toxic ingredients highly toxic to human health.
Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt
- Improves respiratory concerns
- Natural digestive aid
- Helps with sleep issues
- Encourages healthy blood sugar levels
- Reduce leg cramps
- Supports vascular health
- Supports healthy sinuses
- Promotes kidney and gallbladder health
Always store salt in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh and from clumping. Make the pink Himalayan salt you purchase comes from Pakistan, the only true source of real Himalayan salt. It’s best to stay away from the inclination to purchase Himalayan salt that’s sold at a very low price. This is most likely an indication that the salt was collected from higher elevations rather from the deeper, more pure salt mines. Salts from these higher levels are more likely to contain impurities, which makes them less health-promoting.
DIY Flavored and Seasoned Salt Gift Jars
These easy DIY flavored and seasoned salt gift jars are easy to make and are perfect for Christmas gifts, hostess gifts, house-warming gifts, wedding gifts or for any special occasion when a homemade gift makes your gift more personal. Using the recipes below you can make delicious DIY flavored and seasoned salt gift jars. Hint: I suggest making a batch of the flavored and seasoned salts for your own pantry and so you can taste them. However, don’t be surprised if you love all of them. Reminder: Using organic ingredients will provide a fresher and better tasting salt.
Containers – If you are giving these as gifts, I highly recommend the Ball Quilted 4-ounce crystal jelly jars found at Walmart in boxes of 12. They also have 8-ounce jars if you want a larger jar.
DIY ALL-PURPOSE SEASONED SALT
- 2 tablespoons fine Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
- Optional: 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch (1/16 teaspoon) cinnamon**
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into a small jar or an empty spice bottle to store.
** This amount of cayenne pepper will add flavor without much heat, but feel free to use a pinch or omit altogether if preferred. Even though the cinnamon may seem a bit questionable, a tiny bit adds a subtle floral note similar to that of some store-bought blends.
DIY CHIPOTLE SEASONED SALT
- 1/2 cup fine Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons organic Chipotle chili powder or more to taste
Combine salt and seasonings and mix well. Package in jars, shakers, or other pretty containers for gift giving.
EVERYDAY SEASONED SALT
- 2/3 cup fine Pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4-1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
Nutrition Facts: 1 teaspoon: 8 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1259mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.
HOMEMADE ITALIAN SEASONED SALT
- 1/2 cup fine Pink Himalayan salt
- 4 Tbs. oregano
- 4 Tbs. basil
- 4 Tbs. thyme
- 1 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper
Stir all ingredients together. Makes 2 jars, 1/2 pint each.
DIY ROSEMARY – LAVENDER FLAVORED SALT
3/4 Cup fine Pink Himalayan Salt
2 Tablespoons Dried Lavender
2 Tablespoons Dried Rosemary
- Place all ingredients in a coffee grinder or small food processor.
- Pulse to process and combine.
- Some recipes with fresh ingredients may also require oven-drying. Spread them evenly and as thinly as possible on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and put them in an oven set to 170 to 180 degrees F for one to two hours or until they’re dried but not browning.
- If your salt sticks together when it comes out of the oven, you can pulse it in the grinder or processor again.
DIY VANILLA FLAVORED SALT
1 cup fine Pink Himalayan Salt
4 vanilla beans. Split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
- In a large bowl, combine sea salt and vanilla seeds.
- Use the tips of your fingers to rub the vanilla seeds into the sea salt until they are thoroughly combined.
- Spoon salt into individual jars, cover tightly, label, and store in a cool, dry place.
Note – Depending on how you package your vanilla salt, this recipe will yield 2-4 gift jars. Organic Vanilla Beans are best for the Vanilla Flavored Salt, but any type of high quality vanilla beans will do.
DIY GARLIC AND HERB SEASONED SALT
1 cup fine Pink Himalayan Salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic
- Preheat the oven to 110 degrees C (230 degrees F).
- Peel and chop garlic cloves.
- Finely chop the rosemary and thyme. (discard the stem).
- Add Pink Himalayan sea salt, garlic, rosemary and thyme to a food processor. Pulse until the salt becomes a little finer and everything is mixed well.
- Taste and increase the amount of flavors, if desired.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove mixture from the oven. If there are any lumps, pulse it again in the food processor.
- Cool mixture for 5 minutes.
- Store the DIY flavored salt in an airtight container or in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Sprinkle the DIY Garlic and Herb Seasoned Salt on meat, poultry, fish, pasta, grilled vegetables, french fries, burgers or just use it in place of regular salt.
DIY CITRUS FLAVORED SALT
1 Cup fine Pink Himalayan Salt
3 tablespoons citrus zest (any kind)
- Mix salt and zest in a bowl; work zest into salt with your fingers to release oils and flavor.
- Spread on a baking tray. Air-dry until dried completely, 8 hours to overnight.
- Zest’s color will fade over time, but this won’t affect taste.
- Keeps for 2 months, kept airtight at room temperature.
- Whether you use lemon, lime, or even blood orange, this DIY Citrus Flavored Salt is delicious on cooked fish or salads with a drizzle of olive oil.
Since pink Himalayan sea salt contains so many minerals, it’s definitely more beneficial to your body. However, it’s still a salt and naturally high in sodium. As with any salt, it’s not advised to overdo it. Getting too much sodium in your diet (especially without enough potassium for balance) can lead to high blood pressure as well as a concerning buildup of fluid in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disease. Be careful and be wise.