How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Many people are looking to make their own seasonings and mixes for cooking. One motivation is that it is almost always less expensive to make your own, and you also have the advantage of controlling the amount of salt and artificial ingredients such as MSG that are found in many store bought counterparts.
Here is a recipe for making your own lemon pepper seasoning. While it does take a little prep time, you can make a large quantity at one time, which will last for several months. Once you have had homemade, you won't go back to store bought again.
6 large lemons
1/3 c. peppercorns
1/4 c. kosher salt
First wash your lemons really well (to get any pesticides off), and grate the lemon peel off of all of the lemons into a small bowl. You can use either a lemon zesting tool or a small hand grater. Six lemons is a good amount of lemon to use for this recipe, but you may find that you want to use more or less lemons next time around to suit your tastes.
Next stir the peppercorns in with the lemon zest, mixing well. If you would like you can process the peppercorns in a food processor first, but it is not necessary.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the peppercorn and lemon mixture out evenly on the cookie sheet. Place in the oven on your oven's lowest setting until the lemon rind is completely dry, approximately 1 hour. Check it every 15 minutes or so and stir it around a little to make sure it is drying evenly.
Remove from oven and let cool. Place the lemon pepper in a food processor or spice grinder and process until mixture is very fine, like sand.
Now stir in the salt. If you are wanting to control the salt in your diet, as many people are, then you can either leave the salt out completely, or reduce the amount of salt to suit your taste. That is one of the great thing about making your own spice mixtures, you totally control what goes into it, and you KNOW what is in it.
Interesting fact: Did you know that the difference between lemon pepper and lemon pepper seasoning is the addition of salt? Lemon pepper seasoning contains salt, and lemon pepper does not. Either tastes great, the choice is up to you.
When the lemon pepper seasoning has reached the desired consistency, place it in an airtight container. This mixture can be stored at room temperature for several months.
You will find that this recipe makes quite a lot of lemon pepper seasoning. One small bottle of peppercorns, when mixed with the lemon and salt, will refill several spice containers. You can store any extra seasoning in a mason jar.
Not only is this homemade spice mixture all natural, but it tastes delicious too. Lemon pepper seasoning is especially great on chicken, but it is also good on pasta and seafood. Find out what you have been missing and try making your own lemon pepper seasoning today.
Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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