Review: Spices from Seasoned Pioneers *

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We were sent 8 pouches of spices from Seasoned Pioneers ranging from Carribean Curry Powder, Australian Murray River Salt, Sri Lankan Curry Blend, Cajun Spice Blend, Fajita Seasonings, Ras-El-Hanout, Tellicherry Whole Black Peppercorn and Harissa Paste Spice Mix.  We enjoyed using these spices to cook various dishes as you will see in the photos below. We were really impressed with the quality of these spices as we have bought other brands before and find that we always needed to add more flavour to the dish once its cooked but you don’t need to with Seasoned Pioneers spices as they are flavoursome and the spices taste more intense.   We found that the spice pouches are also fairly priced and have a good selection of organic and fair-trade spices which is really interesting and great if you want to be more ethical with your cooking.  Being avid cooks, we do tend to buy fairly reasonably priced every day spices, but in terms of the spice blends we are keen to see what other types they offer as we really would like to add a few more to our spice drawer, due to the fact that they flavour the dishes so well and are so distinctly different in taste. Do read on to see what dishes we have cooked up with some of these spices and if our post will inspire and encourage you to try to be more adventorous with your cooking.

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Cajun Spice Blend
For this spice we wanted to try out a dish we had never made before – which is Gumbo – a traditional creole dish from New Orleans where cajun spices are key to the dish. We didn’t have quite all the ingredients required so adapted slightly to what was in the cupboards and freezer.
Recipe – Add onions, celery and carrot to the pan and cook until softened. Next add about 1 tbsp of cajun spice mix over the top of 5 boneless chicken thighs and then add the chicken thighs to the onion mix and browned the meat. Then added some frozen green peppers, and cooked them through. I also added two cubes of chicken stock with the required amount of water. I then simmered this until the meat was cooked. Next the slurry was added (which is two tablespoons of flour with about 4 tablespoons of cold milk) and frozen broccoli, frozen edamame beans and a cube of frozen spinach. I then simmered this again for around 10 minutes, until cooked through and the broth had thickened – at the end add salt and pepper to taste. This was served with rice and the whole family enjoyed it.
Verdict: The spices were so flavoursome, and were really warming heat wise. You could add more if you like it super spicy but I wanted it to suit my 4, 6 and 8 year old. Its also unusual to find a spice mix that didn’t need extra flavours added.  Recipe has been adapted from here.

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Ras-Hal Spice mix 
 
We have never made anything with this spice mix before, so had a little look at the recipe on the back of the pack. It mentioned cooking down onions in a little butter and adding the meat to this – the recipe called for lamb however I wanted to use chicken. Therefore I laid the boneless chicken thighs in the tagine, then added 6 olives and around 2 tbsp of tomato puree, 2 tbsp of Ras-el Hanout, 1 chicken stock cube, next, cover the dish with just enough water to reach the top of the chicken. Cover with the tagine lid (if you don’t have a tagine a casserole dish is fine) and place it in the oven for three hours on 140 C.
After three hours, remove the dish from the oven and check that the chicken is cooked through. Next, tear up the chicken into pieces, and add around 200g of couscous (you need enough so that the liquid in the dish just covers the couscous) to the sauce that was surrounding the chicken and then put the lid on and waited for 10 minutes. While the couscous was fluffing up I got out my vegetable spiral and got out a carrot and some broccoli – I really hate to waste the broccoli stork and as I wanted something salad like to top the dish I cut the stork and used this in the spiral device, It made a coleslaw style salad that I dressed with 2 tbsp of oil with 1 tbsp of lemon juice and some salt and pepper and then open the tagine and gave the couscous a quick stir and then topped it with the veggie salad.
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The dish was really unusual and flavourful – the spice mix has rose, mace nutmeg and cinnamon amongst some of its ingredients which are all very strong spices. You can really taste the depth of flavour and the individual spices – so much so that my husband wasn’t too keen as he really dislikes cinnamon – I on the other hand loved it. It would be a great evening meal but could also be taken to eat cold at work the day after.

Verdict:  Having used these the other spices I knew that the quality is amazing and I find that you don’t need quite as much as it states as the flavour is so strong.

Australian Murray River Salt & Tellicherry Whole Black Peppercorn

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We decided to cook up Leek and Potato Soup using these spices, this is one of our most favourite soup which we make during the cold and wintery months, hence we would know if the salt and pepper tasted any different to what we normally use. Here is an easy recipe to follow. Chop up one onion and cook it down in a little olive oil and butter till it is softened, next add the about 3 leeks which have been sliced thinly. Give it a stir then add in about 3 medium sized potatoes which have been cubed. Give this a quick stir then add in enough stock (home made or using stock cube) to cover the vegetables. Let it simmer till vegetables have been cooked, season with salt and pepper. Remove some of the potatoes and leek and keep aside (as we like a little texture to our soup), whizz the rest using a hand blender then add the rest potatoes / leek which you have kept aside. Do add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk and more stock to dilute the soup. Serve.

Verdict: I totally loved using the salt and pepper as the flavours were more pronounced than normal. The salt came in chunky flakes hence I did not need much of it and this was also perfect for sprinkling and seasoning roasted vegetable, roast potatoes and our fish and chips.

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Sri Lankan Curry Blend

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We have always wanted to try cooking a Sri Lankan chicken curry hence this was the perfect opportunity to try making it as we have never had the right curry powder for it. Sri Lankan curry powder is slightly different compared to other curry powders and us being curry connoisseur, we had to try making this to see how it compared to the other curries which we avidly cook.  We have used about 500g of chicken drumsticks for this recipe. Marinate the chicken with salt and pepper for about half and hour to one hour. (The longer the better). Then heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions (1 medium) until its crispy. Next add curry leaves, cardamom pods and cloves and fry for a minute. Remove from heat and add 1 chopped tomatoes, chillies and 1/2 cup yoghurt and blend this until it turns into a paste.  Heat the earlier pan, add in cumin and some blended garlic ginger paste and fry for about 10 seconds. Stir in the chicken and then the roasted curry powder, chili powder till its coated.   Add in the blended paste, close it with a lid and cook until the meat is tender, feel free to add potatoes too. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice. We adapted the curry from here.

Verdict: The Sr Lankan Curry was delish but the spice flavours were very pronounced, I might have reduced my measurements of 1 tsp to less in the future, otherwise this was lovely and the dish went down well with the the whole family.

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Harisa Spice Mix 
 
This spice mix is super spicy – we actually added a little sprinkle into the vegetable soup, which gave it a really lovely warmth. You really don’t need a lot, simply sprinkle as much as you would of salt and pepper on your soup and its just enough. If you like it super spicy you could add a teaspoon to your soup whilst it cooks. Alternatively, this can also be added salsas to give it some heat or made into a paste with olive/vegetable oil and spread onto chicken or other meats. It is a really versatile spice.

Seasoned-Pioneers-Traditional-Spices-Food-Blogger-Buy-Online-Gift-Packs-info-facts

What you need to know?

  • Need some recipe inspiration? Don’t worry, just head to their website to check out their recipes and what new spices to try?
  • Each spice pouch contains at least 20 servings
  • No additives or preservatives in these spices
  • The pouches are air-tight, resealable, reflective pouches to ensure that all the oils are retained in their most flavoursome form.  The pouches are made from foil to deter harmful UV light.
  • Every major worldwide food cuisine is represented by Spice Pioneers
  • Spice blends are all handmade and dry-roasted
  • Seasoned Pioneers is endorsed by leading food writers
  • Looking for a Gift Item ? You can buy spice gift box and get them gift wrapped too

How much are the spices?

Each spice pouch  weighing 27g can cost anywhere from £1.50 to £3.95 each. Do visit their website here for full price details.

Can you tell me the difference between seasonings and spices?

Seasonings are specific parts of selected plants that give unrivalled flavour to your cooking. Seasonings that come from the leaves of a plant such as thyme, rosemary or coriander are known as herbs. Seasonings that are made from other parts of a plant such as seeds, berries, roots or bark are known as spices. There are still other seasonings that have generic names all of their own: chillies and peppercorns for example.

About Seasoned Pioneers

Seasoned Pioneers, founded in 1999, are regarded as an innovative company that rapidly gained recognition for being the experts in authentic and specialist seasonings. Highly commended by many leading food writers and chefs, the company was set-up by Mark Steene, whose interest in seasonings was first sparked during his worldwide travels.  He found that it was very difficult to buy the seasonings and blends that he had used while he was abroad. Having the finest flavours from authentic spices really does make a difference to cooking, whether you want to create a certain dish or if you’re just experimenting. Hence he wanted to share what he had learned, and hoped that by making these exciting authentic seasonings widely available that he would also offer inspiration to others.

 

You may also want to read this :Review: Concentrated Meat and Vegetable Stock from Essential Cuisine

 

* We were sent the spices for free in return for a review. All opinions are our own.

26 Comments

  1. May 28, 2018 / 8:21 am

    Oh wow, these look like a fab way of spicing up your meals

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 28, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Yes they certainly are Kara

  2. May 28, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    These look delicious, especially the Sri Lankan curry. I love trying new spices as we like trying world food whenever we can.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 28, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Thanks Nichola, Hope you can give these spices a try too

  3. May 28, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    These look fab and I think would really help me to experiment with a few recipes that I have seen, but where I don’t want to invest in massive jars of the individual spices if they will never be used again.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 28, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Yes totally agree Laura, these pouches are great to try then if you like it you can order more

  4. May 28, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    Oh wow, 20 servings is lot for the pouch. I will definitely be checking them out that’s for sure.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 28, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      Hope you do Anosa, yes so worth every penny

  5. Hannah
    May 29, 2018 / 10:56 am

    I love spicy food so think i would really enjoy trying these

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 29, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      So glad to hear that Hannah, they have other spices like salt and pepper too

  6. May 29, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Well I love spicy food so naturally I love the look of these spices from seasoned pioneers. Especially the harissa I bet it tastes delicious!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 30, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Yes it did Ana, we totally loved it

  7. May 29, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    These look fun to try out, I think they’d definitely spice up my cooking!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 30, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Yes they will as they are full of flavours Jenny

  8. May 30, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    As an Asian foodie, I love using spices in my cooking… These look delish!

    Oliver x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 30, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      So glad to hear that Oliver, hope you give some of the spices a try

  9. May 30, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    These sound absolutely fab! We love a good spice and it’s really hard to find quality ones unless you really shop around so I shall definitely be trying them x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 30, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      Hope you do Charli, there is so much to choose from on their website

  10. Bryanna Skye
    May 30, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    This sounds amazing! I love trying new spice blends with cooking

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 31, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Glad to hear that Bryanna, we know you would love this for sure

  11. May 31, 2018 / 6:59 am

    I love making my own blends from scratch but don’t always have the time! I’ll have to look into these, that Sri Lankan curry looks amazing!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 31, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you Miss Pond, we think you would love that, we have shared the recipe link so do give it a try

  12. May 31, 2018 / 5:49 pm

    It sounds like they have a really good range of spices. They are a great time saver for those that really don’t have the time to spend time grinding spices.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 31, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      Yes we think so too Melanie, its all ready made and of good quality too

  13. May 31, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    What a great range of spices, and those dishes look delicious! x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 31, 2018 / 8:48 pm

      Thanks Stephanie, so glad you loved our blog

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