Full of warm spices and hot peppers, this Low FODMAP Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend will add a taste of the Caribbean to your home kitchen.
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Nothing is as quintessential to Caribbean cuisine as jerk seasoning. This blend of spices is complex, and can be used beautifully on everything from meat to seafood. While the exact proportions of each particular blend can vary, all rely on two primary items – allspice and hot peppers. Other ingredients can include salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, brown sugar, ginger, scallions, and garlic in various amounts.
Since I started the Low FODMAP Diet, I’ve had to develop a lot of my own recipes to replicate flavors from foods I can no longer have, like garlic and other alliums. For proprietary reasons, it’s common for many store-bought spice mixes to only have a limited or incomplete list of what they contain, making it almost impossible for someone with food sensitivities to know what is safe and what isn’t. This Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend is FODMAP friendly, containing no garlic and onion, and a delicious seasoning for any dish that might call for a little Caribbean flair. Make up a large batch for whenever you need some sweet and spicy flavor!
Basic Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend
The term “jerk” (when used in cooking) has a convoluted etymology, but stems from the same word that eventually became jerky – i.e., dried or cured meat. Jerk spice blends are a staple in Caribbean cooking, believed to have originated in Africa prior to their adaptation in Caribbean and West Indian communities.
Traditional jerk seasoning contains a famously hot indigenous Caribbean capsicum, the Scotch Bonnet Pepper. Because dried Scotch Bonnets are a specialty ingredient that can be hard to find in most supermarkets, I’ve substituted more commonly found red pepper flakes to add spicy heat in this Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend. I’ve also chosen to exclude brown sugar from the blend itself in an effort to extend its shelf life, but feel free to add brown sugar to any meat you plan to use the blend with for that right amount of sweetness and caramelization that Caribbean spiced meats are known for.
Baked Jerk Salmon with Brown Sugar
Jerk seasoning is incredibly versatile, and can be used on a wide variety of proteins and ingredients. Jerk chicken is probably what you’ve most commonly heard of, but the flavors go beautifully with all sorts of fish as well.
Salmon is one of my all-time favorite types of fish to cook because it’s full of flavor and easy to oven roast or pan fry. It’s also full of Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants. For a simple but flavorful weeknight dinner, whip up a side of rice and slather a big slab of salmon with brown sugar, salt, and this Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend, described in the below recipe notes. You’ll thank me later.
A Taste of the Caribbean
If you love Caribbean cuisine as much as I do, I’ve got you covered.
This Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend would be perfect in my recipe for Oven Baked Ribs in Sweet Rum Molasses Glaze or in this super simple Jerk Chicken Sheet Pan Recipe with apples and onions from The Gingered Whisk.
For more of this style of cooking, I put up a series of Caribbean-inspired recipes for hosting your own fete at home, including a luscious Mocha Rum Bread Pudding and a very popular Coconut & Pineapple Fried Rice. I also highly recommend the cookbook Caribbean Potluck by Suzanne & Michelle Rousseau.
Low FODMAP Jerk Seasoning Spice Blend
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Combine the seasoning in a clean jar. Shake until well mixed. Store in a cool, dry place.