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DIY Culinary Herb & Spice Blends: Forest Flavor Mix

devon 9 Comments

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DIY Culinary Herb & Spice Blends: Forest Flavor Mix

Devon 9 Comments

This blend of dried shitakes, nettle, mugwort, juniper berries, and garlic has forest flavor and tastes of all its dark, earthy, and rich goodness.  Next up for my DIY culinary herb and spice blends, in collaboration with Mountain Rose Herbs: Forest Flavor Mix,

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While writing my Culinary Herb & Spice Blends series, something gnawed at me a bit.  Each blend, however delicious, was just my interpretation of a beloved regional cuisine.  I added my own twist to each blend and I am proud of the posts that I have put out.  But this is the post that I have been looking most forward to.  You see, I like the forest – the smell of the damp earth, of the herbaceous and pungent greens, of the leaves, needles, and berries.  If I could, I would probably spend all of my time in the woods.  I am not even very picky about what type of forest that I am in.  And I want to capture this into a flavor.

A forest flavor that I can enjoy 365 days a year.

It is a simple blend really, this forest flavor mix.  Mugwort has notes of sage, rosemary, and citrus, while juniper berries are piney and peppery, both providing intriguing top notes and big flavor.  Nettle is rich, green, and a tiny bit bitter, and even offers a sense of salinity – making a harmonious heart to the blend. Dried shiitake powder is dark, earthy, even “meaty”- making it an extraordinary base for the forest flavor.  I added some granulated garlic for pungency, as a stand-in for wild alliums. The result is a really special and wonderful.

This forest flavor blend practically begs to be the flavor base of a wild mushroom soup or bisque.  I think it is equally home in a French petite lentil soup.  I like the blend smeared into butter and slathered on a roast chicken.  A few pinches into the eggs for a sautéed mushroom filled omelet is divine breakfast.  Combined with a bit of fresh goat cheese, it elevates the humble farm cheese to a chevre fit for the forest fairy queen herself.  Frankly, I love to just mix about a generous half teaspoon with a pinch of salt and a mugful of hot water for a deeply nourishing sipping broth (simmering with bone broth might make this even better).  This forest flavor mix is intriguing and earthy, speaks to my Pacific NW experiences.

Forest Flavor Herb and Spice Mix

Forest Flavor Mix: Herb & Spice Blend Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Forest Flavor Mix


  • 1 cup dried nettle leaf
  • 2 tablespoons dried mugwort
  • 2 tablespoon shiitake powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon whole juniper berries


  • Using a spice/coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, or a bullet style blender, blend the nettle, mugwort and juniper berries to a fine powder.  Mix thoroughly with granulated garlic and shiitake powder. Transfer to a tightly lidded jar and store out of direct sunlight.

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

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  • Rose Felton November 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Love to try this. I am also from the Pacific NW, but living in Arizona now. I really miss the mountains and forests. Like you I think this blend will help to take me back there. I just need to order a couple of the items so I can make it. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • Devon November 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      You’re welcome, Rose! I hope that you enjoy this blend and that it transports you back to our rainy PNW forests – metaphorically, speaking of course!

  • jamie November 18, 2017 at 12:42 am

    5 stars
    It’s great! I upped the garlic a bit as I am a vampire at heart…thank you so much for the recipe!!!

    Jamie, Ewe So Dirty Farm

    • Devon November 18, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      You’re welcome! Add as much garlic as you like!

      • Annie Dugan January 20, 2018 at 7:05 pm

        Thats too much garlic……said no one ever……ahhahahaha!

        • Devon January 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm

          Other people — pass the salt and pepper.
          Me — pass the garlic pres.

  • Annie Dugan January 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Mmmmm gonna try this…..I like starwest botanicals and was about to place an order… I will add to it…Thank you…..

    • Devon January 23, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you Annie — I hope you enjoy!

  • Richard Hatfield December 20, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    This looks to be very interesting. I want to incorporate this forest mix into Scandinavian
    recipes. I too love the woods !

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    About Me

    About Me

    Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

    I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



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