The spice mixture contains few herbs: mostly salt and sugar.

The spice mixture contains few herbs: mostly salt and sugar.

This concerns, for example, the Aldi ground beef mixture: it consists of three quarters of salt. Two thirds of the MAGGI beef stew mixture is breadcrumbs. Calvé salad mix also fails the test: It contains mainly sugar and only 12 percent herbs. According to the Consumers Association, this is not only misleading, but also unhealthy.

Salt with a little spice

The Consumers Association advocates for stricter rules that restrict misleading packaging and the addition of large amounts of salt. “We want it to be legally proven that the main ingredient is on the packaging,” Babs van der Stack of the Consumers’ Association told EditieNL. “Of course they wouldn’t put salt with a little spice in there.”

Television chef Sandra Esperandi thinks it’s time for a change. She advocates adding less salt to our food and will confirm that message as an ambassador for the Kidney Foundation starting next year. “Eating salt is not only bad for you, but it’s also very unnecessary,” she told EditieNL.

According to Sandra, it’s very easy to flavor your food without salt. “There are all kinds of things you can use, like lemons, limes, certain types of soy sauce. You can also use mustard. You can easily make this yourself.”

She also has advice for those using loose herbs at home: “Don’t get too large at one time. You can’t store most of them for longer than a year. Then you’ll lose flavor.”


Try it yourself? Below you will find Sandra’s recipe for pita bread with celery shawarma with homemade shawarma spice mix.

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Ingredients for four people:

  • 4 whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 celery
  • 1.5 tablespoons of shawarma herbs
  • 0.5 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 red onion
  • 250 gr greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • pepper and salt
  • Splash of extra virgin olive oil

Shawarma Seasoning Ingredients:

You can make this spice mixture yourself. You will then lose unwanted additives such as aromas, flavors or preservatives. If you buy a ready-made spice mix, choose a good quality.

  • 1 thyl. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 3 teaspoons. paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt


If you prepare shawarma herbs yourself, mix the spices. You now have a stock of Shawarma spices.

Peel and grate the celery. Put the grated celery in a bowl and pour a good amount of olive oil and shawarma herbs over it. Mix well.

Make herb yogurt by mixing Greek yogurt with finely chopped parsley (reserve a little for garnish), finely grated garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Cut the red onion into thin rings and the iceberg lettuce into thin slices. Finely chop the parsley.

Fry celery over medium heat until golden brown and fully cooked. Do this in portions if necessary, otherwise the celery will stew instead of frying. Taste if the celery has enough flavor.

Heat the pita bread as directed on the package. Cut the cakes in half so that you get an envelope. Distribute inside the cakes with yoghurt. Put some iceberg lettuce. Spoon the celery mixture into the muffins. Pour more herbal yoghurt on top and garnish with onion rings and parsley.

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