Social media star Tabitha Brown is all about spreading positivity and love through her food, and one of the things she uses to keep her recipes fun and flavorful for her fans is her signature Sunshine seasoning. Per a press release provided to The Root, after an extremely successful online launch last year, where it sold out in 39 minutes, Brown has partnered with McCormick to bring Sunshine Seasoning to grocery stores.
“McCormick® Sunshine Seasoning by Tabitha Brown includes traditional Caribbean spices and herbs, allspice, thyme, turmeric, cayenne pepper, mango, and pineapple.” Ahead of the product’s June launch, Brown spoke with The Root about her inspiration for the seasoning, her favorite ways to use it and transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Like so many people, Ms. Tab was looking for a way to stay positive during the pandemic, and Sunshine Seasoning was born out of wanting to give her fans an escape.
“Sunshine started being developed during the height of the pandemic, and the inspiration was to make people feel like they were going on vacation. Just something that was fun, that was bright, that gave you a tropical vibe in the kitchen,” she said. “Also I love to cook and my fans absolutely love the way I season my food. I’m really big on salt-free, but still having tons of flavor.”
With its notes of allspice, thyme, mango and pineapple, it’s the kind of spice you can use in both sweet and savory recipes–though Brown’s fans have already discovered a much more exciting use for it.
“You can use it in so many different things, even drinks. People have been making Sunshine margaritas and putting it on the rim,” she said. “Some people have even baked with it. You can do so many different things. It’s all-purpose, just adding a nice flavor to it.”
Of course, any talk about spices had to turn to our favorites. Any cook will tell you they have a spice they use in everything. No matter what they’re making, it will always find its way into their recipe. For me, it’s nutmeg. Don’t hate, it’s extremely versatile. For Tabitha, it’s one that you should definitely have in your spice cabinet at all times.
“Garlic powder, I love garlic! Because I don’t use salt a lot, garlic powder is something that will give you the taste of, ‘Oh, I think I might have some salt in it,’ even though it’s not,” Brown said. “It heightens the flavor and brings all the other things together. I have to have it.”
She’s not wrong. Garlic powder is a must-have. However, the Tab Time host also has advice on the best way to use it in your cooking.
“Layer as you go. Another reason I don’t really cook with salt is you can’t over-salt your food if you’re cooking without it,” she said. “Flavor it as you go. My granny always said, ‘Salt and pepper is on the dinner table for a reason.’ You add that after you taste your food and then say ‘OK, now I can use some salt.’ If you cook it with just herbs and spices and your seasoning, you can add as much flavor as you want and not destroy your meal.”
Brown is famous for her vegan recipes and how creative she gets with meat alternatives. Her suggestion for someone looking to move into a plant-based diet is to figure out how to make your favorite dish with plant-based ingredients.
“I love spaghetti, I love lasagna and tacos. I said let me figure out how to make these vegan, so I don’t feel like I’m missing something, more so that you’re trying something new,” Brown said. “That’s the best way to start. You have so many different alternatives for meat replacements when you’re starting. You also can discover real whole foods like your mushrooms, nuts and beans that are magical. They turn into meat right before your eyes.”
McCormick® Sunshine Seasoning by Tabitha Brown is set to hit stores in June, so start organizing your recipes now.