April 13, 2017
This week my tip is all about Spice Storage! Now that spring is in the air, many people take some time to do a little spring cleaning. How about looking in that pantry and evaluating what is in there? Spices tend to stay around for long periods of time. Often with months in between their use. Let's talk about how you know whether they are still useful or should be replaced. We use spices all the time while cooking, but are you sure that you have properly stored them so that they best enhance your dish? They are also quite an investment. You may have $100 worth sitting in your cabinet right now! Here are a few recommendations to keep your spices fresh. 1.) Herbs and spices should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place. 2.) It is best (but not mandatory) to store them in glass, air tight containers. This keeps their essential oils "in" the best. The oil is what is actually flavoring your dish. 3.) Keep them out of the refrigerator and freezer - once they start to come up to room temperature, condensation becomes an issue and moisture is an enemy! 4.) How long should you keep them? If you have kept them, remembering the first three tips, then... - Whole spices, dried herbs and dried flowers - 1 year possibly 2 if never opened (ex. whole nutmeg, parsley flakes, cloves, cinnamon sticks) - Seeds up to 3 years (ex. fennel seeds, mustard seeds) - Ground herbs and spices up to 1 year (cumin, coriander, chili powder) - Ground roots up to 2 years (ex. turmeric, ginger) Last tip - use your nose! The spices may last longer then mentioned above. The best way to tell is the smell. Shake the jar and then remove the lid. Is the aroma still potent? Is the color still vibrant? Then you are good to use it still!!