Are your spices dead or alive?
By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder
for PlanTea, Inc. and
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In the next day or so, I want you to go to your kitchen and open the spice cabinet. Okay, now while youre staring at the bottles, ask yourself, how long have those spices and herbs been sitting there?
Hmmm, can't remember?
While your spice cabinet might be harboring crusty, old spices and herbs, the good news is that dried herbs and spices never spoil, per se. The bad news is their flavor fades. The trick is to keep and use spices as long as they have flavor. Here are some tips to prolong the power of your seasonings.
Stored in airtight containers and in a dry place, spices retain their potency longer than youd think. As long as:
Generally, dried herbs lose their flavor faster than spices. To check, crumble some herbs in the palm of your hand. If they have no color, and little or no smell, theyre a waste of your cooking time. Toss them out, or sprinkle them the compost pile.
To test ground spices, shake the jar, let it settle and give a sniff. If theres essentially no smell, toss it. If the spices have SOME fragrance left, and less than you remember, simply use more in recipes.
The most important thing is to store herbs and spices well -- away from the heat of the stove and the humidity of the dishwasher, and nowhere bright and sunny. And when cooking, sprinkle the desired amount into a cup or spoon, not directly over the pot, which allows steam inside the bottle.
Here's to keeping spice in your life!
-- Marion Owen
Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!
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