Best way to Preserve Spices and Seasonings

Posted by Navita Verma on

How to keep things fresh…in the kitchen.

The right spices and seasonings make dishes delicious and palates sing. The difference between new spices and those that sit in your cupboard for years is evident in the smell and taste. If your spices are old, it might be best to replace them. Once you do, you’ll want to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Read on to learn the best way to preserve your spices and seasonings.

Should I store my spices in the freezer or fridge?

While freezing large batches of spices may help them keep longer (three years for whole or another 6 months for ground), it’s not ideal if you keep taking them out to use and then refreeze them. The frequent freezing-defrosting process can lead to lots of excess condensation causing spices to clump and spoil. Red spices such as chili powder and paprika may keep better in the fridge, but other spices are better kept at a consistent room temperature.

What is the best place to store my spices?

In a dark, dry cool place, like your cupboard or pantry.

What is the worst place to keep spices?

Any place with heat, moisture and light, like above your stove. Convenient though it may be, this prime spot will spoil your spices and seasonings much more quickly, as they are constantly exposed to heat and moisture from things boiling on the stove.

Here are some other tips to keep preserve spices and seasonings:

  • Use the right container to store spices, one that it tightly sealed and preferably made of glass to keep things fresh.
  • Keep a lid on it- always make sure the lid to your spices is tightly closed.
  • Keep them away from heat and moisture. Tip: Use a dry spoon to measure spices or measure them in your hands away from the stove. Shaking them over the steam of a dish that’s cooking will allow moisture into the spice container which can cause eek…mold over time.
  • Stay away from the light- Exposure to light, especially sunlight will break down spices quickly.
  • Use small batches of spices to ensure freshness instead of big value containers- big containers are made of plastic which can degrade the freshness and won’t likely be used before they lose their flavour.

How do I know when I should throw my spices out?

Heat, humidity, air, and sunlight all break down the oils that give spices their flavour and aroma. When these chemical compounds break down the flavours lose potency. In some spices, flavours, and aromas can become rancid, moldy, musty, or dirty at which point the spices should be thrown away. If your spices don’t have their spicy fragrance anymore or worse smell like mold, they should be thrown away.

How long will my spices keep?

Here is a general guideline for how long your spices will last if stored properly:

  • Dried herbs- up to a year
  • Ground spices- will keep for 1 year
  • Whole spices- will keep for 3 years.
  • Salts- indefinitely.

That’s it! Keep life spicy and keep those delicious flavour packed herbs and spices away from heat, moisture and light to preserve them for as long as possible. Shop Navita spices for smaller batches that retain that you can use before they lose their fresh taste.

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