Organizing & Storing Spices

Organizing & Storing Spices

If you’re like me, your spice cabinet can become a mess. The spices you use most often are up front, while spices you didn’t even know you have been hiding in the back. Some spices have probably been sitting there for years.

Well, it’s time to tidy up. These tips on how to organize, and how best to store herbs and spices for maximum freshness, will make a big impact on your next meal.

Most of us have a variety of dried herbs (like basil, and oregano) ground spices (like cinnamon, paprika, turmeric) sitting in containers in our cabinets so for that reason it’s important to take inventory of what you have, and toss out what no longer has flavor. Dried herbs and spices don’t necessarily “spoil” but they will lose flavor over time. To keep their flavor as long as possible, store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sun light, not over the stove, since heat raises, they will turn bland more quickly.

Generally, ground spices will last 1-2 years, dried herbs will last up to 3 years while whole spices can retain their flavor 4-5 years. Before you throw anything away smell it first, because your nose knows. Fresh spices will be very fragrant, while older ones won’t have much scent. The older the spice the less flavor it’s going to add to your dish. You can bring back aging spices by heating them up a little. Warm your skillet over medium heat, toss in the amount you need and toast the spice for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spice gives off its signature aroma. Ground spices like cumin, cinnamon and cloves are the easiest to revive, just be sure not to burn, otherwise they will leave a bitter taste to your dish.

I organizing my spices, in clear air tight containers, facing out, keeping them all visible making easier to see. I placed my dried herbs on the left and ground spices on the right. I use to shove them in the cabinets in no particular way therefor I was always buying more then I needed and getting frustrated when cooking. You can also alphabetize, arrange by color or by use. An organized spice cabinet will help you enjoy cooking more, and save you time and money.




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