Nothing lasts forever…including those half-filled bottles of herbs and spices on our spice racks! Most herbs and spices lose their flavorful punch if we keep them past their peak of freshness, so now's the perfect time to take stock of them. Here are some freshness facts and tips for bottled herbs and spices:
- Bottled dry spices should really be replaced at least every 2 years since, over time, as air gets to them when they're open, they lose their full tasty benefits. If you've transferred them to decorative spice bottles that may have come with your spice rack, attach a label to the bottom of the jar so you know the expiration date of the spice.
- Another freshness indicator is that most spices have a bright, rich color and a strong aroma when we open the bottle. If either seems weak, it's time to replace it.
- Keeping herbs and spices in a cabinet, away from heat and light rather than on top of or near the stove, can also add to their life. Though it seems convenient to have them near the stove, that's actually one of the worst places, since heat can make them lose their potency and freshness even quicker.
- You don't have to break the bank by buying a whole load of spices at one time. Instead, make a habit of picking up one new herb or spice each time you go to the market, and always in a small container. That way, you can help keep them fresh.
To spice things up at your table in the new year, get some new spices for seasoning your food. All season and all year long, you're sure to have a more flavorful...