Herbs, spices, and food seasonings are some of your best friends and allies in cooking. They bring their inherent flavors to all your recipes, be they sweet, sour, salty, or earthy! These tips will keep them fresh, so you’re always cooking at your best!
Whole spices like nutmeg last long and retain their flavors longer than ground varieties. If you end up with excess spice, use it as an ingredient in an herb or spice blend, grind it and use it for cooking or baking.
Resist buying giant quantities of spices at a big box store; they’ll go stale before you use them all. That said, some spices and herbs will keep for a long time. Whole spices can last four years, while the ground version of ones like mustard can last for two to three years and contribute to hundreds of tasty homemade salad dressings. Herbs last anywhere from one to three years, depending on the herb.
When you use up a bottle, replace the lids immediately so that air doesn’t get in and spoil the flavor you want from highly aromatic spices such as fennel seeds.
Anyone who has ever used a measuring spoon knows that it doesn’t take much liquid from a spice bottle to mess up your recipe. Moisture from an aromatic spice like cinnamon can even ruin the flavor of a recipe. Ensure your measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip it into the bottle.
It’s a cardinal sin in the spice world to sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot without measuring. Steam or smoke can sneak into the spice bottle and dry out the contents faster than you can say, “Where did all my spices go?” Even ground spices like allspice sometimes get hard and caked in their bottles. It turns out that steam is partly to blame for this.
Keep whole spices like bay leaves away from your stove and uncovers them in a cool, dark place to retain their flavors. If you make spice blends in bulk, store them in airtight containers or freeze them to keep the flavors intense. Food seasonings won’t go bad, but their flavor does lose its strength over time. A clove that has grown weak will not deliver the taste it should.
Red pepper family members such as paprika and chili powder are colorful and keep their flavor better when stored in the refrigerator.
Always use fresh, strong seasonings if you don’t want your food to taste bland or weak. While you don’t need special testing tools for spice freshness, using your senses is essential to determine precisely how spiced-up your food should be. If the color of the food seasonings has faded or if a particular herb lacks its usual zing, it’s probably time to replace it.
A regular coffee grinder can also grind whole seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Fresh-ground spices are incredibly flavorful.
Food seasonings add color and dimensions to an otherwise bland meal. Thus, it’s essential to keep their flavor and potency intact. These tips should do the trick so your next meal will excite palettes, delight stomachs, and smile on your guests’ faces!
Get your spices from us here at Castle Foods! We import, process, and purvey various food seasonings fit for any meal. Check out our Amazon store today!