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Herbs and spices are used in fairly small quantities in making food. Due to this reason, people tend to store herbs and spices for a longer period of time. The basic concern regarding herbs and spices is to retain their taste and freshness. Special care and methods are used for this purpose. At times herbs and spices are stored differently because of the slight difference in their nature.

Tips to store herbs and spices

What are herbs and spices?

Distinguishing them at the most basic level gives us the information that herbs are generally the original plants and their leaves whereas spices are the dried seeds or fruits being used.

Tips for storing Herbs & Spices

  1. Always store the herbs and spices in air tight containers. This will keep them safe from moisture and dirt.
  2. Keep the containers in a dark and dry place. Always avoid contact with light and fluids.
  3. Do not store larger quantities in the same container. Divide them in several portions. This technique would help in retaining a consistent flavor.
  4. The best way to store herbs and spices is by putting them in a glass or metal container and sealing them properly.
  5. Herbs and spices can also be stored in woolen cloth bags. However again it must be noted that they should be in small quantities and in a dry place to avoid any contact with moisture.
  6. It is also suggested not to open the containers again and again rather put the required quantity to be used on daily basis in small jars.
  7. Do not store every spice or herb in the refrigerator. Although it is considered a good technique but always check a small quantity for its resistance in the refrigerator first.
  8. While storing any herb or spice, do not wash it before storing. Wash if required, at the time of using.
  9. If a fresh herb is needed to be stored for a week’s time, put the stem of the herb in a small jar with little water. This would keep the herb fresh until it is ready for use.
  10. It is preferred to store the spices and herbs in their whole form and grind them when they are required to be used.
  11. Cloves and rice are also used in the storage of some particular spices or herbs. Some cloves can be used or some rice can be spread all over the stored material.
  12. Drying spices and herbs before storing is also a good exercise. Some spices are dried and grounded before storing.
  13. Most herbs and spices when stored properly will retain their flavor for 6 months to up to a year.
  14. Whole spices stored properly can be used for up to 3 to 5 years in most cases.
  15. Never store dry herbs near humid sources like sinks, coffee makers, counter tops where you work with fluids etc. Also, store them away away from heat sources, such as stoves, microwaves, kettles etc.
  16. Herbs are often used for the treatment of different ailments. In such cases, mixture of herbs is formed. But special care must be taken while storing them. It would be appropriate to ask the experts about the expiry details of such mixtures and should be stored accordingly.

Use these tips for storing herbs and spices to get full advantage of their flavour.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] Use fresh spices – We usually buy grounded spices and use them for a long time. During this time most of the spices lose there prime quality. It is better that one should buy whole spices than ground spices. There are two reasons behind it. First of all whole spices are cheaper in cost as compared to ground spices and secondly when ever you will grind whole spices, you will have fresh spices, which you must use within six months. Never use very old spices or any spice about which you feel has lost its prime quality. Also follow our tips on buying and storing herbs and spices. [...]

    Pingback by Top 10 mistakes to avoid while cooking in the kitchen « Cook It All — July 22, 2010 @ 5:56 am

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