Although spices do not spoil in the strict sense of the word, they do lose their potency and flavour over a period of time. It is quite obvious that a dish prepared with fresh spices and herbs has its own unique taste. Using natural herbs and spices that are not past their prime is the best way to cook a flavourful recipe.
Considering the fact that herbs and spices must retain their freshness till the time they are consumed, let us understand a little about the use and storage of natural herbs and spices.
• As a rule, whole spices like pepper, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, etc. last longer than their powdered form. In fact, they will remain fresh for up to three years if they are stored properly. The same spices when powdered will last up to a maximum of one year.
• Sealed jars of natural herbs and spices have a “use by” date printed on the container. Your container of spice will retain the freshness till then provided you handle it carefully.
• No shaking out the spices over an open pot while cooking a recipe. The steam from the cooking pot will introduce moisture into the spice container causing deterioration.
• Avoid storing your herbs and spice jars right above the stove. Keep them away from light and heat and they will keep fresh for a good while. A closed cupboard or a drawer is a good storage space for herbs and spices.
• One way to extend the life of your spices and herbs is to store them in the freezer section of the refrigerator. Though, be mindful to put the container back immediately after use without letting the condensation form inside.
• A good practice is to store large quantities of herbs or Organic Spices in airtight containers while keeping aside a smaller quantity in a handy jar for your daily cooking. This way you don't throw away the last bit which has caked over or lost flavour.
• To remove the spices or herbs from the container, make sure that you use a dry spoon. Even slight dampness will cause the spices to lose freshness.
You don't need to be a gourmet chef but the use of natural herbs and spices in your everyday cooking presents endless opportunities to be creative. Spice up your tea with a pinch of cardamom powder or add a small piece of crushed fresh ginger root while brewing. Not only will your tea be more flavourful but it will boost your immunity to coughs and colds.
A seasoning with spices will perk up that bland salad or a garnish of herbs such as cilantro or rosemary will take the status of your meat dish from just ordinary to the exotic. When it comes to the use of natural herbs and spices, don't limit your imagination. Try out new recipes using Kitchen Spices combinations and discover which of them you most enjoy.
I love cooking and experimenting with dishes from a variety of places. I believe herbs and spices can make such a big difference to a simple dish. The idea behind developing the website is to share some secret combinations of different herbs and spices with the readers.