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Spring Clean Your Spices

Posted by on April 19th, 2012

It’s easy to know when the foods in your refrigerator have gone bad, but how often do you refresh your spice cabinet? Even though spices seems to last forever, most spices lose flavor over a period of time.

Start by emptying out your spice cabinet. You’ll probably be surprised to find a few duplicates in there, but most of us have at least one or two spices that we like so much we’ve bought new containers before the old ones are empty. Organize your spices alphabetically, so that it’s easier to keep track of what you have.

Now check the color and consistency of the spices. Fresh spices have a strong smell and vibrant color, so if your oregano barely smells, or your paprika is a dusty color, it’s time for them to go. Older spices can be clumped together, or even smell musty, and those need to go as well.

What if you have two of the same spice, and both are fine? It’s totally fine to mix as long as both spices are good. Keep extra jars for later use.

Now it’s time to do some planning. Were there spices that you barely used, or others that you use so often you have a few jars of them? What about spices that you don’t have, but often need for certain recipes?

The best way to avoid spice waste is to buy spices in bulk. A lot of stores have bulk spices, and then you can buy a smaller amount of spices that you don’t use as much. Bulk spices are often less expensive, and it’s a great way to reduce waste.

Time to spice up your kitchen with a nice, clean spice cabinet.

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