How do you store your spices??

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One of the hardest things I find, when I’m working in the kitchen, is throwing away perfectly good food.

Spices that have been hanging around for too long are one of those things.

And, I know you are out there…”spice hoarders” that buy huge bags of paprika because it was on sale.  But what good is that huge bag if you only use a few spoonfuls of it over the course of a year?

As most of you know, the shelf life for most dried spices is around 6-8 months. I will say a few things about that:
1.  After 6-8 months, they don’t go bad…they just lose their potency/flavour.
2.  Often, releasing their essential oils is enough to bring back some of their flavours (just toss them in a dry skillet and heat them up, all while shaking the pan because it can burn quickly);  they are ready to use when you begin to smell the spice.
3.  If you don’t have time to do the skillet trick, just add a bit more – but it won’t be the same as using dried spices that are fresh/new.
4.  Who’s kidding who….how many of you are willing to throw away a whole bag of ground cinnamon that you bought last year?  Come on, really?

(btw, later I will post a great idea of what to do with that extra cinnamon)


So, to solve this problem (which actually isn’t to extend the shelf life of the spice but rather to stop you from buying them in mass quantities), I bought these cute snap top jars at the dollar store.  I used a label machine to make labels and they are so easy to store (and see) when you are in the kitchen…
And they are cute like heck!

If you use a lot of a particular spice, use a larger container to store it in and go ahead and buy that bag on sale.  But often times, you only use a tiny bit of Spanish saffron (which by the way, is crazy expensive so you wouldn’t want to be throwing that away!).
Start thinking about buying these spices in bulk where you can buy only a few spoonfuls at a time (and another trick…if you buy in bulk from a reputable source, you often get a fresher product because they turnover product faster than those bags sitting on a grocery store shelf).