Keeping Spices Fresh

Some spices store better than others, but fresh spices are always best. Storing your herbs and spices properly is the best way to keep them fresh, especially with expensive spices like vanilla bean and saffron. This is a page about keeping spices fresh.


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I'm lucky in that I have a wonderful herb garden and a food dehydrator. I have noticed in the past that some herbs do not retain their crispness or taste in humid weather over time, plus some store-bought spices (like onion powder or garlic powder) clump together, humidity or not! Several of the medications that I take come with those little packets of silica gel. When I'm finished with that medication, I save those packets and put them in with my herbs and spices to help keep them fresh and dry.

Another bonus for these little packets: my husband uses them in his tool box drawers to keep the rust away!

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I use many herbs and spices in my cooking, and these can be quite expensive. For years, I have kept small containers easily at hand in my spice cupboard, away from heat and light. But I have also kept larger amounts in a shelf in my freezer, which will keep them fresh for years. A friend brought me herbs from France, which are six years old now, and still as fresh as the day I got them.


Just refill the small containers from the large ones in the freezer. Be sure to get extras if something you use goes on sale, knowing that they will stay fresh as long as you keep them in the freezer.

By Frances from Boston, MA

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Most fresh herbs are just like rooting plants, they need water. And if you want to you can take a 2 liter bottle cut in half and turn the bottle neck down into the bottom of the bottom half to make it look like a funnel in the bottle. Use some tape if you need to to keep the funnel upright.

Then place water into the bottom part. Next place the fresh herbs into the neck. You now have a herb storage container. If you find your refrigerator is dry, a plastic bag over the herbs helps too. I used this page to help with other herb storage ideas.



By Teresa from Springfield, OR

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May 10, 2005

To freshen your pepper add a few peppercorns to the pepper shaker!

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