How to Know if Spices are Fresh

How do I know if my spices are fresh?

When we add spices to recipes, we want to improve the taste of what we are making, so the fresher the spice, the better the flavour. Odds are then that the spices at the back of the cupboard or drawer are outdated and should be replaced.  


Shelf Life: 

Store spices in a cool dry place away from moisture, and for best quality, use the following guideline: 

Whole spices - will last up to 3 years. 

Ground spices - will last 1 to 2 years.  

Dried herbs - will last up to 2 years. 

Ground spice and dried herbs have a shorter shelf life than whole spices due to the size of their surface area. The larger the surface area, the more exposure to outside elements, such as light, air and moisture, which cause a rapid loss of aromatic compounds and flavour.  


How to Manage Your Spices: 
  • When you buy new spices, make sure you write a date on the container so you know when you bought it. 
  • Before buying anything, think of what you could realistically use within a year or two. Buying large amounts is tempting when the price is lower but if you only need a small amount, consider sharing the amount with family and friends or buy smaller amounts from the bulk section of the grocery store. 
  • Purge yearly. Go through your spice cupboard in January or February every year, take stock of what you have, and throw out anything that has been hanging around too long. 
  • If any of your spices get wet, do not use them. If they have clumped, gone hard, or otherwise changed due to moisture, throw them out as moisture can cause bacteria and mold to grow. 
  • To keep your spices fresh, keep them in a cupboard away from heat or light. Do not keep them next to the stove or in clear jars on the counter. 

Here are some ways to use up your spices

  • Easy
    Gingerbread Spice Mix
  • Easy
    Souvlaki Seasoning Mix
  • Easy
    Our Signature Steak Spice