Kitchen tip: Storing and dating spices for freshness

Tips for storing and dating spices for freshness

Nothing can kill a good recipe faster than a lack of spice.

Even kitchen staples such as dried herbs and spices have an expiration date and can lose their potency over time. Properly stored, spices can last a year or two at most, with whole spices generally lasting longer than ground. Store your spices in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and keep them tightly sealed.

Whenever I open a new spice jar, I date the back so I can keep tabs on how long it's been open. Once a year, I'll rummage through the collection and check on them. Spices that still have some potency should have their original color, with a vibrant smell and fresh taste. Old or expired spices often lose their color, becoming dull, and have very little, if any, smell or flavor.

Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, such as how to hold a chef’s knife for maximum control to using a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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