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Herbs and Spices :: How Long Should You Keep Herbs and Spices

Updated on August 31, 2012

Spice up your food video - Spices

What Are Herbs and Spices

People from all over the world have been using herbs and spices for many centruries now. it is as old as cooking. Generally herbs and spices gives aroma and flavor to foods which make them more palatable and have that taste which we are craving and wanting to eat more of it. In fact herbs and spices adds life to your food.

What is the difference between herbs and spices?

Herbs are leaves of plant -- low-growing shrubs. Some of the known examples of herbs are : chives, parsley, celery leaves, caraway, basil, marjoram, thyme, dill, oregano, savory rosemary, sage and celery leaves. There are hundreds more which isused in different parts of the world. It is either fresh or dried, if it is dried, then you can pulverized it into powder.

Spices -- those that comes form the bark, buds, seeds of trees. Examples are : cinnamon, ginger, onion, garlic (from the roots), cloves and saffron (from the buds), yellow mustard, sesame, poppy (from the seeds), black pepper (from the berry), allspice, paprika, (from the

Seasoning mix -- mixtures of spices and herbs

Uses of Herbs and Spices for Cooking

  • It gives aroma (good smell) to food
  • It gives flavor to food
  • it gives distinct taste to the food
  • It is also used for preservative
  • You can reduce and/or eliminate sugar to food by using allspice, anise,ginger,cardamon,mace, and nutmeg

  • When you cooked pasta you can put oregano, basil, pepper and parsley to reduce the salt

Herbs and Spices: When to Add Herbs and Spices

In general, herbs and spices can be add to your cooking when it is nearly done specially red chili pepper when you use the fresh red chili pepper. Flavor is lost if you add it long before it is cooked. Put it in the food before cooking The less delicate fresh herbs, like the "dill seeds, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme, can be added about the last 20 minutes of cooking".


How to Store Herbs and Spices :: Storage for Herbs and Spices

  1. Store in well tight covered containers.
  2. Store in dark rooms away form sunlight inside the pantry
  3. Avoid storing it beside a cooker and near the sink
  4. Aboid storing it in wet places
  5. Use always a spoon when getting spices and herbs specially those powdered

How Long Should You Keep Herbs and Spices

Here are some guidelines to help you determine when it is time to throw your spices and herbs:

  1. As a general rule, keep One year for herbs or powdered spices and Two years for spices that are whole
  2. Transfer it to smaller container and determine how long will you consume the herbs and spices
  3. The smell tells a lot if it is still fresh or strong
  4. You can check the clover, garlic onion and know immediately if it still good by crushing it

Herbs and Spices : Amounts To Add

  • Essentially, if you are making your own recipe then it is done by slowly adding herbs and spices, use a small spoon to it. "The amount to add varies with the type of herb or spice and recipe plus the choice of the person who is cooking -- his/her taste.
  • According to a well known site for herbs ad spices :
  • Remember to use more if you are using fresh into the ground spices or herbs
  • For red chili pepper it is best to add it after cooking, or slightly minute after the cooking is done
  • If you are doubling your recipe don't double the amount of herbs ad spices, taste it first


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