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Are you committing a major blunder when it comes to your dried herbs and spices?

Herbs and spices play a crucial role in enhancing the flavors of dishes, adding depth to each layer of taste. Whether it’s the sweetness or the savory notes, we rely on essential ingredients like cinnamon, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and many others to elevate our culinary creations.

However, how many of us are guilty of neglecting our aromatic treasures or underutilizing them? And how often do we waste money on jars that end up being discarded because the contents have become unusable?

The other day, these thoughts crossed my mind as I struggled to extract the remaining powdered ginger from my new container. Determined not to let it clump together, harden, and get stuck like my previous ones, I had an epiphany. It dawned on me that by shaking jars directly over hot pots and pans, I was unintentionally affecting the quality of what was inside.

 

WHY SHAKING SPICE JARS DIRECTLY OVER POTS AND PANS ISN’T A GOOD IDEA.

Spices are delicate beings, easily influenced by their surroundings. That’s why we store them in cabinets and drawers, only exposing them briefly to daylight. Heat, moisture, air, and light can all compromise their quality and potency. This is why shaking spice jars over hot food can be problematic. By doing so, we introduce the very elements that speed up their deterioration. Steam contains moisture, which can cause dried herbs and spices to clump together and lose their freshness (potentially even becoming a breeding ground for bacteria). As a result, this impacts the flavor of our dishes and the lifespan of our valuable spice collection.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this issue – We must constantly remind ourselves. Utilize spoons, small bowls, or even the palm of your hand to measure the herbs and spices before adding them to hot dishes. Not only will this prevent excess moisture and heat from affecting your granulated garlic, but it will also enable better control over the quantity.

Use airtight containers to store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Labeling your bottles with purchase dates may be helpful to ensure you can easily track their freshness. Under these conditions, spices typically maintain their quality for up to six months.

Implementing this small change in habit can have a significant impact. While it may seem harmless to sprinkle spice jars directly over steaming pots and pans, avoiding this will result in more fragrant and flavorful additions that will last longer. Your spice collection will undoubtedly appreciate it.

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