Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Spice up your Spice Cabinet

How many of you have cooked an amazing meal and decided to be a little experimental in adding some of the herbs you've had in your spice cabinet and realized that the meal really never hit your 5 star rating that you were hoping for.  Well, it's probably not your cooking skills.  In fact it could be that bottle of magic you added for flavor.  I don't know if many of you know but your herbs and spices in the kitchen have an expiration date.  Did you know that spices stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place, spices retain their potency longer than you'd think — as long as 4 years for whole spices, 2 to 3 years for ground spices, and 1 to 3 years for leafy herbs, depending on the herb.  I know in the past I have had some spices in my cabinet for double the time it should be kept.  We have made it a tradition in our family now to write the month and year on the label to help remind us how fresh they really are.  This little tip not only helps keep your herbs organized but it can make a huge difference in how your food tastes.  If it has been a long time go into your cabinet and chuck all those old bottle of herbs and spice up your food with new herbs and spices!

Another important tip while cooking with herbs and spices is never pour your herbs and spices over boiling water, or hot steam.  A few reasons for that:
1. When you sprinkle the herbs into your pan the steam will seep into the bottle damaging the consistency, the flavor, and the freshness of the herb or spice.
2. The moisture that is now captured in the bottle is a perfect place for bacteria to grow causing possible mold or illness.

If you have any other tips you would like to share please make a comment.  Follow the blog for future topics that we will feature as well as check out our youtube channel howtogirlieo

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