How to Store Spices to Keep Them Fresher, Longer

Tess Patrick TESS PATRICK

Any decent cook will tell you that spices are the secret to success. Many herbal practitioners and Ayurvedic experts will tell you the same. Sure, they have different goals in mind - it’s a battle of taste and health - but spices are where the two come together.

The Food Matters office has quite possibly one of the most impressive spice collections I’ve ever seen. Sure, developing delicious recipes is a large part of what we do, but beyond taste - we love spices for their health-promoting benefits (in fact, you can read about just how incredible they are here). The catch is, a lot of these incredible compounds can be easily destroyed - and a large part of that depends on how we keep them. If you haven’t discovered how to store spices for longevity, then this is the best place to start.

Invest in Good Spice Storage

First things first, good spice storage looks great. There’s nothing quite like a beautifully stacked set of jars, or a uniform drawer to keep them organized - it’s the hallmark of an amazing kitchen. But investing in good spice storage also protects the spices from going rancid, or losing the incredible health properties they offer. There are great storage options available on Amazon, or even jars from your bulk buy store, that are specifically designed to keep them protected against the elements.

Keep Them Dark & Dry

Spices, when not kept with care, can be susceptible to getting wet, humid, or even bleaching in the sun. These are all environments that can damage the unique properties of each spice, and while they may not always impact flavor (unless they start to spore mold), they will impact the bioavailability of nutrients. Light, heat, air, and humidity are the biggest enemies of spice storage, so it’s important to keep them in a dark, dry space with a tight seal.

Make Sure They’re Fresh

Sure, spices last a long time, but that doesn’t mean you should run out and buy them in bulk for your home kitchen. Spices are best when they’re fresh, so that means rotating the spices in your jars when you top them up (tipping the older spices out to put back on top, so they are then used first), and making sure you keep aware of the use-by date. Keeping them dark, dry, and well looked after is going to preserve their nutrients for as long as they can be, but making sure they’re as fresh as can be is essential in spice storage.

How do you store your spices? Show us your pictures for inspiration!

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