Shelf Life of Common Spices and Herbs

What is the shelf life of common spices and herbs? My herb and spice cabinet was a disaster and desperately needed a makeover.

While going through my spices and herbs I realized that there were some jars in there that were only used for one recipe..and that was years ago! Some of those jars were probably older than my kids. So how many of us are guilty of this one?

shelf life of common spices and herbs

Shelf Life of Common Spices and Herbs

To help avoid this problem and reduce waste, here are some ideas regarding the shelf life of common spices and herbs.

1. Herbs versus Spices

It is important to go over the difference between herbs and spices first. They are very different from one another and thus have different shelf lives. Spices are usually derived from a dried seed or fruit, such as nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, and allspice. Occasionally a root, like ginger, may be considered a spice.

Herbs are usually stems, flowers, or leaves. Some popular herbs are parsley, chives, sage, rosemary, thyme, and basil.

2. Whole Spices Keep Better

Spices that can be purchased whole traditionally have a longer shelf life than ones that are already ground. This is due to the fact that their inner part is not exposed to air, which keeps their essential oils held within the spice. For instance, you can purchase pepper corns, cinnamon sticks, ginger root and whole nutmeg then grind them when you need them. I love using my microplane on things like ginger! For the most part, spices are fine to use as long as they have flavor.

3. Dried Herbs

Herbs tend to lose their flavor and potency much more quickly than spices. You can check on your herbs by giving it the sniff test. If they are older, they will not have retained their scent. If you are in a pinch, you  can simply increase the amount of herb called for in the recipe, since herbs do not spoil. However, usually within two years herbs will lose just about all of their flavor and will need to be discarded.

4. Herbs That Don’t Dry Well

There are some herbs that do not retain their flavor when dried. Basil is one herb that does not retain it’s flavor. For herbs like this, freezing is a better option. However, they should still be used within 6 months of freezing since the freezer is not an ideal place for herb storage.

shelf life of common spices and herbs

5. Prolonging the Life of Herbs and Spices

It is important to store your dried herbs and spices properly in order to prolong their shelf life. Here are some tips below to help out.

* Storing herbs and spices near the stove is common because of convenience, but not recommended. The heat from the stove will decrease their flavor rapidly, as will steam from simmering pots. Also, humidity from a dishwasher will do the same. Herbs and spices should be stored in a cool, dry place. I like putting my herbs in little glass jars with a screw on lid. This allows me to open it easily and measure out what is needed.

* Use a measuring spoon or your fingers when adding an herb or spice to a dish you are making, particularly if it is a hot. Putting a herb or spice container directly over the hot food or stove may allow steam to get into the container, which will then cause moisture in your herb or spice.

Unfortunately herbs and spices do not last forever, but there are ways to increase their shelf life.

 
About the Author

A Mommy blogger who loves working from home while raising her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old boy/girl twins with her husband. I have a passion for learning and enjoy anything having to do with the technical side of blogging. I am also always working on self-improvement and being the best mom I can to my children. I am also a bit of a coffee addict! ❤

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great information. I go through so many herbs and spices I don’t think they have time to get out of date. Heh
    Patty recently posted..Photo Challenge, Week 16 – Take a WalkMy Profile

  2. Jenna Wood says

    I didn’t know herbs lose potency quicker than spices!

  3. I have been bad about keeping a jar of spices for YEARS……this is making me think I need to clean out my spice cabinet!
    Dede recently posted..The new gold standard for coffee is Organo GoldMy Profile

  4. I had a jar of dill wee for 10 years! I have no idea why I let it survive that long but I finally threw it away. I recently discovered that Mariano’s has these little packets of spices that cost 59 cents. They are perfect for those spices you rarely use.
    Sarah BB recently posted..Mariano’s Harwood Heights Grand OpeningMy Profile

  5. I used to hold onto my herbs forever until I was watching a cooking show one day and they said there was an expiration day.

  6. Georgia Beckman says

    GUILTY! And probably worst offender. Thank you so much for the helpful info. And yep, mine are in the cabinet RIGHT next to the stove, approximately 2 feet from the burner I always cook big pots of steaming food on.

  7. We literally just cleaned our spice shelves yesterday. I will double check dates. Thanks!
    Jenn recently posted..Healthy Recipe: Banana BreadMy Profile

  8. What a wonderfully well written article. Don’t you wish you could buy just the spices you need? Not a big ole bottle that you only use once and throw away. That’s annoying. This is problem that if the food industry would solve it, a lot more spices would be used.
    SHELLEY R ZUREK recently posted..Baked Asiago Chicken RecipeMy Profile

  9. Joann Alvarado says

    Omgoodness! I am completely guilty. On all counts. Enough said. ha! Thanks for the teerrific blog! ♥
    Joann A.

  10. I feel like such a nab – I had no idea there was the difference between the two
    Lena recently posted..Finding My Fitness Inspiration With Smart HealthMy Profile

  11. I am guilty! I need to give my spice rack a makeover too!

  12. Oh geez, I’ve never done this! My spices/ herbs are probably very old and yucky and my cabinet is a disaster

  13. these are some great tips!!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode
    Sandy recently posted..Mother’s Day Gift Guide – JewelryMy Profile

  14. Great tips! I had heard some of this before, but not all of it. Now I feel compelled to go home and sniff all my herbs and go thru and discard old spices!
    Suburban Style Challenge recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Inspiration For A Weekend of Swapping & CraftingMy Profile

  15. Grace Hodgin says

    I enjoyed reading this and found it very informative. Thanks for all the great info.

  16. Wow, I cook all the time and depend on spices and herbs so much, yet I learned so much from your post! THank you! This is pinned and bookmarked! So helpful! Especially as I”m working on my emergency food supply with herbs the next few months, I will know better how to store them!
    Amber Edwards recently posted..Best Fruit Dip! Easy Chocolate Toffee Fruit Dip Recipe!My Profile

  17. Fantastic post….and I thought that I knew all that I needed to know about spices. Goes to show you, there is always something new to be learned!
    Libby’s Library recently posted..iPhone Info-graphicby Tiny Prints = Interesting FactsMy Profile

  18. this is great information to know! we actually go through our spices so fast that we dont worry about the shelf life. we buy new herbs and spices every month or two

Share Your Thoughts

*

CommentLuv badge
Read more

Prosedur Bermain Poker Online Mainkan Peluang Flush Anda kudu pahami jika 5 kartu dengan bunga yang sama tipenya bisa menghasilkan flush dalam Bermain Poker Online. Karenanya Anda harus tau juga jika aktivitas itu bisa menghasilkan keuntungan yang berkaitan jika diolah beserta cocok. Pada saat terdapat 3-4 kartu yang amat bisa terhitung bikin menyampaikan dukungan Anda bikin membuahkan flush, karenanya Anda mampu menghasilkan keuntungan besar. Kesudahannya, peluang kombinasi flush itu pasti bisa menjadi cela satunya aktivitas yang bisa Anda gunakan bikin memungut keuntungan menggertakan lawan. Langkah pada game ini kian baik bikin melakukan all in dengan cocok. Terlintas bisa membuat lawan menggetarkan tindakannya agar bisa kurangi peluang kerugian. Karenanya, mainkan pemikiran dengan baru aja akan di rasa sangat cocok menjadi satu skema. Tapi strategi ini yang jarang dijumpai oleh beberapa beberapa orang di ruang modern saat ini untuk Bermain Poker Online. Kurang lebih Hal Bermain Yang Sedikit Ditemukan Jika Anda ialah orang yang sering berjalan poker online, pasti Kamu ketahui Bermain Poker Online bisa datangkan keuntungan yang berkaitan. Permainan ini siap dimenangkan pada saat Dikau mendapatkan kombinasi kartu sempurna bikin bisa datangkan pelajaran yang berkaitan. Perjudian online dengan pakai permainan poker diantaranya yang benar-benar menarik di dunia. Banyak kurang lebih orang yang menghasilkan keuntungan dari permainan ini di dalam dengan bidang yang dapat menjadi seseorang profesional handal. Agar Anda bisa menghasilkan keuntungan dengan terus-terusan. Antara dari Anda seharusnya mengetahui jika permainan poker mampu memberi dukungan menghasilkan keuntungan jika diolah dengan tata yang sama sesuai. Sedianya banyak bermacam-macam yang bukan dijumpai oleh beberapa banyak orang akan tetapi sering Anda dapatkan di permainan ini. Bermain Poker Online Naikkan Taruhan Juga Menang Banyak Jika Anda mengerti beberapa referensi pada bawah ini, Anda bakal membuat pijakan bikin Dikau bikin bisa mainkan paham pada lawan. Dengan demikian pada saat Anda menyimpan satu kartu yang kurang untung, pasti Anda mampu mainkan pemikiran itu. Terlintas membuat lawan pahami kemenangan Anda dengan mutlak. Tetapi sebelum Anda mengerti bagaimana mainkan pemikiran, pasti Dikau juga harus mampu tiru pemikiran dari lawan dengan cocok. Oleh karenanya Anda bisa pahami jika kegiatan ini sangat bisa diuntungkan jika dilihat dari sesi pandang yang cocok. Kesudahannya, beberapa orang di renggangan Anda pasti sadar jika aktivitas main poker dapat digunakan bikin menghasilkan moral dengan terus-terusan. Tapi sedianya aktivitas ini harus Dikau sadari masih banyak skema didalamnya yang butuh Kamu bisa terapkan. Beberapa daripada Anda pasti pahami bila ada keuntungan pada ketika kartu besar Bermain Poker Online IDN yang ada. Barisan 5 kartu yang ada pasti ada salah satunya yang besar serta bisa membuat Anda mampu memakainya bikin menghasilkan moral. Oleh karenanya permainan itu dapat memberi dukungan Dikau menghasilkan keuntungan yang berkaitan jika diolah lewat sepak-terjang yang sama sesuai. Kurang lebih dari Anda tentunya pahami game ini diantaranya yang bisa bawa serta Kamu menghasilkan keuntungan. Dimana di dalam saat Anda bisa mainkan pemikiran dari lawan jika Anda memegang kartu yang sama besarnya. Dengan demikian di saat kartu As yang ada pasti akan menghasilkan Anda lebih baik bikin melakukan all in sekadar. Meskipun demikian mungkin tetap lawan Anda ada tapi sebenarnya Anda bisa membuahkan keuntungan yang lebih raksasa dengan menggetarkan beberapa bermitra.