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How to Store Herbs, Spices, and Dried Berries: Tips for Keeping Them Fresh

How to Store Herbs, Spices, and Dried Berries: Tips for Keeping Them Fresh

Herbs, spices, and dried fruits are the culinary treasures that enhance the taste, depth of flavor, and aroma of the dishes you cook. No matter how thoroughly you follow a recipe, if these ingredients are not fresh, the meal may turn out to be bland. Be it fragrant herbs like basil and thyme, strong spices like turmeric and cinnamon, or dessert toppings like dried berries, every ingredient needs to be properly stored to maintain its flavors.

 

In this article, we’ll talk about some tips and tricks to store these items in your kitchen. Herbs and spices, in general, have a long shelf life, but by following these tips, you can rest assured that they will stay fresh and aromatic for long, and continue to make your dishes taste amazing.

Pick the right containers

Go for good quality airtight containers (preferably glass containers) for storing your dried berries, spices, and herbs. They keep the natural flavors of the spices intact for a long duration, while also maintaining their quality and potency. Every time you use the ingredients, be sure to secure the lids tightly.

Store in a cool, dark place

The ideal location for storing spices, herbs, and dried berries is any cool and dark place in your kitchen. This is the best way to avoid moisture, sunlight, and any possible heat sources that might tamper with the aroma of the herbs and spices. If you’re storing them inside a cupboard, make sure it’s away from the stove or oven. You can keep dried fruits inside the refrigerator, but avoid doing the same for spices.

Avoid humidity and moisture

Humidity and moisture can alter the flavor of your herbs and spices. They can also lead to bacteria and mold growth, making the ingredients unfit to use. Wipe the container thoroughly to avoid any moisture, do not touch them with wet hands, and do not store spices inside the refrigerator. Your spices and herbs will last for a long time when they are kept dry.

Keep away from strong-smelling items

Whether it’s a herb, spice, or dried fruit, they have a tendency to absorb odors. If you store them close to other food items that have a strong smell (onion and garlic, for instance), the pungent odor will most likely get transferred to the herbs and spices. So be careful with where you’re storing them—make sure the storage container is freshly washed and dried before use and keep it away in a separate cupboard.

Label and date your containers

In case your pantry has a lot of herbs and spices scattered all around, it’s time to organize them. Store them in separate containers and label each of them with the name of the ingredient and date of purchase. This practice will not only help you locate things easily in the pantry, but also make sure that you use up the old stock before the new and the herbs retain their authentic flavors.

Avoid direct sunlight

If you wish to retain the flavor, aroma, color, and nutritional value of your herbs, spices, and dry berries, it’s important to store them away from direct sunlight. By doing this, they stay safe from exposure to UV rays. Use opaque storage containers, or if you have transparent ones, store them inside a dark cupboard.

 

By following these tips, you won’t have to stock up on herbs, spices, and dried fruits every other day—you can easily extend the shelf life of your existing stock and make them last long.
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