3 Ways To Revive Your Old Spices
Spices don't expire in the same way as fresh foods. When your spices pass their expiry date they will very rarely, if ever, become mouldy, instead simply losing some of their potency.
It is better to treat their expiry date as a best by date - with manufacturers no longer able to absolutely guarantee their best flavour. What this means in real terms, is that for those spices that may have been sat at the back of your cupboard for months, are still fine to eat, but they may need a little helping hand to nudge their flavour back into life. That’s because as spices age the essential oils that give them their fragrance and flavour gradually evaporate, leading the spices to dry out and lose colour.
Most ground and whole spices will have at least a year from the date of purchase until they begin to deteriorate. And even after this, by no means should these spices go in the bin.
We want you to treasure your spices as much as we do. In order to test whether a spice is still at its best, take a small pinch in your hand and rub it gently to release the aroma— if it still carries its own distinct taste and smell, its best to continue using the spice as normal, even if its passed its expiry date.
But if you've had jars of cinnamon and sachets of garam masala sitting at the back of your cupboard for half a decade, don't worry— you don't have to feed all those valuable powders, seeds and flakes to the garbage truck. Besides simply increasing the quantity of the out of date spice you're using, here are some simple tricks to do to ensure you make the most out of every last bit.
Revive Your Old Spices With These Quick Tips
- Create Your Own Spice Blend
A spice might be too weak to use on its own, but it's a great opportunity to test out some new spice blends or adjust your favourite. It’s so easy, people have been creating unique and homemade spice blends for thousands of years. Simply grind two, three or more spices together in order to create your own blend, sampling a little bit at a time to adjust the ratios until you’ve found a blend you like. Then you can start to think about what you want to sprinkle it on…
- Toast Your Spices To Bring Out Their Flavour
While some of the essential oils in spices may have evaporated, lightly toasting spices such as cumin, coriander, cardamom and cloves will really enhance the flavour profile. The heat from the pan unlocks the essential oils within the spices that are yet to evaporate and brings them back to life.
- Make Your Own Spice-Infused Oil
Especially good with whole spices, place your expired spices in a pan with oil and heat from cold until your spices begin to sizzle. Let your spices infuse and then pour into a heatproof container and strain out any spices before they begin to burn. You will now have a flavoursome, fragrant finishing oil that's perfect for drizzling over summer salads, grilled meats and pasta or noodle bowls.