How to Make the Most of Your Spices

Put your spice rack to work!
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Moroccan Spice Blend

Pictured: Moroccan Spice Blend

Spice Tip #1

Those little spice jars can be pricey, so save your investment by storing them properly—preferably in a cool, dry place. (Hint: Maybe don’t put your spice rack near the sink.) A cupboard or a drawer is best, especially for clear jars.

Try this: Pineapple & Turmeric Margarita

Spice Tip #2

It’s trendy to grind your own spices—and with good reason! Whole spices generally keep longer, and they taste fresher when you grind them yourself. Use an electric coffee grinder, or go old-school with a mortar and pestle.

Try this: Shrimp Stew with Allspice

Spice Tip #3

Check your spices before you cook. The color and smell should be vivid. In general, whole spices last up to four years, and ground spices and dried herbs are good for up to three years.

Try this: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Warm Cinnamon Dressing

Spice Tip #4

One easy way to get more flavor: Toast your spices! They’ll taste richer, nuttier and stronger. Simply pop whole or ground spices in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until the color deepens and they smell fragrant. Then use them as you normally would. Star anise, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds all benefit from toasting.

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