How long do they store well

Rosyrain

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We have some herbs and spices that have been sitting in the cupboard for a couple of years now and I am wondering how long they last. Do dry herbs and spices ever go bad if they are stored properly?
 

cupcakechef

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That's something I hadn't really thought about -- I always thought if it still smelled good then I was in the clear! I had to research though for my own knowledge and found this:

http://www.spicesinc.com/p-780-what-is-the-shelf-life-of-spices-and-herbs.aspx

If spices and herbs are kept as we have discussed the shelf life will be as follows:


  • Whole spices and dried herbs, leaves and flowers will keep 1 - 2 years.
  • Seeds will keep 2 – 3 years and whole roots (i.e. ginger root or galangal root) will keep 3 years.
  • Ground spices and herb leaves keep 1 year.
  • Ground roots will keep for 2 years.
Just because a spice or seasoning blends is outside the date range listed above doesn't mean that the spice needs to be tossed in the trash. To determine if a spice or seasoning is still good you have to remember "appearance" and "aroma". A spice that is no longer acceptable will have lost much of it's vibrant color and will instead appear dull and faded. The bigger key though is smell. To determine whether or not a ground spice is still good gently shake the container with the cap on. Remove the cap and smell the spice to see if the potent aroma of the spice is still present. If it is then your spice is still in good shape.
 

Morning Glory

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That's something I hadn't really thought about -- I always thought if it still smelled good then I was in the clear! I had to research though for my own knowledge and found this:

http://www.spicesinc.com/p-780-what-is-the-shelf-life-of-spices-and-herbs.aspx

If spices and herbs are kept as we have discussed the shelf life will be as follows:


  • Whole spices and dried herbs, leaves and flowers will keep 1 - 2 years.
  • Seeds will keep 2 – 3 years and whole roots (i.e. ginger root or galangal root) will keep 3 years.
  • Ground spices and herb leaves keep 1 year.
  • Ground roots will keep for 2 years.
Just because a spice or seasoning blends is outside the date range listed above doesn't mean that the spice needs to be tossed in the trash. To determine if a spice or seasoning is still good you have to remember "appearance" and "aroma". A spice that is no longer acceptable will have lost much of it's vibrant color and will instead appear dull and faded. The bigger key though is smell. To determine whether or not a ground spice is still good gently shake the container with the cap on. Remove the cap and smell the spice to see if the potent aroma of the spice is still present. If it is then your spice is still in good shape.

Great advice here. I have spices well by their 'use by' and they are just fine. You really can tell by the smell. But herbs in general do tend to deteriorate more quickly and become 'grassy' rather than fragrant.
 

Pat

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A friend of my daughter's gave her a large selection of herbs that are old but it seems we will be able to use most of them. This information is good to know about how long the herbs last, I was going to throw most of the bottles out.
 

Rosyrain

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I have used herbs and spices up to 5 years before, but was not sure if that was the most healthy thing to do. The guide above is really helpful.
 
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