45 Days to Christmas! Check Your Spices

check spices for freshness

November's here, and holiday cooking will soon be in full swing. Do you know how old your spices are?

Fresh, savory seasonings are a must during the holiday season--but in many kitchens, jars and tins of spices languish for years, losing flavor over time.

Check your spice rack for freshness today. Newer products often include a "use by" date as a guideline. Otherwise, open each jar, and use your eyes and nose! A spice that has caked, changed color or lost it's smell should be replaced.

No "use by" dates on your containers? Try these general rules:

  • Ground spices: 2-3 years
  • Whole spices: 3-4 years
  • Blends: 1-2 years
  • Herbs: 1-3 years
  • Extracts: 4 years (excepting vanilla, which keeps indefinitely)