Spring Clean Your Spice Rack

Spring is officially here! And, we’re all ready to start spring cleaning. One area where spring cleaning can make a big impact on your health is the spice rack. Why? By using different spices and making foods packed with flavor, we not only use less sugar and salt but we also create a really healthy and delicious plate of food. If you ever doubt the power of a spice, think of how cinnamon can instantly transform a dish!

First things first, take 10 minutes today and head to where your spice rack is. As you check out each spice, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Ground spices typically lose their lose their freshness after six months. This is why it’s better to buy smaller quantities unless you cook a lot. If you’re not sure, try smelling the spice and make sure it still smells like it should. If it doesn’t, you know it’s time to replace it.

  • Whole spices can last a lot longer!, They actually can last up to 5 years. If you need to ‘wake up ‘ the flavors, you can toast them in a dry pan and grind them when you’re ready to use them. To lengthen their shelf life, store whole spices in a dark cupboard. If you’re not sure if a whole spice is still good, check and see if it looks like it’s faded. If it has, it’s probably time to replace it.

Now, after you’ve cleaned out that spice rack, you’ll undoubtedly have some space to fill up. Here are some essential spices to make sure you have on hand to create some great flavor combinations:

  • Cinnamon

  • Cumin

  • Oregano

  • Ground cloves

  • Curry

  • Turmeric

  • Chili Powder

  • Red Chili Flakes

  • Bay Leaf

  • Ground ginger

  • Cayenne Pepper

  • Paprika

  • Ground Coriander

If you want a good multi-tasker, look for spice mixes such as Chili seasoning, Ras El Hanout for a Moroccan spice mix or Garam Masala for an Indian spice mix. And, you can’t beat Herbes de Provence to elevate any flavor in a dish.

One final flavor boost that I have to mention is Calabrian Chiles in Oil. These are packed with such a great flavor - a little tangy, a little spicy , a little sweet. It’s a party for your tastebuds. Here’s a recipe for Penne with Calabrian Chile Pasta that is so quick and packed with flavor.

Now that you’ve made room in that spice cabinet, you’re filled with new possibilities for cooking and inspiration. Next, choose another place in the house to spring clean!

We want to help you get the most of spring, so If you need a hand with spring cleaning your home or your life, check out our spring programs to keep you on track!