How to store herbs and spices

Most herbs and spices lose their flavour and potency over time. This is one of the reasons why many people prefer to grow and use fresh herbs in their cooking. When you don’t have the means to grow your own herbs and spices then next best option is to purchase dried or ground spices to keep in your kitchen. In order to ensure that you get both the flavours and health benefits from the spices in your cupboard it is important that they are stored in the correct way. Here are a few tips to ensure you preserve your spices in your kitchen:



Use airtight glass containers

Glass bottles and containers are ideal for storing spices as they do not absorb any of the flavours like plastic, wooden or metal containers might. An airtight lid will ensure that the spices stay fresh for longer and are kept free of moisture.


Store away from direct sunlight

While kitchen racks are a creative way to display spices, it’s best to rather keep spices in a dark cupboard or draw away from direct sunlight. Any warmth can cause the flavours to dissipate overtime. Alternatively we find that storing spices in dark glass jars works well to keep them fresher longer.


Keep free from moisture

Moisture can cause the spices to clump together or go mouldy. In dry climates this is generally not a problem, but if you stay on the coast or in damp climates you will need to be aware of this. Avoid pouring spices directly from the jar over a steaming pot as this can allow moisture from the steam to enter the spice jar. Rather measure out the portion of spices into a spoon and then sprinkle into the pot.


Store away from heat

Do not store spices on cupboards that are located next to the stove or other appliances that give off heat. Even moderate heat can cause spices to lose their pungency over time. Spices are best stored in a cooler cupboard in the kitchen.


Only buy small quantities

Unless you are catering or baking in bulk there is no need to buy large portions of spices. Most recipes call for just a teaspoon of spices at a maximum so 100g of spice can last several months even if you are using it regularly.


Buy whole rather than ground spice

Whole spices retain their flavour much longer than ground spices. You may need to go to the added effort of grinding them but it’s worth it for the rich taste you will get to enjoy. Or you go with our grounded spices, which are grounded in a special freezing process to ensure even more flavour to be saved! And this method is impossible to do in your own home for sure...

Read more here: On Natureland's spices

Cherelle Leong - Natureland