Spices are an integral part of a meal. Not only do spices add amazing flavor, they also have health benefits. Good, high quality spices don’t run cheap so it’s important to take good care of them. Storing them out of direct sunlight, heat and moisture is a good start.

Those over the stove spice racks? Not the best idea. It’s better to pick a cabinet just outside the main cooking area, but one that is still convenient to access.

One way to protect your spices is something so simple that it’s often overlooked.

When you add spices to your dish during cooking,  don’t add spices directly over the pot of steaming food.

Why?

Well, the steam will travel up into the spice jar where it wreaks havoc. The moisture can cause spices to clump together and it degrades your precious spices. It can even set up a favorable environment for mold.

An easy fix?  Mix up your spices before hand in a ramekin or small bowl and then add them directly from that.

Need to adjust spices towards the end of cooking? No problem- just add more to the ramekin or bowl and into the pot it goes.

I’ve often said that appropriate knowledge and use of spices (including salt) is what separates mediocre cooks from amazing cooks, so take good care of your spices and you’ll have delicious (and healthy) dishes that your family will rave over.

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