Spices and herbs will lose their flavour if they're not stored properly. Luckily, there are several types of resealable packaging that can help preserve spices and prolong their shelf life. When selecting a method of storing spices, consider effectiveness, cost and aesthetic. Spices should be convenient to access, but storing them in a cool, dry and dark place (like a cupboard or drawer) is best. Placing individual spices in resealable packaging ensures freshness and ease of use.
Glass jars of any size or shape work well for spices. The metal lid of a jar provides a nearly airtight seal to keep spices fresh. Glass jars may be purchased new or reused. Old baby food jars are a convenient size and shape for spices. If using old jars, make sure they are clean and completely dry before filling with spices; moisture can cause spices to mould.
Plastic zipper storage bags are easy to find and easy to use for spices. Zipper bags are available at most grocery stores. Plastic bags can be written on with permanent marker, so identifying the spices within isn't guesswork. These bags are resealable and reusable, but they are inexpensive enough to replace when necessary.
Ceramic canisters are functional and often aesthetically pleasing. When purchased, many ceramic canisters come with a small wooden or metal scoop to easily remove spices from the container. Herbs and spices do best when stored in the dark, and opaque canisters keep spices away from light while allowing them to sit on a counter top or near a window. Make sure to select ceramic canisters with a rubber gasket around the lid. This gasket will create a tight seal that protects spices from moisture.
Spices that are purchased from a grocery store often come packaged in a plastic container. These containers may have a flip-top or screw-on lid. These resealable plastic jars can be refilled with spices when the original contents are gone. One benefit of this type of packaging is that the containers already have labels on them. This helps to identify which spice or herb is which. Be sure to empty the spice container, wash it, and let it dry completely before refilling.
Metal tins can be used to store spices and herbs. Tins often have an antique look to them, adding to the decor in a kitchen. Metal tins are opaque, so spices can be kept on a shelf or counter without fear of light exposure. Since some metals rust, make sure your spice tins are clean and blemish-free before filling.
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