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What is the difference between herbs and spices?

Herbs and spices are used primarily for adding flavor and aroma to food. And both are best used fresh but can be preserved by drying. While there are similarities, there also are subtle differences between herbs and spices.

Herbs are obtained from the leaves of herbaceous (non-woody) plants. They are used for savory purposes in cooking and some have medicinal value. Herbs often are used in larger amounts than spices. Herb also is a word used to define any herbaceous plant that dies down at the end of the growing season and may not refer to its culinary value at all.

Spices are obtained from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds or bark. Spices are native to warm tropical climates and can be woody or herbaceous plants. Spices often are more potent and stronger flavored than herbs; as a result they typically are used in smaller amounts. Some spices are used not only to add taste, but also as a preservative.

How long do spices last for? When do the spices lose their flavor?

Spices lose their flavor as well as their color after 5-6 months. So, it’s favorable not to use it after 6 months of packaging. Expired spices directly impact the flavor and color of your cooking.

Should we purchase loose spices?

Loose spices are mostly adulterated and not approved via any food organization or government.

How do I know when I need to replace my spices?

If your spices are still rich in color, than your spice should still be flavorful. If the color looks faded, the flavor of the spice has most likely faded as well. Or, you can break the spice, or rub some in your hand, to release the aroma. If you do not smell anything, the flavor will have faded and it is time to replace it.

What do I do if my meal is too spicy?

Add a touch of honey a little at a time, tasting between until the spiciness tames down. You can also try a little cream or coconut milk if you have it.

Besides flavor, what advantages are there to using spices?

Spices and herbs contain Antioxidants like capsaicin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that helps relieve pain, turmeric powder contains cur cumin, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells It is helpful with inflammatory bowel diseases and coriander is effective against swelling, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, digestion, menstrual disorders, conjunctivitis, and skin disorders.
So, every spice is good for the health in some or the other way.

Does it help to keep your spices and herbs in a refrigerator?

A refrigerator contains a slight humid environment which could alter the flavor of your herbs and spices. So, do not recommend this storage method. However, as long as dried herbs and spices are stored in an air tight container we do recommend keeping larger quantities of herbs in a freezer.

What is the best way to store my spices?

You want to get them into some kind of airtight container. Glass jars are the ideal storage container.

Which is the worst place that will ruin the color and flavor of your spices and herbs?

The worst place to keep your spices is above the stove because the heat from the oven will destroy the essential oils in the spices.

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