By: Leah Bieszczad
Are you a spice hoarder? Would you hesitate to show a guest your spice cabinet? How many of those spices did you purchase during the Reagan Administration? I will confess the nutmeg in my spice cabinet has seen many Thanksgivings come and go. The shelf life of spices may vary and they never really “spoil” like other foods, but when it comes to the flavoring of your food, you may not be happy with the results. Over time spices lose their zest and potency. Some people toss their spices every six months, others every year or so, but if you are one of those spice hoarders, below is a guide on when to toss.
Ground spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, curry): 2 to 3 years
Herbs (basil, oregano, parsley): 1 to 3 years
Seasoning blends: 1 to 2 years
Whole spices (cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks): 4 years
Seeds: 4 years (except for poppy and sesame seeds, which should be discarded after 2 years)
Extracts: 4 years (except for vanilla, which will last forever)
Don’t feel guilty about tossing old spices; opening up the real estate in your spice cabinet gives you room to try out something new. If by chance, some of the spices you are replacing are pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, try out this Pumpkin Pie Scrub for your body. Although the scrub is edible, it is made for the body so the age of your spices won’t matter. The fall scent is amazing and lingers long after use and the coconut oil hydrates the skin to leave it healthy and soft.
Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub
(adapted from Decor & The Dog)
1 cup of brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/4 cup of white sugar or raw sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
4-5 tablespoons of oil-coconut, olive or almond (I prefer coconut)
Combine all the above sugars and spices. Slowly add oil and mix until well blended. You do not want a runny scrub rather a wet sand feel. This recipe fills one small canning jar.
Measurements can be adjusted depending on jar size. You are not baking so exact measurements are not necessary!