Did you know spices have a shelf life?  Humidity, heat, sunlight, and exposure to air can pull the flavor and aroma right out of spices and dried herbs. With the holidays here, now is the perfect time to replace those holiday spices you bought last year!  Colleen Messner of The Spice & Tea Exchange in St. Augustine, Florida, has a list of the top spices you should have in your cabinet for the holidays. (And most of them can be used year round!)

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Top Spices For The Holidays

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Photo from Food.com.

Nutmeg – This brown seed, when grated, provides a warm, spicy/sweet flavor to dishes. A whole seed can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container. Best when freshly grated.


Allspice – This spice tastes/smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I love it on pork tenderloin!


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Photo from Food.com.

Cloves – This fragrant, nail-head shaped spice is perfect for decorating a ham or whole orange. Imparts a warm and sweet flavor.



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Green Pod Cardamom
Photo from Food.com



Green Pod Cardamom – Cardamom has a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste. Best when purchased in pods, which are removed and discarded before grinding the seeds. Adds great flavor to danish and other pastries.



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Star Anise
Photo from Food.com

 Star Anise – Sweet/warm spice with a licorice flavor. Great to use in pastries, stews or even asian cooking (It is one element in Chinese 5 Spice Blend).





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Candied Ginger
Photo from Food.com


Candied Ginger – Perfect to use in gingerbread or even chopped as decorative (and tasty!) topping for cupcakes!

Cinnamon – The favorite in the Simple Solutions Diva household! Warm and sweet, cinnamon works well in so many recipes during the holidays!


Storage Tips

  • Keep all spices in a dark, cool and dry place, away from heat. (So I guess that means I need to move my spice shelves away from the stove!)
  • Leafy items, such as oregano, basil, bay leaves do best when stored in the fridge.

Order Fresh Spices and Dried Herbs

If you would like to order any or all of these spices FRESH from the Spice & Tea Exchange, follow this link HERE to be taken directly to the products page of their website!

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