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Herbs are different from spices, as they are from the leafy parts of the plant (oregano, parsley, dill, rosemary, thyme, etc). Spices are usually seeds or flowers of the plant (cloves, paprika, etc) or bark (cinnamon) or even roots (ginger). Today’s blog is on dried herbs.

– Although dried herbs that you purchase in the markets have a more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs, dried herbs will quickly diminish in their potency or “pungency”.

– Add your dried herbs toward the start of your cooking so that they have time release their flavor.

– Store dried herbs away from heat, light and air. It is best to store them away from your stove and oven area – in a cool, dark place. Always keep them tightly sealed.

– To get more out of your dried herbs, crumble them between your fingers before adding them to whatever you are cooking.

– If using old herbs, that’s okay. They never really go bad — they just lose their intensity as they age. Just use a little more to make up for the loss of flavor.

– Write the expiration date in bold letter on the bottle so you can always be sure you are getting the most from your herbs and spices.

– If you cook a lot, like myself, I file my dried herbs and spices in 2 different shoe boxes: savory herbs (like Thyme) and spices in one box, herbs and spices used in baking (like Cinnamon) in another. These are stored in my pantry, in an easy-to-pull-out manner.

– When adding dried herbs to salad dressing – let the dressing sit about 15 minutes or more in order for the dried herbs to soften and do their job.

– 1 tsp. dried herbs = 1 Tbsp. fresh herbs, that’s about 1/3 less
– If substituting dried/ground herbs for dried/ground herbs – use half the amount

***My next Blog entry will be about fresh herbs