Fresh versus dried spices

So many herbs – so little thyme. When recipes call for fresh herbs and spices, if you can afford them, use them, by all means! If your budget is a little tighter and you need to stick with dried herbs, take a few tips to heart to help step-up your dishes.


  1. Use high quality herbs. I suggest Penzey’s; I’d be surprised if there isn’t one near you!
  2. Keep them in the freezer!! Really. The freezer will prolong their life–big time! If your herbs and spices are over six months aged, chuck them!
  3. Don’t buy those large “spice wheels” of pre-determined spices. First off, who knows how long they’ve been on the shelf, nonetheless their quality. But, usually, they’re full of [stale] spices that you’ll never use, anyhow. By the time you do get around to using them, they’ll have gone bad anyway.
  4. Use approximately 1/3 dried as a recipe calls for fresh. FYI: 1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
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