Smartypantz, taking it one day at a time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

30 Days to a Greener Diet - Day 14

Clean Out the Old Spice(s)
Freshen Up Your Spice Rack While You Green Your Cuisine

When you’re greening your diet, fragrant and delicious herbs and spices are as important as any other ingredient in your recipes. While it’s great to use fresh herbs whenever possible, it’s also critical to keep high-quality dried herbs and ground spices in your pantry that you buy in small quantities and keep up-to-date.

McCormick Spices has a great spice dater on its Website called the Spice Check Challenge that shows you how to check its various cans and bottles and labels for freshness and dates. It also includes a chart of the lifespan of various ground spices, extracts, herbs and more. (And yes, everyone who uses it invariably finds a 15-year-old spice, typically a Thanksgiving- or Christmas-related one, tucked in the back of their pantry, ready to add no flavor yet again to next year’s pies or birds.)

Organic spices and herbs are more readily available than ever, and some health food stores have loose spices like those found in a Turkish market. The trick is making sure their spice inventory turns over frequently so the spices you buy are as fragrant and delicious as possible.

Here are the top 10 herbs and spices we think belong in your pantry or fridge to make greening your diet doubly delicious.

Chile Powder
Bay Leaves

Bring out the herbs and spices for one of these delicious recipes:
Chicken Tagine with Green Olives Recipe
Fire-Roasted Gazpacho Recipe

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