Plus: How to use them, where to store them, and how long dried spices last.
We introduced dried spices to our Marketplace months ago and have been eagerly awaiting the day we could get our hands on another batch of organic spices. Enter our newest rescue: Vive Organic Spices.
Vive Organic Spices were created exclusively for a large retailer that ended up not needing them. Instead of letting them go to waste, we worked closely with the supplier to scoop them up. A variety of dried spices at your disposal is one of the easiest ways to elevate your cooking—whether that’s a dash of oregano to your pizza sauce or a pinch of cinnamon as the secret ingredient in your dry rubs.
The Ratio Rule
We’re huge fans of using fresh herbs whenever we can. But if you don’t have fresh, you can always substitute the dried version. With one big caveat: Dried spices are more pungent than their fresh counterparts so a little goes a long way. We recommend the tablespoon to teaspoon ratio. Any time a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, use just 1 teaspoon of the dried version. It’s not the case for all spices—see below—but pretty standard when using dried versions of fresh.
How to Store Dried Spices
Spices deteriorate when exposed to sunlight, heat, and moisture. Keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place. Preferably a cabinet, pantry, or drawer away from a window or the oven.
Whole spices and herbs, like bay leaves and seeds, can last 1 to 2 years under proper conditions. Ground spices and herbs will generally last 1 year. How to tell if your spices are going bad? If they look faded and have lost its distinct aroma.
Though this batch of organic spices from Vive Organics will arrive in plastic containers, that might not be the case for all of our herbs forever. If you do receive or purchase a pouch of spices, after you open them, immediately transfer them to an airtight and resealable glass or plastic jar. A dark glass jar, like amber, is ideal, but as long as spices are stored in an airtight container away from heat and moisture, spices should last up to 12 months.
The sweet flavor of basil is more concentrated when dried. We like to use it instead of fresh in slowly simmered recipes, like marinara sauce. Use a 2:1 ratio of fresh to dried in recipes.
Ground Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers are thought to be at least 10 times hotter than jalapenos, so use sparingly in garlicky sauces, braised meat, or even sprinkled over fresh ginger juice with lemon.
The warm, earthy, and sweet flavor of cinnamon is surprisingly versatile, even beyond the world of baking. Use it to flavor coffee, steak rubs, chilis, and curries.
Crushed Red Pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes are a combination of ground red chilies and their seeds. Sprinkle for added heat and depth of flavor on everything from Italian classics like pizza and pasta to everyday soups and salads.
This pungent spice, ground from cumin seeds, is most commonly called for in Mexican and Indian foods. It’s a very light orange color with a smoky, earthy flavor profile.
Garlic granules are garlic cloves that’ve been peeled, minced, dried, and ground. The consistency is more crystallized and not as fine as a powder. Use half a teaspoon of granules for every fresh clove of garlic in your recipes.
Ground ginger is more potent in its dried form than fresh. Just a tiny bit will add a sweet, peppery warmth to baked goods like molasses cookies or savory dishes like chicken curry. Use one eighth of a teaspoon ground ginger for every one tablespoon of fresh ginger in your recipes.
Dried oregano is a light- to mossy-green color and tastes pungent, earthy, and a little like mint. You can substitute 1:1 ground to fresh ratio in any recipe. So use 1 teaspoon of dried oregano that calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh.
Paprika is a versatile spice made of dried and ground chili peppers. Typically mild, it can range in flavor from sweet to smoky and sometimes have a light kick.
Turmeric is an aromatic and earthy spice closely related to ginger. You don’t need much to go a long way, as it can transform your dish’s flavors and colors with just a pinch. It’s commonly used in soups, stews, and curries, but can provide a lovely golden contrast in baked goods and milky tea lattes.