6 Hacks To Curb Overuse Of Spices While Cooking In Summer

Overusing spices or any kind of powdered or ground accompaniments is usually common when it comes to daily cooking. Measuring out spices or weighing them before cooking can appear more time-consuming, but it can actually curb wastage in your kitchen. A spice rack or a measured container can help you keep tabs on how many spices you’re using for everyday meals; you can also curate a spice rack depending on expiry dates.

Keeping a couple of measuring spoons in handy is a good idea because it saves you the trouble of measuring out your spices beforehand. Creating a steady rotation for spices you use more readily is also a way to keep a check on which spices tend to have more leftovers. Here are a few functional ways to reduce the wastage of spices.

Plan for controlled dispensing

Some spice jars come with wide openings that make it easy to pour out more than intended. To prevent overpouring, consider transferring spices to containers with a shaker or sprinkle lids, allowing for more controlled dispensing. Using measuring spoons or small scoops to portion out spices directly from the jar, reduces the risk of accidental overuse.

Reuse leftovers

Leftover spices from previous recipes don't have to languish in the back of your pantry until they expire. Get creative and find ways to incorporate them into new dishes. For example, leftover curry powder can be added to soups, stews, or marinades for an extra flavour boost, while excess dried herbs can be infused into oils or vinegar. By finding ways to repurpose leftover spices, you can minimize waste and maximize flavour in your cooking.

Learn more about substitutions

Running out of a particular spice doesn't have to derail your culinary plans. Explore spice substitutions and alternatives that can be used in place of a specific spice. For example, if a recipe calls for cinnamon and you're out, consider using nutmeg or allspice instead. Knowing which spices can be substituted for others allows you to adapt recipes on the fly without resorting to unnecessary purchases or waste.

Proper Storage Techniques

How you store your spices can significantly impact their shelf life and potency. Exposure to air, light, heat, and moisture can accelerate spice deterioration, leading to loss of flavour and aroma. Store spices in airtight containers away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as stovetops or ovens. Also, consider labelling containers with the date of purchase to keep track of freshness and rotation.

Measure Accurately

Precision is key when it comes to seasoning with spices. Invest in reliable measuring spoons and use them to portion out spices according to your recipe's requirements. Eyeballing or "dash and pinch" methods can easily lead to overuse, resulting in dishes that are overly seasoned or unbalanced in flavour. By measuring spices accurately, you can ensure consistency and avoid wastage.

Experiment with Blending

Instead of reaching for multiple spice jars for every dish, create custom spice blends which fit your taste preferences. Experiment with combinations of spices to create versatile blends that can be used across a variety of dishes. Not only does this streamline your spice collection, but it may also help your spices last long.