6 Tips And Tricks To Extend The Shelf-Life Of Spices In Monsoon
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The monsoon has finally arrived in almost all parts of the country. Rain brings with it a sense of relief from record-breaking temperatures and scorching summer heat. However, it is also safe to say that monsoon is the time when the humidity level in the air shoots up insanely. One feels more sweaty and exhausted than ever and it becomes extremely important to keep hydrating oneself from time to time because the water loss is greater than even in the summer. 

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One of the major drawbacks of monsoons is that high levels of humidity negatively impact the shelf life of a lot of food items. Because of the high moisture, there is more susceptibility to bacterial growth and food that can make it taste and fragrance very bad instantly. Here are some important measures that one can take to extend the shelf life of spices.

* Airtight Containers 

Transferring spices into airtight containers is one of the most significant things that one should do as soon as the monsoon begins. One should start investing in spice containers that are properly airtight and have ample space and tight lids. Also, the type of material that one uses for storing spices plays a very important role. One should avoid using plastic containers and rather go for non-reactive containers such as the ones made from glass. Everything, including different types of spices and even sugar, should be stored in such containers, as it prevents any inflow of moisture.

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* Secure Places

The spice container should be given a proper place in the kitchen. This place should be preferably away from any instant source of moisture, such as keeping them near the windows or sink. Also, avoid keeping the spices just next to the stovetop. This is a very common thing that is found in a lot of households. However, keeping the spice box near the gas stove increases the susceptibility of the spice going bad before time. One should choose a dark and extremely dry spot in the kitchen to store the spices. Also, avoid any direct exposure to sunlight.

* Store In Small Containers 

Another helpful trick that people can follow during the monsoon to extend the shelf life of spices is to store the spices in small jars that are kept in the main part of the kitchen. The rest of the spices should be stored in bigger jars and kept in pantries safely. Generally, the temperature in the kitchen is higher than in the pantry and the rest of the house. This is because one keeps on cooking something or another throughout the day, which increases the moisture and heat. Storing spices in small containers for instant use is a great way to use spices in the best and most efficient way during the monsoon. Even if the spices kept in the kitchen go bad, the loss is not as much as it would have been if all the spices were stored in one place.

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* Use Clean Spoons

Most spices tend to absorb moisture instantly. During the transfer of spices with the help of a spoon, the likelihood of the spice getting infected from the spoon if it is not properly dry and clean is very high. One should avoid using one single spoon to take out all the spices. Every spice box should have a small spoon of its own that is properly damp and clean. A wet spoon can spoil the whole spice. Additionally, a person should also make sure that their hands are properly clean and dry before using spices.

* Keeping Checking Regularly 

Regular inspection of spices is also crucial in making sure that the spices are fresh and have not developed a resentful aroma. Discolouration and clumps in the spices mean they are probably unfit for consumption. It may also mean some kind of mould growth is happening in the spices. In this case, throwing the spices at the earliest possible time is very important. A lot of times, due to infrequent inspection of spices, people end up eating infected spices, which leads to a lot of problems.

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* Neem Leaves

Putting some dry neem leaves in the spice box also enhances the shelf life of the spices. This is a very old trick that is used in a lot of Indian families to this date. Neem is a great disinfectant and can put a halt to bacterial growth in spices. One has to simply make sure that the neem leaves are properly sun-dried before being kept in the spice boxes. The presence of moisture in these neem leaves can disrupt the whole purpose of keeping the spices fresh.