If you’re a wizard in the kitchen, you probably have a place of pride for your spice cabinet but the disadvantage of such an asset is that spices come with a limited shelf life too. Here are a few simple and guilt-free ways to have alternate uses for them instead of throwing them away.
If you’re someone who enjoys cooking, we’re sure to place our bets that the spices in your kitchen have a special pride of place. However, the downside of having a well-stocked spice cabinet is that most spices come with an expiration date; in that, they diminish in flavour and aroma. However, if you want to make the most of your spices, irrespective of whether they are in edible condition or not, is to buy them whole as much as possible. Not only will that help them hold flavour for a long time, but they can also be put to a varied number of non-edible uses, once they are past their prime. Read to know a few creative ways to avoid throwing away your precious stock:
Expired spices can still be useful for non-edible purposes like using them to add scent and colour to homemade candles. Make your own candles by melting soy wax and grinding up some of your expired whole spices and pouring the scented mixture into a heat-resistant mould and letting it cool completely, before use.
Some spices, such as turmeric, paprika, or saffron, can be used as natural dyes for fabrics, Easter eggs, or even arts and crafts projects. Start off by simmering a few spoonfuls of powdered spices in water and straining the liquid before using it to dye fabrics or surfaces of your choice.
Create a natural potpourri by combining expired spices with dried flowers, herbs, and citrus peels and boiling them in water. Later on, place the mixture in a decorative bowl or small sachets to freshen up a room and leave a lingering scent.
Natural Face Masks
Some expired spices can be used in homemade beauty treatments. For example, you can incorporate cinnamon or nutmeg into a homemade facial scrub or use saffron to make a facial mask. Remember to use a little for a patch test on your skin before using it all over your skin.
Some spices, like cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or cloves, can be effective in deterring garden pests. Sprinkle them around your plants or create sachets to hang near vulnerable areas. Little critters are often repelled by strong scents and aromas and hence, spices like cinnamon, cloves and garlic would be ideal to use in hard-to-reach areas as well as spaces in the home prone to infestation.