Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Kitchen Clean Out

Happy Tuesday TKW Family! With the new year just kicking off it’s time to clean out those cupboards and start with fresh stuff.  Today it’s all about out with the old and in with the new.. the new spices and boxed items.

So fess up, when’s the last time you bought new dried spices?  What about that baking soda?  Hmmm… Better yet, how many of you got one of those pre-filled spice cabinets and are STILL using the same spices it came with 6 months later?  Yeah, I thought so.  Let’s talk – those old dried spices.. pitch ’em.  They are useless. They’ve gone to spice heaven and died.  They no longer serve their purpose and really need to be put down.  Down the garbage can that is.  So get your garbage can and let’s start tossing.  Remember, keep a tablet and paper nearby so you’ll know what you have to replace with fresh.


Dried Spices

If the vibrant color has faded, then usually so has the flavor.  Next you can perform a sniff test. If a spice is no longer fragrant, it’s probably best to replace it. Lastly, if a spice has some fragrance left but is far less potent than it used to be, just double the amount called for in a recipe. For me I mark my spices with the date I bought or filled the container.

Make sure you are storing your spices in a cool, dry, dark place. That means away from sunlight, heat from your oven or cook-top, and moisture from your dishwasher. Stashing your spices correctly will help them last as long as possible.

A quick rule of thumb: Whole spices can keep for 1 to 2 years, but pre-ground spices start to lose their flavor after about 6 months.

Baking Soda/Baking Powder

Both last about 6 months.  To test yours to see if it’s still good, check out this post.

Baking soda must remain dry. Store your it in a the pantry in a tightly covered container to keep it dry and odor free (it readily absorbs odors).

Flour – yes flour

Even flour has a shelf life.  All Purpose flour lasts 6-8 months opened or unopened. Whole wheat is about 4-6 months, opened or unopened.


Now this was new to me even but Brown rice only lasts between 6-8 months. However white rice, has a longer lifespan, 4-5 years.


UV light can spoil oil faster than you can say uncle!  Trust me, rancid oil is a taste you never, NEVER forget.

Grape seed oil lasts 3 months, opened or unopened
Opened sesame oil lasts 6-8 months opened,  1 year for unopened
Truffle oil is 4-6 months for opened, 1 year for unopened

Cocoa Powder

Whether opened or unopened, cocoa powder lasts 2 years.

For a great resource on if you should pitch something or not I recommend checking out Eat By Date’s website.

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