Keep freshly ground spices chilled rather than storing them at room temperature. To keep them fresh longer, grind and make them into a paste by adding a little of olive oil. Store in small sealed containers or freeze for up to 6 months.
Keep ground spices in small glass jars with airtight seals in a cool, dark cupboard. Opaque jars made either of china or metal don't need to be stored in a dark place but should still be kept in a cool (but not chilled) place.
The dried herbs may be kept in containers that are airtight or at any rate made of non-hygroscopic materials. Be sure to label them individually; in the end, with so many closed containers that look alike, there is no other way to distinguish them.
Make sure to keep the herbs and spices dry, don't use a wet measuring spoon to dip into the bottle and don't hold the bottle near steam.
Spices don't spoil or go bad, but they do lose strength. Here's a general guideline for storing your herbs and spices:
- Whole Spices & Seeds: 3 to 4 years
- Ground Spices: 2 to 3 years
- Leafy Herbs: 1 to 3 years
- Seasoning Blends: 1 to 2 years