How to Replace Fresh Herbs with Dried Herbs August 31 2015

Many times recipes call for a fresh helping of herbs, but what happens when you don’t have them? Can you use dried? Often times, yes! However, since dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, it’s important you know how to do this successfully.

Keep the below tips in mind:

  • Account for the change in strength: Many cooks recommend using one-third to half the amount of dried herb to fresh herb. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, you only need 1 teaspoon of dried (since 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon).
  • Use dried when they are most effective: Dried herbs infuse the dish during cooking, especially while simmering or sautéing. This way they have sufficient opportunity to release their flavors and rehydrate.
  • Know when NOT to substitute: Sometimes, recipes state ‘do not substitute with dried herbs,’ and as such - you should follow it. It’s more than likely that the chef has experienced a completely different dish when dried herbs were used, a dish that wasn’t very palate friendly.
When using dried herbs, be sure to keep the use by date in mind. These herbs can easily spoil a dish rather than enhance it if their flavors have deteriorated. When taste is everying, it’s critical to “ACT” now to ensure your spice rack is up to date. Turn your meal into a FRESH and extraordinary culinary delight with La Flor Spices!

Keeping Spice “NICE” August 25 2015

It’s always a good idea to take an occasional inventory of the spices in your pantry. In doing so, they should be checked for freshness to ensure they’ve retained their potency - using the “ACT” principal:

Crush a small amount of the selected spice in the palm of your hand and sniff gently. If the aroma isn’t rich, and immediate, the spice has likely lost most of its potency. For whole spices, crush or cut the spice open in order to release its full scent.

Fading herbs will fade from a vibrant green to lighter colors, and spices with a reddish hue (think chili powder, red pepper) will shade toward brown. Do remember, different herbs naturally vary in color and should not always be compared against each other for color.

If your spices and herbs smell or taste lackluster, don’t think twice - toss the spice. Even if the spice “should” have lasted you a bit longer, other components can come into play. Make sure all spices have their caps on tight and are stored away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight!

If after your inventory check you’re in need of some spice replacement, be sure to browse our website for products as well as visit us in stores. When taste is everything, La Flor is all you need to transform your everyday meal into a FRESH and extraordinary culinary delight - keep it spicy America!

Tips for Organizing Your Spices August 11 2015

Sure, spring cleaning came and went - and while you may have emptied your closets and deep cleaned your home a few months back, how thorough were you with your kitchen pantry?

It doesn't take long for your spice rack to get disorganized.  Avoid fumbling through your bottles prior to your next meal - check out the below tips to help you get your cabinets back in order, stat:

Catalog Your Collection. First things first, it’s time to take an inventory of the spices you have. Check for any expired bottles (remember, while not necessarily bad, expired spices are certainly less flavorful) and see if you can condense any duplicates. With everything out and about, take the time to wipe down bottles and tighten any caps before restoring.

Decide on a Strategy. Take a moment to think about your cooking style - what spices do you use most often? If you bake more you may want these spices readily available, not stored behind other items. Some common systems people tend to use are storing baking spices separate from savory spices, whole vs. ground vs. blended, frequently used vs. infrequently used, or in alphabetical order.

Assess Your Storage. Take a look at how your kitchen is configured and how your spices can best fit. Lazy Susan’s are popular for saving space as are drawer organizers, wall-mounted spice racks, and magnetic mounting systems. Consider what options you have available and incorporate them into your strategy.

Put it All Back. Now for the fun part - time to dust off your Tetris skills and work to arrange spices accordingly. Don’t stress if some spices aren’t conforming precisely to your strategy and storage plan, keep those to the side until complete and see what other space is available.

And there you have it! Any Pinterest pros have advice on how they organize their bottles? Share with us on our Facebook page.

When taste is everything, La Flor is all you need to transform your everyday meal into an extraordinary culinary delight. Shop our selection of spices, herbs, and blends on the web - keep it spicy America!


Photo via Flickr/Amber Karnes