If the contents of your spice cabinet have have been around for a year or more, it’s time to spring clean your seasonings.

Herbs and spices are the miracle workers of delicious cuisine. But over time they lose their intensity, meaning that 2-year-old bottle of dried oregano hiding in the back of the cabinet won’t add much pizazz to your pasta.

Here are some tips for keeping your dried herbs and spices top-notch:

• Purchase in small quantities to ensure you finish them before the flavor dissipates (six months to a year).

• When possible, opt for whole spices, which you can grind in seconds at home with any blade coffee grinder. Whole spices retain their flavor and complexity much longer than pre-ground spices do, which can quickly lose aroma and flavor, says Jill Norman, author of “Herbs & Spices: The Cook’s Reference.”

• Buy seasonings from retailers with high turnover, ensuring the freshest possible product. They should be vivid in color and bold in scent when rubbed, nearly what they would’ve been like fresh.

• Buy from online specialty shops, such as Penzeys Spices, World Spice Merchants or Kalustyan’s, which sell small amounts of most seasonings are affordable prices.

• Store herbs and spices in airtight glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers in a cool, dark spot, such as a cabinet. Open racks expose seasonings to heat, light, oxygen and moisture, which ruin them.

• As seasonings near the end of their lifespans, find uses for them that won’t reflect their age. Blend savory seasonings with salt for use in soups or on popcorn. Cinnamon and other sweet spices can be blended with sugar (granulated or powdered) and used to dust buttered toast, cakes, cookies or hot chocolate.

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