Cinnamon is a powerful spice that is used all over the world in cooking, healing and other household products. It’s a pantry must-have! But how do you know if your cinnamon is still at it’s peak freshness? In this article, I will discuss if cinnamon goes bad and explain how we can extend the shelf life of this amazing spice!
How to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad
Cinnamon has a naturally sweet and woody flavor that is perfect for adding to baked goods, curries, and other dishes.
However, like all spices, cinnamon can go bad over time. The average shelf-life of cinnamon once its been opened, is about 6 months. If unopened, it can last up to 2 years. Cinnamon sticks can last longer if unopened.
After that, it’s potency will dimish over time.
Cinnamon essential oil is much more potent and another way to use cinnamon.
Here are a few signs to look for to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad:
- The color of the spice has changed from its original deep brown to a lighter shade.
- Check the expiration date.
- The cinnamon has developed a dull flavor.
- The spice smells sour or musty.
- You notice bugs around the jar.
- The consistency is clumpy or hard.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the cinnamon and purchase a new container.
How to store cinnamon and extend shelf life
- To extend the shelf life of your cinnamon, it’s important to store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. This will help to keep the flavor and color of the spice fresh for longer.
- It’s also a good idea to write the date of purchase on the container so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored.
- Keep moisture away! Make sure to use dry spoons when measuring to keep any moisture out which can lead to mold or bacteria forming.
Can you get sick from consuming expired cinnamon?
While there is no risk of food poisoning from consuming expired cinnamon, the spice will lose it’s flavor over time and become less potent.
So while you won’t get sick from eating expired cinnamon, it’s best to discard it and buy fresh cinnamon to get the most flavor out of your dishes.
Note that if you observe mold, you can get sick from consuming it so inspect the bottle carefully.
Can you freeze cinnamon?
YES! Cinnamon can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Simply place the cinnamon in an airtight container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature.
Freezing cinnamon will ensure its potency is strong and vibrant.
If you don’t have fresh cinnamon on hand, there are a few substitutes that you can use in its place.
- Allspice: Allspice has a similar flavor to cinnamon and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg is another spice with a similar flavor to cinnamon. It’s perfect for adding to baking recipes or sweet dishes.
- Cloves: Cloves have a warm, sweet flavor that is similar to cinnamon. They can be used as a 1:1 replacement in recipes.
- Ground ginger: Ground ginger has a slightly different flavor than cinnamon but can still be used in many recipes calling for the spice.
Ways To Use Cinnamon
Final Cinnamon Notes
Cinnamon is a versatile spice that can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike. With proper storage, it will stay fresh for several months. However, if you notice any signs that the spice has gone bad, be sure to discard it and get a new supply.
Now that you know how to store cinnamon, put it to good use in your next meal!
By following these simple tips, you can make sure your cinnamon stays fresh and flavorful for months to come.
Do you have any favorite recipes that include cinnamon? Share them with us in the comments below!