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My dried spices got hard and clumpy‚ what can I do to turn them back into powder? I buy the big bottles at Sam's and just hate to see them go to waste.

While those big jars of dried spices seem like a bargain, they're really not. Most home cooks can't use up the whole jar before the quality starts fading. Your spices may have clumped because they were exposed to moisture or heat over time; either way, their flavor is likely diminished.

Buy small jars of dried herbs and spices, mark the label with the date, and keep them for 6 months. After that, the flavor and/or texture is likely to be affected. They aren't bad (meaning they won't make you sick)—they just aren't good, either.

For more information on spices, see Get the Best from Spices and our collection of Spice Recipes.