by Kevin Farrell

USA TODAY 10Best

How to extend the life of your spices and herbs

Nothing lasts forever

But while some foods have signs that tell you they are past their prime, the jars on your spice rack offer up no such red flags.

Using old herbs and spices may not make you sick, but their flavors lose potency over time.

And nothing makes your food taste more bland than expired spices and herbs.

Dried herbs can last anywhere from one to three years if they are stored properly in a cool, dry, dark place.

If they're exposed on a kitchen countertop near a stovetop, they'll lose their depth of flavor quicker.

Fresh herbs, on the other hand, will usually last just a week tops from the time they have been picked.

One way to preserve your herbs is with the "Ice cube hack."

Strip the leaves from the hardier stems, and toss a tablespoon into each individual cube of an ice tray.

Then, fill the trays with vegetable broth, chicken stock, olive oil or even white wine, and put them in the freezer.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Foxys_forest_manufacture

Another way to make sure you have fresh herbs on hand is to grow your own.

Herbs are among the easiest plants to successfully grow.

Whether you have access to a backyard or just a window above your kitchen sink, there are plenty of places to put an herb garden.

Learn more at USA TODAY 10Best!

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