Spices add a great deal of flavor to our lives, and one of the most popular spices today is cinnamon. It can infuse your drinks, cakes, and curries with an aromatic woody and sweet flavor.
It is also good for us and offers many fantastic benefits for our health. Although we love to add cinnamon to many things, we might sometimes wonder whether cinnamon goes bad.
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Does Cinnamon Go Bad?
Like most spices, cinnamon doesn’t go rancid, but it does lose its wonderful aroma and flavor. So if you add cinnamon powder or cinnamon sticks to a dish or a drink and you can hardly tell it’s in there, it is probably time to buy new cinnamon.
Also, cinnamon can spoil if it isn’t stored correctly. So if your cinnamon has become spoiled, you should avoid using it in your meals and drinks.
If you spot mold, discoloration or bugs in your cinnamon, it is time to stop using it. Likewise, if your cinnamon seems to have lost its quality, it is time to invest in new cinnamon.
How Long Does Cinnamon Last?
You can buy cinnamon in two forms, ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. Both of these last an impressively long time if they are stored correctly. Unopened ground cinnamon can last up to two years. If you have opened your grounded cinnamon, it won’t spoil, but its flavor and quality will decrease.
You can store your ground cinnamon in an airtight container for up to 12 months before it will be flavorless. If you are buying your ground cinnamon in bulk, it is advised to keep a small airtight container for the cinnamon you want to use within the next couple of weeks. The rest you can store for later use.
Likewise, unopened cinnamon sticks can last up to four years if stored correctly. If you have opened your cinnamon sticks, they can stay fresh for up to two years. People who love the intense flavor of cinnamon are advised to buy their cinnamon in stick form since it tends to be more flavorful than cinnamon in powder form.
Whether you use ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, it is time to throw it out if it has become spoiled by bugs or mold. If your ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks taste unusual or they smell strange, discontinue use. An excellent way to tell if your cinnamon sticks are still fresh is to rub a small part of it between your fingers and smell it. If you sense that typical cinnamon smell, your cinnamon sticks are still fresh.
|Unopened ground cinnamon||2 years|
|Opened ground cinnamon||1 years|
|Unopened cinnamon sticks||4 years|
|Opened cinnamon sticks||2 years|
4 Tips to Tell if Cinnamon Has Gone Bad
Cinnamon is a spice that has several health benefits. Although spices tend to last a long time, they don’t last indefinitely. It can be frustrating to cook with cinnamon only to find that it can’t be tasted in the result.
However, there are ways to tell if your cinnamon has gone past its best time of consumption. This is by smell, tasting, touching, and examining your cinnamon.
Smelling your cinnamon
Cinnamon has a very distinct smell. If your cinnamon no longer smells the way it is supposed to, it isn’t fresh anymore. If it has an unusual or an unpleasant odor, it has gone past its best time for use. Smell your ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks before use to make sure you are using fresh cinnamon.
Tasting your cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice that is packed with flavor. If your cinnamon has become tasteless, it isn’t fresh anymore. Therefore, you should stop using it because it won’t make any difference in your drinks or meals anyway.
Alternatively, if your cinnamon has an unpleasant taste, you shouldn’t continue using it. You can taste some of your ground cinnamon if you are unsure whether it is still fresh. For cinnamon sticks, you can rub a small part between your fingers and try a little bit.
Touching your cinnamon
Ground cinnamon is a loose powder. Therefore, if your ground cinnamon has become sticky or clumpy, it is no longer fresh. Never use cinnamon that feels slimy or appears to be sweaty.
Spices should be dry when used. The same applies to cinnamon sticks. If your cinnamon sticks feel wet or sticky, don’t use them anymore. Cinnamon sticks might feel crumbly and soft after they have lost their freshness. It is better not to use them after they have lost their texture and shape.
Examining your cinnamon
Looking closely at your cinnamon might tell you everything you need to know about your cinnamon. If your cinnamon appears to be contaminated by mold, don’t use it. Cinnamon that has bugs in it should not be used anymore. If your cinnamon has changed color, it isn’t fresh anymore.
2 Tips to Store Cinnamon
If you store your cinnamon correctly, this versatile and wonderful spice can last for years in your kitchen. You will be able to enjoy it in meals and drinks without having to waste any of it. This is why it is valuable to know how to store your cinnamon correctly.
Storing ground cinnamon
If you purchased ground cinnamon and it remains unopened, it can last for up to two years. However, once you open it, it will stay fresh for about half that amount of time.
Always be sure that you close your ground cinnamon container properly to avoid bug infestations or mold contamination. Ground cinnamon should always be stored in an airtight container in a space that isn’t too hot or too cold.
Many people are tempted to keep their ground cinnamon in the fridge or freezer, but that should be avoided. Ground cinnamon is best kept in your pantry because extreme heat or cold will make it lose its potency.
That’s why you shouldn’t keep your ground cinnamon refrigerated or frozen.
Likewise, it would be best if you didn’t keep it near your stove or oven. Instead, keep your ground cinnamon at a spot that doesn’t get any direct sunlight. The perfect place won’t be affected by any heat sources.
Storing your cinnamon sticks
Unopened cinnamon sticks can last up to four years in your pantry. However, like ground cinnamon, keeping cinnamon sticks in the fridge or the freezer isn’t recommended.
Once you have opened your cinnamon sticks, you need to take great care of how you store them to ensure they last as long as possible. Place your cinnamon sticks in an airtight container, and be sure to close the container properly after every use.
If you are unsure whether your cinnamon sticks are still fresh, rub a small part of a cinnamon stick on your hand and smell it. It should still have a robust cinnamony taste and smell.
To ensure a long shelf life of your cinnamon sticks, keep your airtight container in a dry place that doesn’t receive too much light.
If your cinnamon sticks have pulled moisture, it is time to replace them. Please make sure the container you are using is clean and completely dry before placing your cinnamon sticks into it.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Cinnamon
If your ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks have expired, there won’t be much aroma or taste to your cinnamon. Contrary to popular belief, you won’t be harmed if you digest cinnamon that has expired, but you will probably be disappointed by its quality.
Although expired cinnamon isn’t harmful, doctors advise against the overuse or consuming too much cinnamon. Diet trends might encourage people to eat tablespoons of cinnamon as a weight loss booster, but this should never be done because it isn’t safe.
Instead, use fresh cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon in your cooking, baking, and drinks within reasonable limits. You’ll be amazed by how aromatic and delicious a touch of fresh cinnamon can make your food or drinks.
Can You Freeze Cinnamon?
Although it is possible to freeze spices if you buy them in large quantities, it isn’t recommended with cinnamon. This is because cinnamon is quite sensitive to heat and cold temperatures.
In addition, freezing your cinnamon could lead to your cinnamon losing its flavor and potency. Freezing cinnamon will indeed prevent bacteria or mold growth, but you might end up with a large bag of cinnamon that has become flavorless.
Therefore, if you buy your cinnamon in large quantities, it is better to take the amount you plan to use for the next month or two and put it in an airtight container.
The rest you can place in a separate container that you can store in a dark and cool place. By placing it in a separate container, you minimize its exposure to air and light because you won’t be opening it every time you need to use cinnamon. When your smaller container is nearly empty, fill it up and use it again.
You can turn your meals into masterpieces with a touch of fresh cinnamon. Knowing whether cinnamon goes bad and how to avoid it is crucial in helping you keep your meals and drinks tasting tremendous and flavorful.