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Video:How to Grind Spices

with Jen D'Amore

If you’re not using fresh herbs, the next best thing is to grind your herbs and spices fresh as you need them. Learn a few methods for grinding herbs and spices in this video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Grind Spices

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is all about how to grind spices.

Grinding Herbs and Spices

If you're not using fresh herbs, the next best thing is to grind your herbs and spices fresh as you need them, whether it's adding fresh ground pepper to your salad, or grinding herbs and spices as you cook.

When spices are ground, aromas and flavors are released, so the more of them that are released into your dish, as opposed to on the shelf, the better.

Grinding Herbs and Spices with a Mortar and Pestle

There are different tools you can use from the mortar and pestle, to a spice grinder.

A mortar and pestle is the oldest method of spice grinding. The mortar is the bowl and the pestle is the tool that sits inside the bowl that is used to do the crushing. It requires some manual labor but may be the best way to crush your spices. This crushing will allow the spice to break at natural week spots, preserving cell walls and the integrity of the spice in a way that chopping does not. It also allows you to grind as fine as needed, as long as you're willing to put in the effort. To grind with a mortar and pestle, place the dry herbs in the mortar and press the pestle firmly down crushing it between them.

Other Ways to Grind Herbs and Spices

A microplane, or a very fine grater, is used for things like whole nutmeg, or cinnamon since their shape, size, and tough exterior would be difficult to finely grind with other methods .

If time is money, but you still want to grind your own spices, you can use an electric spice grinder or coffee grinder, the electric version of the old fashioned hand cranked spice grinder. But be forewarned that the time you save grinding may end up being used for cleaning. Scrape out as much of the spice as you can, and be sure to unplug the grinder before rinsing.

No matter what method you use, consider lightly toasting your dried herbs before grinding. This can be done easily using a stovetop pan for just a few minutes over low heat and keep the pan moving. This will release aromatic essential oils and increase it's flavor.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.

 

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