Cinnamon is well known for its unique taste and aromatic scent, which work together to add flavor to meals. Since cinnamon is a spice, its storage plays a pivotal role in determining whether it maintains flavor and taste. So, can you store cinnamon in the fridge?
You can store cinnamon in the fridge as a whole spice but not in its ground form. It’s best to store cinnamon in the freezer section since it’s dry and chilly enough to keep bacteria away. Also, to preserve the spice’s rich taste and aroma, it is advisable to store whole cinnamons in large amounts.
Are you interested in learning more about storing cinnamon and spices in general? If so, then you couldn’t be in a better place. Read on as we break down the best ways to keep your cinnamon fresh, tasty, and aromatic.
Whole vs. Ground Cinnamon: How Should You Store Cinnamon?
Spices mostly come in their ground form to allow for ease of use. Once you’ve had your cinnamon ground, you’ll need to store it in a cool, dark place, preferably away from sunlight. And to maintain flavor and aroma, your storage jars should be airtight. Ground cinnamons shouldn’t be stored for over six to twelve months, lest they become rancid and flavorless.
If you want long term cinnamon storage, you should consider storing it in its whole form as cinnamon sticks 1. Compared to ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks tend to better maintain flavor and aroma, making them ideal for bulk and long-term storage. The trick when dealing with whole spices is to store them in bulk either in a freezer or a cool, dry pantry.
Storing Cinnamon in the Fridge
Fridge storage isn’t advisable when dealing with spices. But if you want to store several cinnamon sticks that you don’t intend to use for up to a year, you can use the fridge as a storage space 2.
Storing in the normal compartment won’t do your cinnamon much good since it will be exposed to moisture. Your best bet is to use the freezer to store your cinnamon sticks. Point to note though, these sticks should be placed in an airtight plastic bag that won’t allow moisture to penetrate. Vacuum sealers are the best for achieving an airtight bag.
If you must use your fridge to store cinnamon, storing the spices in bulk is advisable. Bulk storage helps to keep out moisture, especially since freezer settings are often subject to constant change.
Tips for Storing Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of those must-have spices, especially in households that fancy tasty, aromatic recipes. Below are some proven tips that you can use to keep your cinnamon (whether ground or whole) fresh and spicy.
Buy Whole Cinnamon if You’re After Long-Term Storage
Like most spices, cinnamon tends to maintain freshness better when whole as opposed to its ground form. If you plan to store your cinnamon for over six months, it’s advisable to buy cinnamon sticks as they can last for close to two years, provided they’re properly stored.
Store Cinnamon in Cool and Dry Areas
To preserve aroma and keep your cinnamon fresh, you’ll need to store it in a cool, dry, and hopefully dark place. Exposure to heat and sunlight will reduce your spice’s potency, making the aroma rancid. As a result, you should ensure that your storage area or pantry is cool and always dry.
Whether ground or in stick form, cinnamon shouldn’t be exposed to moisture, or it will become musty and moldy, leaving you with no option but to throw it out.
Use Air-tight Glass Jars
Since cinnamon is sensitive to moisture and light, you should always seal the contents immediately after use. Airtight glass jars will help you to keep the moisture away. But you’ll need to be cautious enough to always seal the jar immediately after use to preserve the spice’s freshness. Consider buying vacuum sealer that comes with jar attachments.
Buy What You Need
While proper storage will help to maintain cinnamon’s taste and aroma, nothing beats using fresh cinnamon in foods. As a result, to reduce the chances of cinnamon going bad, buying the right amount for your needs is highly advised. In its ground form, you can store cinnamon for close to a year without losing its taste.
And while ground cinnamon might still be okay for use after six months, it won’t be as fresh and aromatic as freshly packed ones.
Open Your Storage Jar When Necessary
You should only open your storage jar when you want to access the cinnamon. And if you’re storing cinnamon sticks in a freezer, be sure to open the jar far away from the fridge. Exposure to moisture can make the sticks soggy, consequently leading to a loss of flavor.
You should avoid opening your jar anywhere close to your stove or an alternative source of heat. If you plan on storing the cinnamon again, be careful enough to open it in a conducive environment, preferably away from any heat and moisture.
How to Know If Cinnamon Is Bad
Luckily, cinnamon rarely goes bad if properly stored. But even slight exposure to moisture or excessive heat can render your storage efforts useless.
Below are some of the ways to know if your cinnamon is bad:
- Presence of mold: After months of storage, you might find wet spots or medium-sized clumps that point out to the presence of mold. Don’t use cinnamon that appears to be contaminated with mold.
- Loss of Aroma: Storing cinnamon for several months or years can lead to a gradual reduction in its flavor and aroma. If you can’t pick out cinnamon’s strong smell when sniffing the jar, then it’s time to get new supplies.
- Soggy or flabby sticks: For long term storage, it’s always advisable to preserve your cinnamon in stick form. But how can you know if your cinnamon sticks have gone bad? You’ll know that cinnamon sticks need to be thrown out if they are flabby or soggy.
This explains why if you choose to store cinnamon in your fridge, you should keep it in sealed, airtight bags deep in the freezer.
Advantages of Using Cinnamon
Below are some of the advantages of using cinnamon:
Cinnamon Reduces the Risks of Heart Disease
Cinnamon reduces LDL cholesterol (harmful) while maintaining the levels of HDL cholesterol, which is good for heart health 3. Also, when taken consistently, cinnamon helps to regulate blood pressure, consequently reducing the risks of heart-related complications.
Cinnamon Is an Anti-Diabetic Spice
Cinnamon is well-reputed as an anti-diabetic spice due to its ability to reduce blood sugar levels. The spice works by reducing the body’s resistance to insulin, thus allowing the hormone to perform its function 3.
Cinnamon May Help Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases
Cinnamon might help to protect neurons and normalize neurotransmitter levels. A study conducted by the Neuroimmune Pharmacol on mice suggested that cinnamon is vital in improving motor and brain function 4. While the researchers used animal subjects, the findings point out similar benefits in humans.
Cinnamon Contains Antioxidants
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, which protect the human body from oxidative damage. A study investigating the antioxidant properties of several spices concluded that cinnamon is richer in antioxidants than oregano and garlic 5.
Antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals, consequently keeping off several diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Read Next: More Cinnamon and Spice Articles
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- Ethnobotanical Leaflets: Cinnamon: It’s Not Just For Making Cinnamon Rolls
- Texas Agricultural Extension Service: Home Food Storage: Shelf – Freezer Refrigerator
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Cinnamon treatment up regulates neuroprotective proteins Parkin and DJ-1 and protects dopaminergic neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease
- Science Direct: A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents