I don’t know about you, but with all of the baking and cooking I do, I have a ton of spices laying around. From cinnamon sticks to cardamom pods, my cabinets are full of bags of extra spices that are taking up space and in the way. But here at Steamy Kitchen, we never throw things away! Instead, we find creative and fun ways to use up extra food, like these ideas for how to use up extra spices laying around!

What to do with extra spices (1)   

Our Mission: Help give new life to your leftovers!

Love Your Leftovers SeriesOur mission is to stop food waste at home! We have tons of ideas for leftovers, but what about extra spices?

Give New Life to Leftovers

If there is one thing we really don’t like, it’s food waste. Repurposing these leftovers in creative ways ensures that nothing will get wasted, which makes us totally happy! So much food is wasted in the United States, but we are here to make sure that never happens again by bringing your leftovers back to life!  

Extra Spice Ideas

Make Extra Spices into Infused Oil

#1: Infuse Extra Spices into Olive Oil

Infusing extra spices into olive oil is a quick way to take a few simple ingredients and elevate them into a delicious, gourmet treat. I love mixing extra spices into olive oil and keeping it around to use in creative cooking ventures, but infused olive oil makes a great present, too!

Here are some of my favorite flavor combinations for infusing extra spices into olive oil:

Make Extra Spices into Compound Butter

#2: Make Extra Spices into Compound Butter

In the same vein as infused olive oil, compound butter is a gourmet take on an every day ingredient that elevates your cooking and makes a great present to hand out to friends and family. It’s almost too easy, and putting it out at the party spread is a sure way to wow the crowd!

Compound butter is much more accessible for sweeter spices as well as savory, so flex your creativity and use up those extra spices in compound butter! Here are some of my favorite ways to use extra spices in compound butter:

Make Extra Spices into Smoothies

#3: Blend Extra Spices into Smoothie

Adding extra spices to smoothies is a great way to use up extra spices AND add a boost of a flavor and health benefits to your morning smoothie! Did you know that spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger have health benefits ranging from antioxidants to digestion aids? Grating just a little bit of these extra spices into your smoothies can help you use up leftovers and eat healthier! 

Here are some of my favorite smoothies using extra spices:

Make Extra Spices into Potpourri

#4: Make Potpourri with Extra Spices

One of my favorite ways to use up extra spices isn’t an edible idea at all! I love using extra spices to make little potpourri sachets to use to freshen up areas around the house. They also make a great present to give to friends and family! I either tuck these spice packets into drawers to freshen things up or lightly simmer each packet in a big pot of water to clear out bad kitchen smells.

Here are my favorite resources for making potpourri with extra spices:

Make Extra Spices into Custom Spice Mixes

#5: Make Extra Spices into Custom Spice Mixes

Sometimes, all I need to reimagine leftovers is a little help for myself! Making spice mixes is so easy, and the combinations you can create are endless. All it takes to create your very own custom spice mixes is a little imagination and a spice grinder if your spices are whole. Otherwise, just find a bowl and get mixing!

Here are some ideas to get you started on using extra spices in custom spice mixes:

Make Kombucha with Extra Berries

#6: Flavor Kombucha with Extra Spices

Just like with leftover berries, extra spices can be a delicious addition to any home-brewed kombucha that you have going. Add spices into the second fermentation to add a little bit of zing!