Nuts are among the healthiest foods to include in your diet, which can be enjoyed in various ways.
They can be roasted, added to salads, or stirred up with your stir fry.
They can be stored with the shell or when they’re shelled, but how long will they keep frozen?
Since nuts contain fats, they are delicate and turn rancid quickly if they’re not stored under cold temperatures.
This article will have an in-depth review of why and how to store nuts in the freezer.
Hot to Store & Freeze Your Nuts
To keep nuts fresh and prevent them from going rancid, ensure you keep them in the freezer.
If you’d like to buy in bulk, as this is economical compared to buying small portions at a time, investing in a freezer will be highly beneficial as you can keep your nuts frozen for over a year.
Use a glass freezer container to keep your nuts looking fresh and ensure the container won’t get damaged or break during storage.
Why Store Nuts in the Freezer?
Nuts contain good fat that helps lower cholesterol and keeps the heart healthy for longer.
Storing nuts in the freezer will help slow down the deterioration of oils in the nuts since they last longer in cooler temperatures.
Consequently, when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen, they turn rancid.
The best way to know if nuts are rancid is by checking the smell.
If they have a weird smell, it goes without saying that they may not necessarily be fresh.
Also, if they have a somewhat yellowish color, there is a chance that the nuts may be rancid.
Nuts, unlike fruits, are vulnerable to rancidity over a period of time.
Rancidity happens when the fats inside the nuts get oxidized.
Eating rancid nuts can cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth, making the stomach and intestines uncomfortable.
It may also lead to the feeling of nausea, vomiting as well as diarrhea.
The good thing is, you can process rancid nuts to make them good again for human consumption.
Still, why go through all the hustle of restoring them when you can store them properly, preferably in the freezer, and have them stay fresh and safe for consumption.
Freezing causes deep crystallization of food molecules that usually destroys some nutrients and flavors, but this doesn’t apply to nuts.
They hold so well to freezing because they have a lot of water in them.
Storing nuts in the freezer makes sure they stay fresh and retain their flavor.
There are also various species of moths, beetles, and weevils that love nuts.
Storing the nuts in the freezer ensures that these insects do not have access to the nuts.
Freezing the nuts also helps reduce food wastage and goes a long way in helping to retain the important nutrients in the nuts.
How To Ensure Nuts Stay Fresh in the Freezer?
Don’t store nuts in the same bag you brought them home because they may pick up lingering odors in the freezer.
Instead, you could consider investing in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags that you could use to store them.
We recommend this Fdit Airtight Food Storage Container from Amazon, which keeps the food dry, fresh, and clean.
It is also transparent to make it convenient to find the food without having to open lids.
Another alternative is the JA Kitchens Extra Heavy-Duty Zippered Reclosable Plastic Freezer Bags from Amazon, which are large and extra heavy-duty.
For the heavy-duty bags, see to it that you squeeze out plenty of air before you close it up.
You should maintain all necessary precautions when packaging nuts for refrigeration or freezing.
Although failure to do this doesn’t pose any health implications, maintaining the nuts’ taste and freshness is still a good enough reason to make these investments.
Just choose the one that works for you and make the purchase.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Nuts?
Thawing nuts is quite a simple task with very few changes to the nuts’ texture and taste.
It is best to thaw nuts in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, so that they can be safe, and you can prevent them from going bad.
You can also remove the nuts from the freezer and allow them to sit at room temperature.
Also, ensure that you don’t keep them out for so long from the time you thaw to when you consume the nuts.
Thawing nuts is absolutely optional, but if you’re having them as they are, for instance, as an ice cream topping or in a trail mix, you may want them to get to room temperature.
When thawing, ensure to take all steps to minimize the risk of entry of microorganisms in nuts.
If you are cooking or baking, using them while they are still frozen is perfectly fine.
What Nuts Can You Freeze?
A wide variety of nuts can be frozen, but how long they can last while shelled or unshelled also differs. Nuts in the shell last longer than shelled nuts.
Nuts do not need any prep before putting them in the freezer, apart from ensuring the container is clean.
Here’s a list of the nuts you can store in the freezer:
- Almonds: These nuts are not only proved to be the healthiest nuts but also last the longest compared to all other nuts. They boast a high nutritive value that is mostly a result of the presence of fiber, magnesium, and proteins in them. They are also a good source of antioxidants.
- Pine nuts: These teardrop-shaped nuts are rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein. They are among the most expensive nuts in the world because of the time taken to grow them and the energy used in harvesting. Many cultures around the world eat them.
- Cashew nuts: They are free from cholesterol and packed with fatty acids that promote the heart’s health. If you are a peanut butter lover, consider changing to cashew spread, which is a healthier option than the artery-clogging peanut butter. The spread will also last longer while in the fridge.
- Walnuts: To say walnuts are a nutritious food is an understatement. They are an incredible source of antioxidants and Omega-3. They also have certain anti-cancer properties, which are suitable for maintaining a healthy gut and decreasing inflammation.
- Macadamia nuts: These nuts are said to be the most expensive nuts and are a great source of antioxidants. They help in losing weight and form protection against diabetes and heart disease. They also improve gut health.
- Chestnuts: These are pretty much the hardest nuts to store. After peeling and roasting them, you can put them in the freezer for a few months, but ensure they’re in an airtight container. Chestnuts are also very high in starch, making them very good ingredients for the production of gluten-free flour.
How Long Will Nuts Keep in the Refrigerator?
Nuts can stay in the fridge for up to six months.
Remember to label the packages with the date when they were packaged to know which ones to use before the others.
Chestnuts are unique because they have higher moisture content; hence, they can only hold for about two weeks in the fridge.
|Almonds||9-12 months||1 year||2 years|
|Pine Nuts||1-2 months||3-4 months||5-6 months|
|Macadamia Nuts||6-9 months||1 year||2 years|
|Brazil Nuts||9 months||1 year||1 year|
|Cashew Nuts||6-9 months||1 year||2 years|
|Walnuts||6 months||1 year||1-2 years|
Evidently, storing nuts in the freezer is a better bargain compared to the fridge or pantry.
Storing in the freezer guarantees the nuts will stay fresh for longer, making it more frugal if you prefer buying in bulk.
How Long Do Vacuum-Packed Nuts Last?
Vacuum-packed nuts vary in whether they are packaged normally or vacuum-sealed.
Under normal packaging, the nuts can last six to eight months, and if they are vacuum-sealed, they can hold up to two years.
Vacuum-packaged peanuts that are roasted can be stored for a year.
Vacuum-packaged nuts are not suitable for refrigeration or freezing.
The NESCO VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer from Amazon, which has double lines for added strength and a double vacuum pump, is a great machine to help vacuum seal your nuts.
Here is a YouTube video to give a glimpse of how to vacuum seal nuts:
Nuts are not cheap, so ensure you store them well to get value for your money and benefit from their nutritional value.
Instead of eating a biscuit or a cake, try having a handful of nuts of your choice.
For vegans, incorporating nuts in your diet is also advised.
Also, remember that no matter the nuts you’re having, storing them properly is non-negotiable.