How to Freeze Nuts to Maintain Freshness
Nuts are incredibly healthy and versatile, and are a staple in many kitchens. They can be used in recipes and as a quick snack. Unfortunately, they can easily turn rancid if left in the cupboard too long or if improperly sealed. More then once I have pulled out some pecans for a recipe only to find that they had gone bad.
The best way to maintain freshness for nuts is to freeze them. It is quick and easy, and a great way to save money. Freezing nuts also significantly increases their shelf life.
Nut types and facts
Types of nuts
One serving contains 9% of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
2 brazil nuts have the same amount of calories as an egg.
One serving of cashews has more iron than a steak.
Chestnuts have the lowest amount of calories of any nut.
The fats in coconut have been found to promote weight-loss in certain studies.
Hazelnuts have a high concentration of copper.
Macadamia nuts are the fattiest of all nuts.
Peanuts are actually a legume, but are treated as nuts.
There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans.
Pine nuts are loaded with potassium.
Pistachios have been shown to reduce bilirubin levels.
Walnuts are the main non-fish source of alpha-linolenic acid, an Omega-3 fatty acid.
Nut storage tips
Before freezing, there are a few things you will need to know.
- Buy in bulk - Buy nuts in bulk from a specialty store or an online supplier instead of the local grocery store. You will get a much better deal and usually the nuts are fresher than the ones sitting on the store shelf.
- Make sure the nuts are fresh - Freeze nuts as quickly as possible after date of purchase. One of the easiest ways to tell if nuts are fresh is by smell. If they have a sour or rancid smell, throw them out. Fresh nuts do not have a strong odor. They are also bad if they have a soft or mushy texture.
- Shelled or unshelled - Nuts can be frozen shelled or unshelled.
- Chopped or unchopped - Nuts can be frozen chopped or unchopped. If you use a lot of chopped nuts in recipes, it will save time to freeze them chopped and in measured portions.
- How long nuts should be stored - Frozen, nuts can last 18 to 24 months. Nuts stored in the pantry have an estimated shelf life of 6 to 9 months.
- Containers for freezing - Use airtight plastic containers to freeze nuts. Nuts easily absorb the odors of other foods so be mindful when storing. Double bag if using freezer bags.
How to freeze nuts - A step by step photo guide
Follow these simple steps to freeze nuts.
*Note: These instructions are for all nuts except chestnuts and coconuts, which have different flesh and should be prepared for freezing in another method.
Step 1 - Purchase nuts you plan on freezing
Step 2 - Choose containers for freezing
Nuts can be frozen in any airtight container. To save space, use freezer bags that can lay flat or be compressed in a tight space. Before freezing, make sure that containers are not damp. This will ruin the nuts.
Step 3 - Label containers and place nuts in them
Double the shelf life of nuts by freezing them
Using only a few simple steps, freezing nuts is the perfect way to keep them longer. No special preparations are necessary, and almost everyone has the supplies needed in their pantry.
Next time nuts are on sale at your local grocery store, or you buy a few pounds in bulk, try freezing them. You'll be enjoying fresh nuts for months to come.
© 2013 Claudia Mitchell