We all know how useful nuts are. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and high nutritional fiber with monounsaturated fats that lower cholesterol, inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts and other nuts are delicious and can be used in a variety of recipes.
But many people make mistakes when buying and storing nuts. Want to keep your nuts fresh (and healthy) for as long as possible?
Then learn not to make these mistakes:
1. Do not buy nuts by weight in supermarkets
The main mistake is buying nuts by weight from a container in a supermarket. It is impossible to determine how often they are replaced and how long they lie outdoors.
According to Steve Lindsay, nut quality specialist, oxygen is the worst enemy of nut longevity. In open containers, nuts are constantly in contact with oxygen and, as a result, spoil faster. In sealed bags, nuts stay fresh much longer.
In addition, some unscrupulous buyers climb into open containers with their hands. Think for yourself how many extraneous bacteria get on the nuts.
2. Don’t store them in a locker
Contrary to popular belief, nuts should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, not on the shelf. Why? Because nuts contain a lot of unsaturated fat – this is an oil that can go rancid.
Nuts deteriorate especially quickly when exposed to oxygen, light and, of course, heat. Therefore, nuts (as well as seeds) should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, where they will be protected from external influences and retain their freshness for a long time.
Lindsay says a sealed package of both shelled and unshelled nuts can be refrigerated for up to two years (!). In an open package, peeled nuts will last a year, and unpeeled – a year and a half.
Of course, if you intend to eat nuts in the near future, you can store them in a cool and dark cupboard. Just remember to put them in an airtight container and keep them that way for no longer than a couple of weeks.
3. Don’t worry too much about shelf life
Shelf life is generally a dubious thing, because it is more a recommendation or a guess about how long the product will be usable than a clear date after which it is guaranteed to become inedible. Remember that the shelf life of nuts depends on three key factors: storage conditions, hermetic packaging, and the presence or absence of a shell.
Lindsay advises treating nuts like vegetables, not sealed foods. Smell them before eating.
Stale nuts will have an odor reminiscent of paint. If you smell a pungent or bitter smell, discard the nuts. If not, most likely, they can be safely eaten.