Nuts are genuine superfoods loaded with protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which help us feel fuller, and more energized, improving our overall health. Having various nuts in the house is an excellent way to avoid the temptations of less healthy snacks and is an essential mainstay for those on specific diets, whether they are geared toward addressing particular health conditions or strictly for the purposes of weight loss.
One of the best things about having nuts, as well as dried fruits, in one’s home is that they have a good shelf-life, but certain aspects contribute to how long they will actually last. For instance, how new and fresh the nuts or dried fruits were when they were purchased matters. Of course, that is a bit tough to know seeing as stores and online retailers that sell these products do not readily and openly provide consumers with this information. To keep nuts and dried fruits fresh at home, there are a few helpful tips for extending their shelf life for as long as possible.
How they are stored depends on what is being stored, and certain types of products have more optimal conditions. When purchasing nuts from the store or ordering them, the rule of thumb is to empty those that will be eaten within a short period of time, while others that are planned to be stored for later have to be set aside.
After inspecting the contents of the purchase, the “stored for later” nuts and dried fruits should be stored in a dark, cool place, out of direct sunlight and away from direct sources of heat. They should be kept in a fully sealed, airtight container to keep maximum freshness. Ideally, the container should not be plastic, but rather glass as it will maintain the freshness better because plastic, especially in bag form, allow flavors of other foods to permeate the material, leading to the stored products inside to obtain those flavors too.
The climate in which the person storing the nuts and dried fruits is living is also an important factor to consider. While some believe that nuts should be stored at room temperature, they are far better preserved when stored in colder temperatures such as a fridge. This is particularly vital for those who are living in humid and hot climates, especially during the unrelenting summer heat.
Those who purchase dried fruits and nuts in bulk will likely have a ton of leftovers. Those ingredients that will not be used right away should be stored away in the freezer. This is especially true for dried fruit which can last up to a year when properly frozen, and even longer than that if they are frozen while still inside their shells. Storing nuts in the freezer depends on the type of nut in question as some hold up their freshness there better than others.
Research into the matter has shown that when nuts are refrigerated, they could experience a slight loss of quality, while frozen nuts experience none. If nuts are removed from a freezer, they can then be refrozen without any negative effects on texture and taste. The key is to prevent them from absorbing excess moisture when unfreezing them. This can be accomplished by allowing cold or frozen nuts to warm to room temperature before serving or consuming.
Roasted nuts can also be frozen, and they will keep the quality as well as raw nuts would. It is important to let the nuts stay in their container when being removed from the freezer until they warm to room temperature to avoid them absorbing moisture from the air and becoming limp. If that does occur, however, they can be freshened up by putting them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 150 degrees.
Dried fruits can be kept in the freezer, but ideally, they should be placed in an air-tight container and refrigerated instead to keep them from drying out further. Certain dried fruit can exude their sugar. While the sugar makes them crunchy and is perfectly safe to consume, some people prefer this not to be the case with their dried fruit. These sugars can be easily removed by simply rinsing the dried fruit off with a bit of warm water.
Nuts and dried fruit have a far more lasting shelf-life than regular fruits, however, they are still liable to spoil with time if kept in non-ideal conditions. The biggest factors that affect them are air and moisture, so left in those elements the nuts and dried fruit will degrade and spoil significantly faster.
To prevent this, these products should be kept in an air-tight container, preferably glass as it does not allow smells from other foods to permeate it as plastic does.
If possible, dry fruit should be stored with ample space around it to prevent other foods around it from crowding it and placing any undue heat on them. Both dried fruits and nuts spoil much more quickly when exposed to heat, so for maximum longevity, they should be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Many people opt to store them in fridges. For extensive keeping, such as when purchased in bulk, freezing the products is recommended. When removed from the freezer, the nuts and dried fruit should be permitted time to reach warm temperature before the container is opened to minimize the air and moisture that get at them.
When shopping with We Roast Nuts, you can view our "KEEP IT FRESH!" section to get an idea of the shelf life of each product. It's also included on the label behind each bag.