Dear Ruthy, What’s the best way to store nuts and seeds? In the pantry, or in the fridge or freezer?
This is a great question — it’s never fun when you spend good money on nuts, only to find that they’ve gone bad when you want to eat them. Since nuts are very fatty, if stored improperly they will eventually go rancid or get moldy, or they can also dry out. The answer depends on how quickly you’ll be using them and whether or not they’ve been activated.
Firstly, if I’m buying my nuts (or seeds) in bulk, I make sure the store is a busy one that turns over their inventory often, ensuring freshness. If buying packaged nuts, check the best before date to make sure they haven’t been sitting on the shelf for months. Regardless of where you store your nuts, do so in an airtight container so that they don’t absorb odors from other foods.
(Photo from This Vibrant World)
In general, if I’m not going to be eating or cooking nuts within days of purchase, I like to keep nuts in the fridge or freezer for ultimate freshness. Activated/soaked nuts (that haven’t been dehydrated) can be refrigerated if used within a couple of days, otherwise keep them frozen. Shelf life in the fridge and freezer varies by nut, but in general, try to buy quantities that you will get through within 6 months (refrigerated) or 1 year (frozen). Finally, I like to keep activated and dehydrated nuts sealed airtight in the pantry to retain their crunchiness. They’ll last for a few months, but who are we kidding?!? They’ll be gone in no time!
(Header image by Tom Hermans)
Ruth Elnekave is a Toronto-based chef, holistic nutritionist, culinary instructor, recovering corporate lawyer and founder of JOYÀ. Her projects are fuelled by one main goal: to spread the pure joy experienced when sharing and savouring delicious, real food. For more, visit Joya.ca.