Since moving into our new home and sharing bits and pieces of how I’ve been organizing, there’s been quite a few questions related to how I store certain foods, mainly nuts and seeds. Also, I’m not sure there’s any turning back from the extreme Type A personality I’ve acquired since making organizing my latest hobby.
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about how to navigate a kitchen, how to eat foods for maximum nutrition and how to properly store my precious everyday ingredients. When it comes to nuts and seeds, they contain healthy unsaturated fatty acids, meaning they are delicate when exposed to heat, oxygen, and light, and can actually decompose and turn rancid, resulting in a harsh, bitter flavor. This isn’t ideal for digestion either.
They have a pretty limited shelf life so I like to buy in small amounts, or whenever I know I’ll need them. Keeping them refrigerated + chilled also plays a huge part in helping them stay fresh for longer. They’re so versatile and can be kept on hand for snacking, baking, cooking, garnishing dishes, in salads, etc.!
SOME TIPS TO KEEP YOUR NUTS SUPER FRESH
Keep In An Airtight Container: I’d say this is the most important step in keeping nuts/seeds from turning bad. Maybe you have bags and bags of *barely* rolled up nuts in your pantry that you haven’t touched in 3-6+ months… don’t worry, this was me just a few years ago!! Toss ’em! Start fresh and get yourself some sealable containers. Weck jars, mason jars, glass tupperware, etc. are all great. Not only does having a lid keep the air out, but it keeps odors out as well. Odors can be quickly absorbed by nuts and seeds, so you’re better off keeping them sealed up tight! This also goes for when you bring them home from the store– transfer them right into an airtight container.
Keep Cool & Chilled In The Fridge Or Freezer: They’ll last about 3-4 months in any cool, dark space like a pantry, but they’ll last much longer- 6+ months in the fridge and even more in the freezer. This can slow down deterioration of the nuts so they won’t spoil. If you plan to use the nuts & seeds in the near future or know you’re going to use them up pretty quickly in your recipes, there’s no harm in keeping them in a cool, dark place on your counter or in the pantry. I do this with hemp seeds on my counter since I go through them so fast. Hemp seeds are great to throw into your smoothies, on top of salads, and in baked goods because they contain omega-3s and 10g of plant protein per only 2-3 tbsp! I also like to keep almond flour in the fridge as well to keep it fresh as possible.
Buy Raw & Fresh: It’s best to buy nuts and seeds whole and fresh– they last the longest this way. Do the dirty work at home, like grinding your own flaxseeds, roasting your cashews, chop your almonds, etc. Once they’re chopped, roasted, toasted, or ground into flours, they typically go rancid much quicker. I like to buy raw nuts/seeds from Thrive Market, in the bulk section at Whole Foods (they tend to restock these pretty frequently so you know they’re fresh), or Trader Joe’s. Another thing about buying PRE-roasted nuts is that they’re usually made with harmful vegetable oils like canola oil. Click here for more info on why you should toss the vegetable oils in your diet.
PSA – the weck jars with the wood lids are not explicitly air tight and aren’t supposed to be used in the fridge. Stick to the glass lids and metal clips that come with the jars.
Should we do this with nut flours too?
Rachael Devaux says
Yes, it doesn’t hurt!! 🙂 Keeps them fresh.
I have this “friend” who always takes the nuts out of my refrigerator and tells me that they don’t need to be refrigerated. Guess you were wrong, huh Courtney! And also, seek help: you can’t control everything in this world.
Rachelle Rainey says
Rachael, this is so helpful! Do you also recommend freezing nuts? Or just refrigerating them? Sending lots of love from SoCal. 🙂 XOXO
Rachael Devaux says
If you buy in bulk or don’t plan on using for a while then you can freeze 🙂 But I typically stick to the refrigerator (or pantry if I know I’m going to use them quickly!). xx
Kate Stephens says
Wow, this is immensely insightful, and I am so beyond glad I stumbled across this blog post! I will be switching up my habits asap, and will take any excuse to get organized, ditch the plastic bags, and grab some stylish jars for storing!