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Sep 19, 2005 07:18 PM

How do you store nuts?

  • j

I use nuts a lot and like to keep them on hand. I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods and store them in plastic containers with lids in my pantry. Lately I've been noticing that they seem to go bad fairly quickly (they have a rancid smell). I've moved to a much drier climate, but I would think the nuts would actually do better here than in the more humid climate. I'm still buying approximately the same quantities I've always used. I usually keep pinenuts, cashews and almonds on hand at all times and pecans and walnuts in the fall. Pumpkin seeds year round too. Any suggestions on how to store them to prevent this problem? What quantities to you buy? Could I put them in the freezer? Thank you.

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  1. Yes, you can put them in the freezer. Since they have very little water content they don't form ice crystals or get freezer burn, and it does keep the oils from becoming rancid.

    1. i keep mine in the freezer...they're good for a couple of months

      1. Just in the last couple of years, I've noticed nuts seem to go rancid much faster. I keep all of them in the freezer now and since I almost always toast them first to bring out their full flavor, haven't noticed that they taste any dif. than not being frozen. I don't have to worry about them going rancid at all now.

        1. Walnuts, pecans etc. have oils that come to the surface upon shelling and the oil goes rancid very quickly and give the nuts a bitter flavor. If you will put the shelled nuts in boiling water for a minute or two and then drain and rinse well and then toast 15-20 minutes at 350 F. cool, bag and freeze you will have great tasting nuts ready to go in salads, cookies, cakes etc.

          I also store hazelnuts and almonds in the freezer. Almomnds I frequently blanch and slip off the skins, pat dry and deep fry in light olive oil and salt. Terific! When I can find them I buy skinned hazelnuts and toast and store, if not available I just toast them and rub in dishtowels to slip off the skins.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Candy--do you also store pine nuts in the freezer? i keep most of my nuts in the freezer (definitely walnuts and hazelnuts--they seem to go bad so fast, and I just don't use them that fast). Somehow, it seems odd to me to keep pine nuts in the freezer, but maybe I'm just being goofy.


            1. re: smokey
              nearsighted lady

              I make pesto throughout the summer and routinely store my stash of pine nuts in the freezer. No need to inquire further about specific varieties; nuts do well in the freezer.

              1. re: nearsighted lady

                We store our pine nuts in the freezer, in a plastic bag. Usually I store the nuts in plastic bags to conserve space, but a container is probably fine, too.