Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (2024)

Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (1)

Benefits of Nuts

Nuts aren't just convenient snacks; they're packed with health benefits. They're rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats, all of which contribute to lowering cholesterol levels. Moreover, omega-3 fats found in certain nuts help combat inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. Incorporating nuts into your diet opens up a world of culinary possibilities. They can be transformed into nutritious nut butters, sprinkled atop salads for added crunch and flavor, or mixed into baked goods like banana or zucchini bread for an extra nutritional boost. Crafting homemade granola with nuts adds both taste and health benefits to your breakfast routine, while a handful of nuts makes for a satisfying and wholesome snack. However, storing nuts properly is key due to their high fat content, which can turn rancid relatively quickly. To maximize their shelf life, consider these essential tips. The number one rule for your nut storage is rotation, rotation, and rotation. Rotate your nut supply regularly to ensure freshness and quality.

The Enemy to Nuts

Heat, light, oxygen, strong smells, and time are the enemy to preservation of nuts. For instance, macadamia nuts left in a pantry may only retain their quality for a few months. Light exposure can also deteriorate the fats in nuts, so storing them in a dark environment or opaque containers can prolong their storage duration. Similar to other perishable foods, storing nuts in a cooler location is important. Higher fat content in nuts accelerates the process of fat oxidation when exposed to heat, leading to rancidity. Ideally, nuts should be stored at temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Additionally, it's essential to place nuts in well-sealed containers to prevent the intrusion of odors and oxygen.

Storage Conditions

  • What is the temperature of the room you are storing your food in?
  • Does the temperature vary?
  • Are there any other pungent foods or items nearby emitting strong odors? For instance, if nuts aren't stored in gas and odor impermeable containers, the scent of onions or garlic can easily transfer and affect them.

Shelled vs De-shelled

Keeping nuts in their original form is akin to storing wheat berries versus flour. Storing the whole nut with the shell extends its shelf life by about twice as long compared to shelled nuts.

Harvested Nuts vs Store Bought

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If you gather your own nuts, ensure they are adequately dried. If the nut's flesh feels rubbery, further drying is necessary to prevent mold growth. This step is crucial and should not be overlooked. Stores ideally should refrigerate their nut offerings, although this isn't always the case. Many nuts are packaged and placed on shelves, but reputable wholefood stores often store nuts properly in refrigerated sections. During holiday seasons, bulk nut sections are common in stores, but these are prone to oxygen exposure. If purchasing from these sections, it's advisable to use them promptly or package them for preservation.

Roasted vs Unroasted

Roasting initiates the breakdown of fats in nuts, causing roasted nuts to turn rancid faster than unroasted ones. While I enjoy roasted nuts and purchase them as needed, nuts intended for baking are best stored long-term without roasting.

Whole vs Pieces

Storing nuts in their whole form minimizes exposure of the nut meat to oxygen, thus reducing the risk of fat rancidity compared to storing them in pieces.

Expiration Dates

Food typically remains edible beyond its "best buy," expiration, or "use by" date. These dates indicate when the store should sell the product by and when the packager guarantees its freshness, respectively. Nuts, in particular, have a longer shelf life beyond these dates

Smell & Taste Check

Are your nuts still fresh? Begin by inspecting the container. Look for any discoloration or signs of mold on the nuts. Check the container for bulging or expansion, which could indicate spoilage. It's worth noting that I've had nuts well past their sell-by date that still tasted fine, while others went rancid before the expiration date, likely due to the heat in my pantry. If your container is sealed, give the nuts a sniff after opening. A sour, moldy, or chemically scent suggests the nuts are rancid. Next, taste a few nuts. If they still taste good, they're likely safe to eat. However, if they're rubbery instead of crunchy, it's a sign they're starting to go bad. Trust your senses when it come

s to the freshness of your nuts.

The Best Nuts

Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (3)

When it comes to selecting the ideal nut, not all nuts are created equal, particularly in their fat content and nutritional profiles. This discrepancy extends to the storage longevity of various nuts. Here's a breakdown to help you choose wisely:

Top Choices for Long-Term Storage:

  • Almonds in the shell
  • Chestnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts unshelled (up to 12 months)
  • Pecans unshelled

Middle Choices for Moderate Storage:

  • Almonds shelled
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts shelled
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Acorns

Acorns require meticulous processing due to their tannin content, making them a more challenging choice for storage. Acorns were an American Native staple in gathering, so don’t overlook learning to process these.

Nuts with Shorter Storage Lifespan:

  • Macadamia
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil nuts

It's important to note that nuts, such as Macadamia, Pine Nuts, and Brazil nuts, have a shorter shelf life, typically lasting only 3 to 6 months in the pantry and up to 6 to 9 months when refrigerated.

Storage Choices

Please be aware that Oxygen Absorbers should only be utilized with food items containing low moisture content (under 15%). If a food product typically requires refrigeration after opening, it indicates susceptibility to anaerobic bacteria and necessitates canning or freezing for long-term storage. Oxidation is the primary factor impacting the longevity, quality, nutritional value, and taste of your food. It's important to note that fats are particularly sensitive to oxygen. To delve deeper into the effects of oxidation, click the following link: Learn more at PackFreshUSA

  • Vacuum Sealing

PackFreshUSA offers American-made 4 mil Vacuum Sealer bags, which are among my preferred methods for nut storage. Vacuum sealing reduces oxygen levels significantly, and for complete oxygen elimination, adding a low-end oxygen absorber is recommended. A low-end oxygen absorber is ⅓ to ¼ of what you would have needed. So a 100cc oxygen absorber (Oxygen Absorbers in 10-Packs) can suffice instead of the standard 300cc absorber for an 8x12 Vacuum Sealer bag. These durable and flexible bags not only minimize oxygen but also prevent odors from penetrating the nuts. After vacuum sealing, nuts can be stored in the refrigerator for short-term storage or the freezer for optimal preservation.

  • Mason Jars

Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (4)

Using Oxygen Absorbers

Another way to store nuts is to place them in Mason Jars. PackFreshUSA offers a wonderful set of absorbers in different sizes for use in the jars. Oxygen Absorber, Combo for Mason Jars. Not only are they a great value, but you simply put the nuts into the jar, add your absorber, then the lid and ring. In a little bit (can be a few hours) your mason jar will self-seal. The oxygen absorber packet will eat the extra oxygen and it should self-seal. Again, wanting to store under 50 degrees, refrigeration is best. If you do have a very cool basem*nt you can store them there. Root cellars are other great choices, if one is available to you. You can place Mason jars in the freezer as well.

Vacuum Sealing

Another quick and easy way to seal Mason jars is to purchase an attachment (I used FoodSaver attachments connected to my FoodSaver machine) to the top of your jar. Optional - adding a low-end oxygen absorber to get 100% of the oxygen out. Again, storing in the fridge or freezer is best.

  • Mylar Bags

This option is advantageous because it provides protection from light, in addition to other benefits. Similar to standard preparation methods, simply place your nuts and an oxygen absorber into the Mylar bag, remove excess air, and seal it shut. I find the Mini Bag Sealer from PackFreshUSA to be particularly convenient for this task, functioning like a smaller version of a flat iron. If you don't have one, a flat iron or hair straightener can serve the same purpose. Mylar bags can also be safely stored in the freezer, thanks to their non-porous and impermeable nature. This ensures that your nuts are shielded from odors, freezer burn, and extends their shelf life from weeks or months to potentially a year or more.

    • Freezing Your Nuts: To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

    Whether opting for Mylar bags or vacuum sealing, placing your nuts in the freezer can significantly extend their shelf life from months to years. Personally, I've enjoyed walnuts stored in the freezer for nearly three years; they maintained their freshness and enhanced the flavor of my brownies. Growing up, I learned the benefits of freezing nuts from my Mom, especially living in Southern California where summer temperatures can accelerate rancidity due to the higher heat. Freezing remains my top choice for keeping nuts fresh. Proper storage in the freezer is crucial. Nuts readily absorb odors, so ensure they're stored in airtight, odor-proof packages such as vacuum sealer bags, mason jars, or Mylar bags. These options not only prevent oxygen exposure but also safeguard against the absorption of unwanted flavors and aromas.

    • Storing Nuts in Honey or Sugar

    Storing nuts in honey or sugar is another option. Nuts can be stored in honey in a mason jar at room temperature for up to 2 years. Alternatively, nuts can be pressure canned in a simple syrup, following proper canning procedures and altitude adjustments.

    Ensuring a well-balanced diet in food storage includes proper attention to storing nuts. While they require more rotation than other foods, following these methods ensures easy access to nutritionally rich nuts and seeds for consumption.

    Don't Forger to Check Out These Nut Storage Videos:

    Youtube - Storing Nuts in Mason Jars

    TikTok - Vacuum Sealing Nuts

    Info Source Regarding Nuts - Nuts and Seeds Highest in Fat (

    Happy prepping,

    Ola D Griffin

    Long-term Food Storage Expert

    Customer Service, Safeguard Brands, Inc. dba PackFreshUSA

    YouTuberPandemic Prepsters - YouTube

    Instagram -Ola Dee Griffin (@Preparedness101) • Instagram Photos And Videos

    Tiktok -Oladeegriffin (@Oladeegriffin) | TikTok

    Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (5)

    Phone:(844) 857-8277




    Toll Free 5 Star Service Line: (844)8 5 STARS (844) 857-8277

    Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (6)

    PackFreshUSA is featured in this Meat + Poultry Magazine article on using oxygen absorbers with jerky.

    Check it out!

    Nutshell Wisdom: A Guide to Long-Term Nut Storage (2024)


    What is the best way to store nuts long term? ›

    Tips to Safely Store Nuts. Contrary to popular belief, nuts should be stored in the fridge or freezer as opposed to a room temperature pantry. Why? Because nuts contain a high amount of unsaturated fat, a delicate type of oil, which makes them highly prone to going rancid.

    Can you vacuum seal nuts for long term storage? ›

    Nuts readily absorb odors, so ensure they're stored in airtight, odor-proof packages such as vacuum sealer bags, mason jars, or Mylar bags. These options not only prevent oxygen exposure but also safeguard against the absorption of unwanted flavors and aromas.

    How long will nuts last in mylar bags? ›

    Most foods can be successfully stored in Mylar bags, but some are more suitable for long-term food storage than others. Foods that are high in fat, for example meat, nuts and legumes, will turn rancid in just 3-12 months, regardless of how they're stored.

    How long can you store nuts in shell? ›

    Even if the bag's been opened, shelled nuts should last an entire year, and in-shell nuts will last about a year and a half. If you're going to use your nuts in the immediate future, it's fine to keep them in a cool, dark spot in your pantry.

    What is the best container to store nuts in? ›

    Nuts should be stored in their own airtight containers, such as glass, ceramic, or sturdy plastic containers. Even freezer bags are a good option. In selecting the container it's important to assess them for their airtightness.

    Is it safe to store nuts in plastic containers? ›

    When choosing a container, use one that is airtight. You can use Tupperware, plastic baggies, freezer bags, or even mason jars. Glass and plastic containers are preferred over plastic bags. Since plastic bags are permeable, it is easy for odors to seep into the bag.

    What nut has the longest shelf life? ›

    Shelf life of raw nuts

    Depending on the type, they can range from six to nine months when stored in a pantry or other dry place. However, some types, such as pine nuts, have a shorter shelf life of approximately two months. On the other hand, almonds can last the longest, approximately nine to twelve months.

    How long will nuts last in a vacuum-sealed mason jar? ›

    Baked goodsNormal Shelf LifePantry
    Nuts6 months (Pantry)2 years
    Coffee (beans)1-3 months (Pantry)1 year
    Coffee (grounds)1-2 months (Pantry)5-6 months
    Tea8-12 months (Pantry)1-2 years
    2 more rows
    Oct 20, 2023

    Do you put oxygen absorbers in nuts? ›

    Oxygen absorbers help to remove the oxygen and moisture from the air inside the container, making it an ideal environment for long-term storage. To use oxygen absorbers, simply place them inside the container with the dry fruits and nuts, seal them tightly, and store it in a cool, dry place.

    What cannot be stored in mylar bags? ›

    Which foods should NOT be stored in Mylar bags? Fruit and vegetables should not be stored unless they are dehydrated. Meat, nuts, and legumes will turn rancid quickly no matter how they are stored.

    How long will coffee beans last in mylar bags? ›

    When stored in Mylar bags with a proper seal, coffee can last up to 1 to 2 years or even longer, maintaining its freshness and flavor.

    How to store walnuts at home long term? ›

    1. Store in air-tight packaging.
    2. Store away from foods with strong odors, like cabbage and onions.
    3. For short-term storage, keep them in your refrigerator. If you'll be storing them for a month or longer, store them in your freezer.
    4. Prep as needed – shell, chop or grind walnuts right before using them.

    How to store nuts long term? ›

    When your refrigerator stash is running low, it's time to "refill from the freezer to the jars in the fridge." Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, nuts will last for four to six months, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meanwhile, in the freezer, they'll last for at least one year.

    Can you eat nuts 2 years out of date? ›

    While our tables list the time frame that nuts are good beyond their printed date, if you can't find any date on your package, you can expect most shelled varieties to last about 2 years. For opened packages, it's best to take a whiff before serving.

    How quickly do nuts go rancid? ›

    Nuts “definitely have a period of peak freshness,” says Overbay. Generally, a safe shelf-life at room temperature is between 3–6 months, says McNeil. But it's complicated: Use-by dates are determined based on a slew of external factors, such as processing and packaging. The type of nut is also important.

    How do you increase the shelf life of nuts? ›

    Avoid storing nuts near heat sources like stoves, ovens, or direct sunlight. Instead, choose a cool and dark storage location to extend their shelf life.

    How to prevent nuts from going rancid? ›

    Store sealed nuts in the freezer.

    Overbay estimates that most nuts will stay fresh for at least a year if properly stored in the freezer. Opt for freezer-safe glass if possible; Schaich avoids using more porous plastic containers because nuts can pick up smells from other foods.

    Should you freeze nuts for storage? ›

    You may think it's a nutty idea, but the best place to keep nuts is in the freezer! Nuts contain a lot of oil and can become rancid if stored in the pantry. Instead, place them in separate airtight containers or sealable plastic bags, then label, date and freeze for up to six months.


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