Should You Refrigerate Nuts? (2024)

From crunchy granola to hearty salads, almost every meal tastes better with nuts, and of course they're an excellent healthy snack. Nuts offer a generous co*cktail of essential nutrients, from satiating protein to gut-friendly fiber. There are also many types of nuts (think almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios, just to name a few varieties) so there's something for almost everyone. Knowing the best way to store nuts at home will mean the nuts you buy will last longer and help you reduce food waste.

Good Fats Go Bad

If you want to get the most out of your nuts, it's important to store them properly. Whether in plastic bags from the bulk bins, original packaging, or transferred to glass jars or other containers, many people keep nuts at room temperature—just like supermarkets do—but this is actually the wrong technique.

First, it's important to understand why and how nuts go bad: Nuts are teeming with unsaturated ("good") fats, which are responsible for their anti-inflammatory benefits. However, as noted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, unsaturated fats are extremely fragile and delicate, meaning they break down quickly. This makes nuts prone to rancidity, which ruins their flavor and freshness. So to preserve them, it's best to store nuts in the refrigerator, says Richard LaMarita, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. The coolness of the refrigerator will keep unsaturated fats from breaking down, ultimately slowing down spoilage.

The Best Way to Store Nuts

The refrigerator, yes, but specifically, LaMarita recommends refrigerating nuts in air-tight glass jars. Store any extra nuts in the freezer in the bags they came in, he says. (If you don't have the original bags, consider using a freezer-safe air-tight container instead.) 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.

It's worth noting that some nuts will spoil faster than others. The reason? "Nuts have a wide range of fat contents," says LaMarita. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are lower in fat, so they'll generally last longer than nuts higher in fat, like macadamia nuts, pine nuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts, all of which will go rancid quicker, says LaMarita. You won't notice this difference as much when you store them in the refrigerator and freezer but it's more obvious when they are stored in the pantry or kitchen cupboards.

How to Tell If Nuts Have Gone Bad

When it comes to detecting spoiled nuts, the best bet is to use your nose. As LaMarita explains, the most dominant sign is an unpleasant odor. "Rancid nuts give off an aroma—a sour, moldy, paint-like, plastic-like smell," he says. "Their texture will be soft, and they'll lose their crunch." In terms of taste, spoiled nuts will be sour and bitter rather than sweet and nutty. "If you accidentally eat rancid nuts, they won't get you sick—but they will be unpleasant," LaMarita says.

Should You Refrigerate Nuts? (2024)


Should You Refrigerate Nuts? ›

Do not leave nuts at room temperature for too long; keep the pantry fresh and empty of nuts. Store nuts in a refrigerator to increase their shelf life for a relatively longer period or within the freezer.

Are you supposed to refrigerate nuts? ›

Nuts' fragile unsaturated fats can go rancid quickly. While that may not hurt your health, it can definitely be bad news for flavor. Keep nuts tasting fresh by stowing them in a sealed plastic or glass container in the refrigerator for four to six months.

What is the best way to keep nuts fresh? ›

The Best Way to Store Nuts

The refrigerator, yes, but specifically, LaMarita recommends refrigerating nuts in air-tight glass jars. Store any extra nuts in the freezer in the bags they came in, he says. (If you don't have the original bags, consider using a freezer-safe air-tight container instead.)

Do almonds need to be refrigerated? ›

Almonds should be stored in an airtight container and it's best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Almonds are not recommended to be stored at room temperature for periods of time, so your pantry is not a good idea.

Can nuts be left out uncovered? ›

It largely depends on how often they're exposed to air. Oxygen is the number one enemy of nuts as it is directly responsible for oxidizing the fat content. Store nuts in an airtight container to minimize contact with oxygen.

Should walnuts be refrigerated? ›

Answer. Most shoppers are not aware that it is important to store walnuts in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness, instead of the pantry. Proper storage is important to protect the essential plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in walnuts.

Should cashews be refrigerated? ›

If you are likely to use cashews soon, then it's okay to keep them at room temperature. However, if you have got cashew nuts in bulk and are not planning to use them any time soon, then storing them in an air-tight container and keeping them in the fridge will be a good option.

How long do nuts last at room temperature? ›

At room temperature, nuts and seeds can start to go bad after anywhere between one and three months, though some brands will advertise longer shelf lives than that. If stored in the refrigerator, however, these healthy fat sources can last up to six months.

What is the best container to keep nuts fresh? ›

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.

What nut stays fresh longest? ›

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 to tell if nuts have gone bad? ›

Nuts smell sour and rancid and aren't quite pleasant. In terms of texture, stale nuts tend to feel softer and lose their trademark crunch when stale. Lastly, rancid nuts taste just like how they smell – sour and bitter.

Should you keep nuts and seeds in the fridge? ›

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.

Does almond go bad if not refrigerated? ›

Conclusion. In short, almond milk can and does spoil. To keep it fresh, store opened bottles in the fridge and unopened ones at room temperature. Do a spot-check for rot before using it.

Can nuts be stored in ziplock bags? ›

Nuts are pricey these days, so you need to make sure you're storing them correctly for lasting freshness. Glass, plastic containers and our heavy, reclosable ziplock bags are good for storage. Metallic containers, light, moisture and heat will all conspire to spoil nuts more quickly.

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.

When should you throw away nuts? ›

If a nut is only slightly stale, says Kanney, it can usually still be toasted to revive some of its previous glory and (crunch). However, Kanney says, “If a nut has spoiled or gone rancid, recognizable by a sour or bitter flavor, the nut is no longer good and should be thrown away.”

What foods should not be refrigerated? ›

  • TOMATOES. Keep your tomatoes juicy, tasty and ready for your next Tomato and Ricotta Pizza by storing them at room temperature rather than in the fridge.
  • POTATOES. ...
  • ONIONS. ...
  • PICKLES. ...
  • CUCUMBERS. ...
  • AVOCADOS. ...

Can we store dry nuts in fridge? ›

Contrary to popular belief, nuts should be stored in the fridge as opposed to at room temperature, this is especially true for people living in hot, humid climates or during the hotter summer months. Again, when storing them in the refrigerator it is still always best to use air glass containers.

Should you soak nuts in the fridge? ›

Soak your nuts and seeds anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 or 3 hours, or even overnight in the refrigerator. In general, harder nuts will take longer to soften. If your recipe calls for soaked nuts or seeds and you are low on time, try to squeeze in 20 minutes minimum, or just do a really good job rinsing them.

Can you keep nuts and seeds in the fridge? ›

Best Storage

The fridge is the best place to store nuts and seeds.


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