Q: “What is the shelf life for nuts? I know the oils in nuts go rancid if not stored properly.”
A: Even though nuts contain a number of natural antioxidants to help stop the fats in nuts from going rancid, they can go off if not stored properly. The same goes for seeds such as sunflower and sesame seeds. You can tell when nuts have gone rancid from their distinctive unpleasant smell and taste.
I asked the experts at Alison’s Pantry for their advice on storing nuts and seeds. They told me that with all nuts (raw, roasted and ground) and seeds, the best idea is to buy as fresh as possible, in small amounts and to use quickly.
Raw nuts can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place for six to 12 months. The fridge or freezer is ideal. Nuts can be refrigerated for up to four months and frozen for up to six months. Store ground almonds in an airtight container in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks. For longer-term storage pop in the freezer. Store roasted nuts in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Buy as freshly roasted as possible and eat within two weeks.
Store seeds (eg. flaxseed, sesame sunflower or pumpkin seeds) in an airtight container in a cool dark place for two to three months, or refrigerate or freeze to extend their life.