You’ve bought a bag of Brazil nuts in the supermarket. Once you came home, you realized you’re not sure what’s their shelf life. How long do Brazil nuts last?
If it’s your first time with Brazil nuts, you might need a short primer on storage, shelf life, and spoilage. And that’s exactly what this article is. Read on.
How Long Do Brazil Nuts Last?
The shelf life of Brazil nuts depends heavily on how you store them. The lower the temperature, the longer they retain flavor and overall quality.
For those of us who buy small packages of these nuts, keeping them at room temperature or slightly below is okay. In such conditions, the nuts should keep for at least 6 months (N).
If there was this big sale, and you’ve bought more than you can go through in a few months, refrigerate the nuts. This way, you can store them for about a year.
If you need even more time, or your fridge is already full (like mine), freezing is the best option for you. Brazil nuts should keep quality in the freezer for two years, or even more.
In summary, if you need the nuts to last for an extended period, go with cold storage. Otherwise, room temperature is fine.
How To Store Brazil Nuts?
You already know where you should keep your Brazil nuts depending on how long you expect to keep them around. Now it’s time to talk about specifics.
For room temperature storage, go with a cool and dry place (N). The nuts should sit away from any sources of heat (like the stove, or in sunlight) and moisture.
If you’re going to finish the package within a couple of weeks, you can leave them in the bag or container you’ve bought them in. If you might need more time, like a couple of months, consider transferring the nuts into an airtight container or a resealable bag. This way, the nuts don’t have access to fresh air, and the rancidification process is slower. In short, they last longer.
For cold storage, no matter if it’s the refrigerator or the freezer, you need to make sure the nuts are well sealed. That means a freezer bag or a plastic or glass container.
If you’re storing Brazil nuts in a resealable container, make sure you squeeze out the air before sealing it. Less air means better quality retention, plus they don’t take as much space.
How to Tell If Brazil Nuts Have Gone Bad?
Telling good Brazil nuts from bad ones is no rocket science. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Mold and other visual changes. Black specks of mold or any white fuzz on the surface mean the nuts are bad.
- Rancidity. Rancid nuts have altered taste, smell, or both. Chemical, paint-like, or bitter smell is a sure sign of rancidification. Same with bitter, unpalatable taste. Eating one or two rancid nuts won’t make you get sick right after, but eating a whole package is a terrible idea. Plus, they taste bad, so you shouldn’t think twice before getting rid of them.
- Dehydrated nutmeat with wrinkly skin. Those signs mean the nuts were stored for too long and started losing water content. Unless there’s anything else wrong with them, they’re most likely safe to eat, but it’s probably better to steer clear of them anyway. Besides, they look quite bad, so discarding them shouldn’t be an issue.
If your Brazil nuts seem to be alright, but the taste is a bit stale, you can try roasting them. That should give the flavor that much needed boots. Check out our article on hazelnuts to read how to safely roast nuts.
One more thing you need to know about Brazil nuts is that they’re very high in selenium (WIKI). That’s great info if you’re struggling with selenium deficit, but hardly anyone does. And eating too many might result in selenium toxicity, which is as bad as it sounds. In short, limit your intake of Brazil nuts to a couple a day tops and consult your doctor if you suspect you’re selenium deficient.