What do we know for sure about nuts? We know that nuts are great for you (in moderation), that they can lower cholesterol and inflammation, and that they are an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber. However, what many of us don’t know about nuts is how to buy and store them properly. By avoiding three simple mistakes, your nuts will be able to stay fresher, longer, and you’ll be able to save money in the long run. Let’s take a look at what you can do to get the most out of your nuts.
Mistake #1: “Saving money” by shopping the bulk bins
While buying your nuts from bulk bins may seem like an ideal way to save money, it’s actually going to shorten the life of your nuts. Let’s face it, you have no idea how often the shop is replacing the nuts in the bits, how long they’ve been sitting in open air, or how much bacteria may be on these nuts from people’s bare hands.
RealSimple.com explains why shopping the bulk bins is crucial mistake number one when buying and storing nuts:
“According to Steve Lindsay, the Director of Quality Assurance for Diamond Nuts, oxygen is the number one enemy to any nut’s shelf-life. Nuts sitting in bulk bins are constantly being exposed to oxygen, compromising their freshness and speeding up the rancidity process. Your best bet for finding fresh nuts is to buy those that have been sealed in a bag—this will ensure freshness and prevent oxygen from slipping through.”
Mistake #2: Storing them in the pantry
The pantry seems like an ideal place to store nuts, right? After all, it’s away from direct light. However, if you wish to prolong the life of your nuts, it’s best to store them in the fridge or the freezer.
UnlockFood.ca tells us more on why you should avoid storing your nuts in the pantry:
“The best way to store nuts is in an airtight container in a cool dry place, like the refrigerator. If storing at room temperature, store away from direct heat or light. You can also freeze nuts. When freezing, use an airtight container or heavy duty freezer bag. If nuts develop an off flavour, bad smell or grow mold, throw them out.”
Mistake #3: Taking expiration dates too literally
While it’s not unwise to take the best by date of your nuts into consideration, you do not need to go dumping them into the garbage bin when this day comes. There are several factors that contribute to whether or not nuts are still usable, including how they’ve been stored and whether or not they’re still in their shells.
EatByDate.com explains why you shouldn’t take expiration dates too literally when it comes to nuts:
“Opened packages will last for a shorter time, again depending on the variety. But remember that nuts, unlike a lot of other proteins, usually have a best by date and not an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use nuts to compliment your favorite meals even after the best by date has lapsed. As a rule, nuts that are purchased in their shell will last for a shorter period of time than those which have been shelled. This has a lot to do with the packaging and is true as long as the package is unopened.”
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