Cooking and Entertaining

Nuts and Seeds to Store Long-Term

Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can buy. They are tasty, they are crunchy, plus they are filling. A variety of nuts and seeds are a great addition to your pantry because if you’re snacking, nuts and seeds will drive you to snack healthier. These are both great for heart health and for preventing certain diseases like diabetes. It’s also super low in carbohydrates and brings healthy fats for the body. On top of that, nuts and seeds also offer important nutrients such as fiber and protein.

A platter of nuts containing peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios

However, nuts and seeds are not equal when it comes to shelf life. The maximum shelf life for nuts is two to three years tops, so if you’re looking to pack it with your emergency food supply, better yet look for another healthy alternative, or make sure you rotate your stock. Two to three years are not actually “long-term,” but still, that’s pretty long for a fresh and natural food. If you’re looking for the best nuts and seeds to store for your health and for a long time, here’s what to pick out:

1. Pistachios

Pistachio nuts are some of the healthiest nuts from nature. It’s a great source of vitamins E and B6, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, carotenes, and oleic acid. The antioxidants in the nuts give them the green and purple-red colors. It’s also one of the tastiest, and it can go in all sorts of dishes and sweets. Plus, it lasts longer when stored properly.

To make sure that your pistachios are fresh, look for off-white nuts that feel heavy. While natural splits are okay, they must not have any cracks, spots, molds, or rancid smell. If the pistachios are shelled, they must be kept in an airtight container and placed in the fridge to keep it in its best condition.

Shelf life: Pantry – 3 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 3 years

2. Almonds

Generally speaking, almonds are the healthiest nuts overall. It also has one of the longest shelf life of all nuts, making it a great candidate for long-term storage. Almonds are packed with essential nutrients, such as vitamins B and E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, fiber, and folic acid. It can also help stabilize brown sugar levels.

When you’re buying almonds, choose those with a bright brown color. They must not also have any cuts, cracks, or molds. Unshelled almonds can be kept in a cool, dry place for years. Shelled almonds must be placed in an airtight container inside the fridge.

Shelf life: Pantry – 9-12 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 2 years

3. Walnuts

Walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of omega-3, while it’s also rich in vitamin E, B-complex, iron, copper, and manganese. Overall, walnuts are great for your health.

If you buy shelled walnuts, look out for any cracks, stains, or piercings – you don’t want that. These are indicators of mold development, making it unsafe to eat. When unshelled, walnuts become easily perishable, so it must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Shelf life: Pantry – 6 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 1-2 years

4. Peanuts

Peanuts are yummy, plus they’re a nutrition powerhouse. It’s loaded with vitamin B and B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and it also contains iron, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

When you buy peanuts, always get the unshelled ones with an off-white color. When peanuts are shelled, they must be packed in an airtight container inside the fridge.

Shelf life: Pantry – 6-9 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 2 years

5. Pecans

Pecans taste, feel, and look like a nut, but do you know that they are technically fruits? It’s a smooth brown nut that looks a bit similar to a walnut. It’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and are an excellent source of antioxidants. This food is rich in vitamins and minerals, namely vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, lutein, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.

When you buy pecans, always get the unshelled instead of processed. Processed pecans have nasty additives that make it unhealthy. It must have an off-white color and free of molds, cracks, or spots. Unshelled pecans must be kept in a cool, dry place, while shelled pecans need to be stored in the fridge inside an airtight container.

Shelf life: Pantry – 6 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 2 years

6. Cashews

Cashews are cholesterol-free nuts packed with fatty acids that are good for heart health. If you’re a peanut butter lover, but you need to watch your cholesterol, consider one made from cashews. Cashews are rich in vitamins B5, B6, and riboflavin. It also contains minerals such as cashews, copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Cashews are best to store in an airtight container in the fridge so they won’t go rancid.

Shelf life: Pantry – 6-9 months; Fridge – 1 year; Freezer – 2 years

7. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of quality protein. It contains essential vitamins E and B-complex, plus essential minerals like copper, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. When buying pumpkin seeds, make sure that they are in cream white or light yellow color. Avoid pumpkin seeds that look thin or shriveled. It also must have no cracks, spots, or molds.

Whole pumpkin seeds must be stored in a cool, dry place for a few months. If you buy hulled pumpkin kernels, they can quickly go bag when exposed to a hot and humid environment, so make sure to keep them in an airtight container inside the fridge.

Shelf life: Pantry – 2-3 months; Fridge – 1 year

8. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds have a sweet taste. They are a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins E, and B complex. It’s also charged with iron, calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium.

When shopping for whole sunflower seeds, keep them at room temperature in an airtight jar. If you go for kernels, put them in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.

Shelf life: Pantry – 2-3 months; Fridge – 1 year

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