How to Store Hazelnuts Long-term
Did you know that eating as little as 25 hazelnuts a day has been linked to several health benefits? The most prominent is its ability to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, aka the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Besides heart health, hazelnuts are packed with antioxidants, minerals, unsaturated fats, and fiber. As for the yumminess factor, hazelnuts are sure to take your dishes to the next level.
Due to the high-fat content, hazelnuts can go bad pretty quickly if they’re not stored properly. Luckily, there are many ways to keep them fresh, and we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss how to store hazelnuts properly so you can enjoy all their health and culinary benefits.
How to Store Hazelnuts
The key to storing hazelnuts is keeping them away from the things that make them spoil faster. This includes direct sunlight, heat, oxygen, and moisture.
It’s also worth mentioning that before you store them, make sure the nuts themselves are completely dry. Otherwise, they’ll become moldy within a short time.
Storing Shelled Hazelnuts vs. Unshelled Hazelnuts
If you have some unshelled hazelnuts, then you’re in luck! That’s because storing hazelnuts with their shells intact is the best way to keep them fresh for a long time.
This is because the shells act as individual natural wrappings for the nuts. So, they’re protected against light and moisture, as well as any potential bacteria and mold growth.
For safekeeping, place the unshelled hazelnuts in an open bag or container. Then, set them in the fridge or freezer.
If you have shelled hazelnuts, you can store those in ziplock bags or airtight containers in the fridge or freezer. However, keep note that hazelnuts tend to absorb odors from nearby foods. So, avoid placing them anywhere near highly pungent foods like onions or garlic.
You wouldn’t have to worry about that with unshelled nuts. Their shells protect them from picking up any unwanted odors.
Can You Freeze Hazelnuts?
The best way to store hazelnuts long-term is to freeze them. According to studies conducted at Oregon State University (OSU), you can keep hazelnuts fresh in the freezer for up to a year at 32°F.
They can even stay fresh for over two years if stored at 0°F. The good news is that they can be thawed and refrozen several times without losing their taste, texture, or nutritional value.
To defrost your hazelnuts, simply leave the bag at room temperature until they’re warm. Then, you can either roast them and enjoy them as a snack or chop them up and add them to whatever delicious recipe you’re making.
Containers for Storing Hazelnuts
Whether shelled or unshelled, hazelnuts are pretty low-maintenance when it comes to storage. You can place them in resealable bags or airtight containers that block out air and moisture.
You can also use special vacuum jars or a FoodSaver to suck out the air around the nuts. As an alternative, you may choose to leave the jar of unshelled hazelnuts open. This way, all that extra moisture can easily escape.
Mason jars are a great choice for storing shelled hazelnuts. For starters, they’re great at keeping pests and odors away from the nuts. Plus, they can also be vacuum sealed for maximum protection against mold and bacteria.
Related Article: Long-Term Food Storage in Mason Jar
What is the Shelf Life of Hazelnuts?
The temperature at which you store hazelnuts drastically affects how long they’ll remain fresh. In other words, the lower the temperature, the longer the hazelnuts will stay fresh and tasty.
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Note: the numbers we’re giving here are based on estimates provided by nutritionists and food experts.
In general, we recommend you store hazelnuts in a cool, dry, and dark area with a low temperature. Yet, sometimes storing them in the fridge or freezer isn’t accessible, so your next best option is to put them in the pantry. Just make sure the temperature doesn’t go higher than 55°F, or else they’ll start to lose their flavor.
Shelled hazelnuts can last in the pantry for up to three months. In contrast, unshelled nuts can last for a maximum of six months.
Storing shelled hazelnuts in the fridge allows them to stay fresh for up to 12 months. Unshelled nuts, on the other hand, can last up to a full year in the fridge as long as they’re stored properly.
In the freezer, hazelnuts can last for up to two years. It’s a good idea to always label your freezer bags with the date of packaging and use old batches before new ones.
How to Tell if Hazelnuts Have Gone Bad
If you have any doubt about the quality of the hazelnut, it’s better to dispose of it than consume food that has gone bad. Here are a few tell-tale signs that your bag of hazelnuts is unsafe to eat:
Hazelnuts that have turned rancid will have a strong unpleasant smell and a bitter taste. Some people describe rancid nuts as having a chemical smell reminiscent of nail polish remover or old paint.
Rancidity occurs when the oil in nuts breaks down in the presence of oxygen. In large quantities, eating rancid hazelnuts may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
When hazelnuts are stored in areas with high moisture levels, they can start to develop fluffy white mold growth. This renders the whole bag of nuts inedible.
Moldy nuts contain aflatoxins. These chemical compounds can be carcinogenic and poisonous when ingested. They also irritate the lungs and airways when inhaled.
Some common pests that love snacking on your hazelnuts are hazel aphids and filbert worms. So, if you see any small insects or larvae that look like tiny worms in the hazelnuts or the container, throw them out immediately.
People Also Ask
Some common questions about hazelnuts are:
Roasted hazelnuts last as long as shelled hazelnuts. In an airtight container stored in the pantry, roasted hazelnuts last 6 months and up to 1 year in a freezer bag.
Yes, hazelnuts can be eaten raw. Raw nuts typically have more nutrients and health benefits. However, they may also have more bacteria. Fortunately, the bacteria on raw nuts are typically not harmful to humans. Hazelnuts can also be eaten roasted or as a paste.
In a nutshell, hazelnuts can be stored in vacuum-sealed bags or containers at cool temperatures. This can be in the fridge, freezer, or even your pantry.
At room temperature, hazelnuts can last for about three to six months. Yet, they can last up to nine months in the fridge and even up to two years in the freezer!
So, now that you know how to store hazelnuts, it’s time to go out and get yourself some of these healthy nuts. Happy snacking!
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Related Article: Shelf Life of Pecans: How to Store for Long-Term Storage
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