Do you love walnuts? Have you tried to add it to savory dishes or desserts? Walnuts are generally nutritious when eaten alone but when you add it to savory dishes and desserts, they even become more delicious. It is quite hard to find walnuts all-round the year because they are only harvested between August and November. Because of this, you might want to keep them fresh, then perhaps you can refrigerate them. However, if you want to store it for a longer period, what can you do?
This brings us to the question of whether or not you can freeze your walnuts. You can keep walnuts inside the freezer for up to one year and this can be done for both the shelled and the unshelled walnuts. If you are yet to open the original packaging of walnuts, then you don’t need to prepare them before you put them in the freezer. We encourage you to continue reading to get the full insight into how you can freeze your walnuts.
How To Freeze Walnuts
It is very easy to free walnuts, all you need is to follow the right steps and you are good to go. If you don’t want the walnuts to spoil before you use them, freezing them is ideal to keep them fresh. From your opened pack, if you have any walnuts leftovers, it is best to put them in a freezer-safe container and you can do this by either using a sealable freezer bag or a plastic freezer container that can be airtightly sealed. Either of the two options is good because they will help to keep moisture and air locked out and helps to preserve the nuts that are stored within them. For you to know when you should eat your walnuts, it is paramount that you label your storage container by writing the date you froze it on it before you put them in your freezer.
Freezing ground walnuts is not a good idea. The best thing to do if you plan on using ground walnuts is to freeze the entire walnut whole and proceed to ground them after you take them out of your freezer. Try to avoid grounding, chopping, or processing your walnuts until you want to add them to your dish. This will help you to make sure that the optimal flavor of the nuts even after it has been thawed.
Furthermore, try to make sure the container you are using to store your walnuts can protect them from absorbing different flavors from within the freezer because walnut is notorious for absorbing and picking up the odors of other foods stored beside them. If you are only going to use a small portion of a pack at a time, you are advised to freeze the pack in a manner where you can easily separate them later. What you need to do is to first spread your walnuts over your baking sheet and then place them in a freezer until it is frozen completely. After then, transfer them into a storage bag or airtight container. This will prevent the walnuts from freezing together and you can easily grab some from the package instead of defrosting everything.
Why You Should Freeze Walnuts
When you expose walnuts to a warm temperature, they go rancid due to the high content of oil that causes them to quickly spoil if they are left to be at room temperature for too long. When you keep them chilled inside your refrigerator or freezer, the shelf life becomes extended. Walnuts become rancid when they are exposed to prolonged moisture, oxygen, temperature changes, or warm temperature. This is why you have to carefully store the walnuts to prevent them from getting exposed to the factors listed above and thus, turning them to become rancid.
If you have a bag of in-shelled or shelled walnuts that is yet to be opened, you can keep them in your pantry to remain fresh for about three weeks. If you keep them in your fridge, they could remain fresh for about six months while if you keep them inside the freezer, they can stay for about one year still very fresh. It will still be okay to be eaten after this period, but it will lose some of its qualities after this stipulated period. When you want to store walnuts, the best thing is to leave the walnut bag unopened till you want to use them.
Defrosting and Reheating Walnuts
Just as it is easy to freeze walnuts, it is also easy to thaw them. You can best do this by transferring your walnuts from your freezer to your fridge so that they can thaw overnight or for some hours. If you want to cook on your walnuts, there is no need for you to reheat them, you can just throw them into your meal and the defrosting will be done in there.
You may also defrost your walnuts by leaving them to thaw at room temperature and this will be a bit quicker than when you leave them in your fridge. However, if you thaw it by leaving it at room temperature, the walnuts may be exposed for too long to that temperature and it could lead to them getting spoilt due to the high content of fat. Another method you can use is to place your walnuts in the oven for a toasted and rich flavor. You can toast your walnuts inside the oven by following the following steps:
- Allow your oven to preheat to a temperature of 375°F.
- Use parchment papers to line the baking pan.
- Proceed to spread your shelled walnuts on the baking sheet.
- Then put it inside your oven and allow the walnuts to toast for about five to 10 minutes observing until your walnuts change to a golden brown.
To toast your walnuts on a stove, follow the steps below:
- Under medium to high heat, heat your skillet.
- Carefully put the walnuts inside the skillet.
- Don’t overfill your skillet with the walnuts. Only fill in enough that can allow them to evenly cook.
- Occasionally stir your walnuts.
- Allow it to be cooked for five minutes until it turns brown.
- You can now transfer them into your plate and allow them to become cool for some minutes before you use them.
Unshelled Vs Shelled
Shelled walnuts cannot be kept as long unshelled walnuts and this is because of the shell cover of unshelled walnuts. You can keep these in a dark and cool place that is not exposed to sunlight. The best thing to ensure that walnuts keep their best qualities is to allow them to remain unshelled because the shell will protect the walnuts from getting spoilt quickly, thus, making unshelled walnuts to have fewer requirements for storage and longer shelf life. Whenever you want to buy walnuts, look to buy unshelled ones. You are sure that your walnuts will be kept fresher for a longer time though you might laboriously have to remove the shell.
You will need to refrigerate or freeze shelled walnuts to ensure you can prolong the shelf life because they have the tendency to turn rancid faster. Once you observe, you will know if the walnuts have turned bad. To know if unshelled walnuts have gone bad, look out for the shell, once you notice that they have dried out and become shrunk, or just looking unhealthy, you may need to throw away the walnut. In case you are not sure, crack the walnut shell and check the inside, once you notice a sign of mold or nets forming on it, then you should throw it away.
To know it your walnut is still good or have gone bad, you can sniff it. Normally, a fresh walnut will have the mild nutty aroma, if it has gotten worse, you will smell rancid oil or cooking oil, this means you should throw it away. It is not that rancid nuts are dangerous to the health, but nutritional content contained in them would have diminished and the taste will not be the greatest.
You can freeze walnuts and they can stay fresh for about a year. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container, or in the unopened original package. If you leave your walnuts at room temperature, they will become rancid most especially in various humid conditions. It is better to store them inside a freezer or a fridge depending on when you want to use them.
Do nuts go rancid?
Because of their content of oil and fat, nuts eventually turn rancid. It is either they become dry, have a very poor taste, a bad smell, or a shriveled appearance. The nuts could get infected with molds in very severe cases. Throw the nuts away anytime you notice any of these signs.
How do you store nuts inside the fridge?
Nuts can be stored inside the fridge using the same method you used to freeze them. All you need to do is to place them in a sealable plastic freezer bag or an airtight container, or leave them in their original unopened package and place them inside the fridge. If stored properly, you can store them this way for about six months inside the fridge. If you place them inside the freezer, they will stay up to a year fresh.
Can you freeze mixed nuts?
You can freeze almost all nuts types, including nut flours. If you don’t want to use your nuts straight away, the best thing to do is to freeze them. Nuts like hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts can be wrapped inside plastic wraps and then placed inside your airtight container or freezer bag.