Brazil nuts are highly nutritious and delicious nuts native to the Amazon rainforest in Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. They are famous for their buttery, smooth texture, and a wide range of health benefits.
However, as with all foods, it’s important to know when they have expired, here are some tips.
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Do Brazil Nuts go Bad?
Yes, brazil nuts do go bad; one of the main reasons is they are high in polyunsaturated fats and after they have been stored for a certain period of time, they will start going bad.
This is especially true if they have not been stored properly and exposed to too much heat and oxygen. Although Brazil nuts will eventually go bad, you can prevent early expiration by ensuring you package and store them properly, as will be discussed shortly.
How Long Do Brazil Nuts Last?
There doesn’t appear to be an agreement on how long Brazil nuts last. However, if you are buying them in bulk, you can preserve their lifespan by freezing them. Most people buy their nuts from a supermarket and by law, manufacturers must print an expiration date on them.
The date is a guide for how long the nuts will last; in most cases, if you have stored the nuts properly, they will most definitely outlast the expiration date. According to eatbydate.com here are some estimated time periods for how long Brazil nuts will last when they are stored in certain conditions.
As you can see, Brazil nuts last longer when they are stored in the fridge or freezer. Therefore, if you want to keep them for an extended period of time, it is best to store them this way.
4 Tips to Tell if Brazil Nuts Has Gone Bad
Eating rancid Brazil nuts is not going to make you sick; so it’s best to throw them in the trash if they are showing signs that they have gone bad. However, if they don’t have any mold, but taste a bit stale, you can salt and roast them to enhance the flavor and texture of the nuts.
- Smell: Brazil nuts have a satisfying nutty smell that makes you want to eat them as soon as you open the packet. If there is a rancid, sour-smelling odor coming from your container, don’t eat them. The smell of bad nuts has been compared to old plastic or nail polish.
- Taste: Some people don’t have a good sense of smell, so, unfortunately, they would have tasted the nuts before realizing they were off. Brazil nuts are hard, if you bite into them and they are soft, they’ve gone bad. Furthermore, they will also have a bitter and foul taste that will force you to spit them out.
- Wrinkled or Shrivelled Skin: When nuts are stored for too long, they basically become dehydrated. Brazil nuts have got a smooth texture, but when they start going bad because they are losing water, the skin becomes shriveled and wrinkled.
- Changes in Color and Mold: It is rare for Brazil nuts to go moldy, but it does happen. You will know they have gone moldy if the surface has rotten black spots, fuzz, or green or white specs. It is also important to mention that you shouldn’t confuse the brown skin on Brazil nuts as a change in color or mold, that’s normal.
6 Tips to Store Brazil Nuts for Longer
All nuts contain high levels of unsaturated fats, a sensitive type of oil that makes them susceptible to going rancid. Nuts expire even faster when they are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen.
The ideal place to store nuts for prolonged periods is in the fridge or freezer because it reduces the exposure to all three of these elements. Here are five tips on how to store Brazil nuts.
1. No More Pantries
Most people don’t think twice about storing everything in the pantry. After all, it’s convenient and there is more likely to be enough space in there. As mentioned, nuts contain high levels of unsaturated fats, and as a result, they react badly to heat. If you have ever taken your nuts out of the pantry and noticed they tasted slightly bitter and not as flavorful, that’s why.
Additionally, most nuts are stored in their original plastic packaging and placed between other foods. Storing Brazil nuts in this way can cause smells and flavors from other foods to transfer to the nuts and alter the taste.
2. The Expiration Date
We are in no way suggesting that you ignore the expiration date, but it is only an estimate for how long your Brazil nuts will last. As with any food, if you open it and leave it open without proper storage, it will go off before the expiration date. But if you store it properly, you will often find that it’s still fresh weeks after the expiration date.
3. In the Fridge
The freezer is the best place to store Brazil nuts, the next best location is the refrigerator. Your nuts will remain fresh for between 6 months and 1 year. For easy access, put the nuts in a mason jar and you can just grab them when you’re feeling peckish.
4. Use an Airtight Container
If you plan on storing your nuts in the pantry, it is best to use a glass or a plastic airtight container. It’s fine to use Ziploc bags when storing them in the fridge or freezer because of the cold air. But because plastic bags are permeable, it is not advised that they are used when storing nuts in the pantry.
Make sure the container is clean and dry, the lid should snap or screw on and it should have an odor tight seal. Additionally, once packaged, keep your Brazil nuts in the darkest and coolest part of the pantry.
5. Room Temperature
If you choose to store your nuts in the refrigerator or the freezer, set them out until they reach room temperature before opening the bag and consuming them. It’s tempting to eat them cold because of the crunch effect; however, allowing them to reach room temperature will prevent them from absorbing additional moisture.
6. Raw, Whole Nuts
If you want to ensure your Brazil nuts stay fresh for longer, don’t ground, chop or roast them. Once nuts are altered, their oils are exposed to more oxygen which accelerates the expiration process. Additionally, unsalted Brazil nuts last longer than salted ones.
The Risk of Consuming Bad Brazil Nuts
Eating rancid Brazil nuts is not advised due to the unpleasant taste and smell. In general, most people are not going to eat bad nuts intentionally; you may have been feeling peckish, grabbed the bag and started eating them.
There do not appear to be any reported cases of severe side effects if they are consumed. But for some people, eating expired nuts can cause irritation to the lining of the intestines and the stomach, and you may experience diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea.
With that being said, studies have found that rancid oils in nuts are carcinogenic, and the toxic compounds within them can cause inflammation in the body, which is the leading cause of many health conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
If you do experience severe vomiting, diarrhoea, or abdominal cramping, severe pain, a temperature of more than 101.5 F; if you have problems swallowing, speaking, muscle weakness or double vision or dehydration, do not hesitate to book an appointment with your healthcare provider.
In general, if you do feel sick after eating rancid Brazil nuts, stop eating them immediately, rehydrate with a sports drinks containing electrolytes or water.
Can You Freeze Brazil Nuts?
Absolutely! In fact, freezing is the best type of storage for Brazil nuts if you don’t plan on eating them right away. Here are some tips on how to store these tasty treats:
- Package Them: To prevent Brazil nuts from frosting over, conceal them in a freezer-safe container or a Ziploc bag. For convenience sake, add a label with the date and name of the contents.
- Double Bag: Just to be on the safe side, double bag your nuts, or put them in a Ziploc bag before putting them in the container. When nuts are in the freezer for extended periods, they tend to pick up the flavors from other foods. Double bagging is the best way to ensure you preserve the authentic flavor and taste of your Brazil nuts. Additionally, to prevent smell and flavor contamination, keep the nuts separate from other strong-smelling foods such as onions, garlic, and peppers.
- Defrosting: To defrost the nuts, remove them from the freezer and either set them on the kitchen counter, or put them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Be sure to spread them out in a single layer for faster defrosting.
As you have read, the best way to ensure your Brazil nuts last as long as they should is to package and store them properly. Don’t leave them out overnight without sealing them, and refrain from exposing Brazil nuts to high temperatures. By sticking to the above suggestions, you can enjoy your Brazil nuts for months.