Pumpkins are versatile vegetables that can be enjoyed in many different ways. We appreciate more than the fantastic flesh and fun exterior of pumpkins.
The seeds are also a tremendously delicious and healthy snack for people on the go. However, we want to enjoy our tasty pumpkin seeds without being concerned about whether pumpkin seeds go bad.
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Do Pumpkin Seeds Go Bad?
Unfortunately, pumpkin seeds tend to be prone to mold contamination. Therefore it isn’t uncommon to spot mold spots on your pumpkin seeds.
If your pumpkin seeds have changed color, they have gone bad. You can also tell if your pumpkin seeds have gone off by smelling them.
For example, pumpkin seeds might go rancid while still looking fine. These seeds will have an awful smell, and they will taste flavorless. In this case, you must discard them because they have lost their taste anyway, and it is always better to play safe with edible seeds.
How Long Do Pumpkin Seeds Last?
Most seeds don’t typically have a best-by-date on the package or label. Pumpkin seeds are no exception, and it can be tricky to know how long your pumpkin seeds will last.
Although they won’t go off in a week or two, they won’t be safe for consumption forever. The time that your pumpkin seeds will last will mostly depend on how you are storing them.
Other factors are the temperature of where you are and how often you are opening the container that the seeds are kept in. If you buy a bag of pumpkin seeds, they begin degrading in quality when you open the bag.
Therefore, once you have opened the bag, make sure you store your seeds in a container that can seal properly.
Commonly, pumpkin seeds that are stored in a sealed container remain fresh for up to three months. It is recommended to finish your pumpkin seeds within two months to keep them in your pantry.
If you keep your pumpkin seeds in the fridge, they should last for at last six months. If you freeze your pumpkin seeds, they will be fine for more than a year.
|Deshelled seeds||3 months||9 months||1 year|
|Shelled seeds||5 months||12 months||18 months|
4 Tips to Tell if Pumpkin seeds Have Gone Bad
We are spoiled with a choice of fantastic seeds that offer countless health benefits. Pumpkin seeds are no exception since they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
However, these seeds can go rancid, and you must know how to tell if your pumpkin seeds have gone bad. As with most types of food, smell, appearance, and feel of food give us a lot of information.
Although we shouldn’t be tasting food that we suspect might have gone rancid, the taste of food can confirm that it has gone off or not.
Smelling Your Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds that have gone past their best might smell unusual, or they might even stink. Always smell your pumpkin seeds before consuming them. It is the easiest way to tell if they are still fresh. Never eat pumpkin seeds that have a peculiar smell.
Notice the Appearance of Your Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds that have become discolored should also be avoided. Since pumpkin seeds are known for mold contamination, you might see mold spots on your pumpkin seeds after some time, especially if you live in a humid area and store them in a place where they receive daily sunlight. Spotted, discolored, or dull pumpkin seeds should not be consumed.
Touch Your Pumpkin Seeds
Often you will be able to tell if your pumpkin seeds have gone off just by touching them. If your pumpkin seeds feel slimy, grainy, or hairy, you should discard them immediately. Rancid pumpkin seeds might also feel oily or grassy.
Tasting Your Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds that have passed their consumption date might lose their taste. Pumpkin seeds that taste sour or foul should not be eaten. If you eat a pumpkin seed that tastes unusual, spit it out and throw the rest of the seeds of the batch away or if you have livestock, you can grind them up and feed them to your animals. Alternatively, you can grind them up and use them as a compost booster.
3 Tips to Store Pumpkin Seeds
Most people tend to keep their pumpkin seeds in their pantries. This is because they are within arm’s reach and room temperature, meaning you can munch on them immediately.
However, this isn’t the best option to make your pumpkin seeds last longer. The most effective storage method is keeping your pumpkin seeds in the freezer. This allows for a long lifespan, and it keeps your pumpkin seeds tasting fresh.
Although it isn’t always the most convenient way to store your pumpkin seeds, you might need to plan to account for the defrosting of your pumpkin seeds. Alternatively, you can keep them in the refrigerator and your pantry as a last resort.
Freezing Your Pumpkin Seeds
The most effective way to store your pumpkin seeds that result in the most extended freshness is to freeze your pumpkin seeds. If you aren’t planning on consuming all your pumpkin seeds in a short amount of time, take some and keep them separately for consumption and freeze the rest until needed.
Pumpkin seeds freeze exceptionally well, and you will be amazed that your pumpkin seeds taste just as fresh and delicious after spending months in the freezer. You can use an airtight container or a ziplock bag to store your pumpkin seeds in the freezer, and they can last well up to and more than a year.
Keeping Your Pumpkin Seeds in the Refrigerator
If you plan to eat your pumpkin seeds too often to freeze them, keeping them in the refrigerator might be a better option. It would be best to place your pumpkin seeds in an airtight sealed container that won’t allow too much airflow.
Ideally, place your pumpkin seeds in a vacuum-sealed ziplock bag or an airtight container because it will minimize the air within the container and make the time that your pumpkin seeds remain fresh longer.
Although the time isn’t as long as when frozen, pumpkin seeds that are properly stored in the fridge can last up to nine months which is still impressive.
Keeping Your Pumpkin Seeds in the Pantry
Not everyone likes eating cold seeds, and so, the pantry is often the only option. Although keeping your pumpkin seeds in the pantry will result in a shorter lifespan than in the freezer and the refrigerator, it is possible to store them for up to 3 months.
Be sure to use an airtight container that can be easily sealed and keep the seeds in a space that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. It is advised to use a dark-colored container instead of a transparent or glass container to help boost your pumpkin seeds’ lifespan.
However, if you tend to consume your pumpkin seeds quickly, any airtight container will be adequate storage.
Also, make sure they are kept far from any heat source, so keeping them next to the oven, for example, isn’t ideal.
Lastly, it is vital to make sure the container you are using is clean because you don’t want to risk contaminating your pumpkin seeds because of a container that wasn’t properly cleaned.
The Risk of Consuming Rancid Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients, including unsaturated fatty acids. Although this makes them remarkable for health benefits, it also results in them becoming rancid quickly.
People who love pumpkin seeds might be tempted to consume pumpkin seeds that appear to be unpalatable, but this should never be done. If you consume bad pumpkin seeds, you risk exposure to free radicals.
Free radicals are toxic, and they can increase your chance of getting heart disease, cancer, or many other chronic diseases.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, freezing your pumpkin seeds is the most effective way to store and keep your pumpkin seeds fresh for a more extended period. The best way to store your pumpkin seeds in the freezer is by using an airtight container that has been cleaned very well.
It is also necessary that the container you choose is completely airtight. It is recommended to vacuum seal plastic bags if you have the means to do so.
This creates a solid air vacuum that will make your nuts last for well over a year. If you enjoy eating various seeds and nuts, it is a good idea to invest in a vacuum seal system as many nuts and seeds freeze well.
However, if you plan to use them in a shorter time or don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
Pumpkin seeds provide a flexible treat that you can use in baking, as part of your trail mix, or as a healthy go-to snack between meals. These beautiful seeds pack an impressive health punch, and now that we know that pumpkin seeds go bad, we can ensure to keep them stored correctly so that they are always ready to be enjoyed.