Nuts offer a great variety of taste, texture, and aroma.
In addition, they are packed with health benefits. Walnuts are among the most popular nuts today because of their excellent taste, crunch-factor, and light aroma.
They can be enjoyed as an on-the-go snack, as part of a curry or a salad, or in baking. Of course, we want to have many walnuts in the house with so many great options, but we might be concerned about whether walnuts go bad.
Do Walnuts Go Bad?
Yes, unfortunately, walnuts go bad. This is because they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy oils that are exceptionally good for us, but they make the oxidation process shorter in walnuts.
The good news is that, as with most other nuts, the shelf life of walnuts is still quite long. However, there is a big difference in how long unshelled and shelled walnuts last.
Therefore it is a good idea not to remove your walnuts from their shells until you are ready to use them. This will make them last much longer. By knowing how to store your walnuts, you might be able to enjoy them for much longer.
How Long Do Walnuts Last?
Walnuts that are still unshelled can keep their freshness for up to 12 months. You can keep them in your pantry, fridge, or freezer with the same time of shelf life.
However, if you bought walnuts that have been shelled, you have less time to enjoy them. You can store them in the fridge and enjoy them for up to six months.
Alternatively, you can keep your shelled walnuts in the freezer for up to a year. Although it is possible to store them in the pantry, it isn’t advised since their quality decreases pretty quickly, especially if you live in humid or high temperatures.
By keeping your shelled walnuts in your pantry, their shelf life goes down to three weeks. If you bought a bag of chopped or ground walnuts, it is advised that you keep it either in the fridge or in the freezer.
Keeping your ground or chopped walnuts in the pantry will decrease its shelf life to next to nothing.
Therefore, if you aren’t planning on consuming your shelled walnuts quickly, it is best to keep them in the fridge.
As a general rule, it is best to wait until you are ready to use your walnuts before unshelling them as this improves their quality significantly.
How Long Do Walnuts Last?
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Whole walnuts||12 months||12 months||12 months|
|Shelled walnuts||3 weeks||6 months||12 months|
|Chopped or ground walnuts||1 days||1 month||6 months|
4 Tips to Tell if Walnuts Have Gone Bad
Fresh walnuts are a delight to enjoy.
However, biting down on a walnut that has gone past its best will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and it will be an experience that you would not want to repeat.
Therefore, it is advantageous to know how to check whether a walnut is still fit for consumption or whether it has gone past its best time.
Examine the shell and the nut.
If you have unshelled walnuts, the shell will tell you quite a lot about the quality of the nut inside.
If you find that your walnut’s shell has become shrunken, deformed, or dried out, you shouldn’t even bother opening it, because in that case, the nut has become rancid.
However, if the shell seems to be fine, crack it open and look at the nut. If the nut shows any signs of mold contamination, net forming, or organic growth spots, you shouldn’t consume it. Additionally, if the nut seems to be dry or shriveled, best not to eat it.
Smell the nut
Walnuts have a wonderful nutty aroma that is light and pleasant.
However, if your walnut has a rancid smell or smells like cooking oil, the oils and polyunsaturated fatty acids have become over-oxidized leading to your walnut being rancid.
By consuming that nut, you won’t get sick, but it will be bitter and unpleasant.
In addition, eating nuts that have gone past their best consumption dates won’t provide you with the incredible health benefits they usually give us.
Shake the nut
A healthy unshelled walnut is heavy when you pick it up, and when you shake it, you can’t hear the kernel moving inside the nut.
However, when a walnut has become rancid, it will feel light when you shake it, and you will be able to hear the kernel moving around in the shell.
Therefore, if you shake your unshelled walnut and you hear the nut moving inside of it, it is time to throw it out.
Telling whether chopped or ground walnuts are still suitable for consumption
If you have chopped or ground walnuts and want to know if they are still fresh, sift through the nuts.
If you spot any mold contamination, spotting, or discharge, throw the entire bag out.
If the nuts seem to be okay, smell them. If they still have that fantastic nutty smell, they are still fresh. However, if they smell a little sour, like paint thinner, it is best to avoid eating it.
3 Tips to Store Walnuts
Knowing how to store your walnuts correctly will help ensure that they have a long shelf life and stay fresh.
However, there is a big difference between the shelf life of unshelled and shelled walnuts.
As soon as a walnut is removed from the shell, the quality of the nut starts to decrease. Here are a few tips on how to store walnuts correctly:
Keep your walnuts unshelled for as long as possible.
Unshelled walnuts can last for up to 12 months while keeping their freshness and quality. However, once you remove the shell, the life span of the nut decreases significantly.
Therefore, you must keep your walnuts shelled until needed. Unshelled walnuts can be stored easily in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. However, if you keep them in your pantry, you need to ensure they are kept in an airtight container so that contamination risks are lessened.
Keep your shelled walnuts in the fridge or freezer.
Once you have removed the shells, your walnuts will start to decrease in quality. Keep them in your fridge or freezer in an airtight container or a ziplock bag. The airtight container you choose must be clean and dry when you place your nuts in it.
Store your chopped or ground walnuts in the fridge or freezer.
If you have walnuts that have been ground or chopped, you must store them correctly.
By keeping your chopped or ground walnuts properly, you will be able to use them for so much longer.
Place your chopped or ground walnuts in an airtight container or a ziplock bag that will keep moisture out. Then keep it in the fridge or freezer.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Walnuts
As with other nuts, consuming expired walnuts won’t make you sick.
However, it isn’t advised to eat walnuts that have gone past their best because it can lead to gastrointestinal distress. People who have sensitive stomachs might feel uncomfortable after eating walnuts that aren’t fresh.
They might experience some bloating, heartburn, and in severe cases, diarrhea. If you feel any discomfort after eating your walnuts, it is best to avoid eating any more of them.
The entire batch is probably not fresh anymore. It is recommended that we consume walnuts in moderation anyway because overconsumption of walnuts can lead to allergies, digestive issues, and ulcers.
Can You Freeze Walnuts?
Yes, you can freeze walnuts. They freeze very well, and by freezing your walnuts, you can postpone their freshness and quality by a great deal.
If you are dealing with unshelled walnuts, you can freeze them as they are for up to 12 months. If you have shelled walnuts, you should place them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
Be sure to use a clean and dry container or a ziplock bag that has not been used previously. If you want to store ground or chopped walnuts, you can freeze them in the same way.
You will find that your shelled walnuts can last for 12 months in the freezer, and chopped or ground walnuts for up to six months.
If you are ready to use your walnuts, remove them from the freezer and allow enough time for them to thaw.
It is recommended to use thawed walnuts immediately and not to refreeze them. Refreezing walnuts that have been frozen and thawed will greatly decrease their quality making them soft and flavorless.
Walnuts add flavor to our dishes, bakes, and lunchboxes. These nuts are greatly beneficial for you and enjoying a handful of walnuts everyday will leave your body strong and healthy.
You will also see great improvement in your nails, skin, and hair once you start consuming them daily. If you store your walnuts properly you will be able to enjoy them whenever you like without having to worry about whether your walnuts have gone bad.