Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy fats. Dieters and healthy eaters choose nuts for a quick and convenient snack that won't sabotage their health. If you are looking to store a new harvest or just purchase nuts in bulk to save money, you need to store the nuts so that they are fresh when you are ready to enjoy them. Follow these steps to store nuts.
- Dry the nuts. Keep the nuts in the shell for drying. Place the nuts on a tray spread loosely. Dry them in a food dehydrator following the directions on the hydrator. If you don't have a food hydrator, consider setting the tray near your working furnace for two to three days. Make sure the temperature is less than one hundred degrees and that there is plenty of air movement where you place the tray. Check the nuts every eight to ten hours to make sure that the shells do not crack. Cracked shells indicate the nuts are drying too quickly. The length of time it takes to dry the nuts depends upon the size and type of nut.
- Place in containers. Storage containers should be plastic or glass with air tight seals.
- Decide on your storage option. There are several options for storing nuts depending upon how long you want them to last. If you are storing nuts to last throughout the year, then consider dividing your harvest to store for short term and long term enjoyment.
- Store nuts for the short term. Nuts you plan to eat within three months can be stored in your pantry at room temperature as long as the pantry is dry and cool. Keep the sealed container away from any other foods that have strong odors.
- Store nuts for longer. If you are setting aside nuts to enjoy for the next holiday season or later in the year, then they will need to be refrigerated. Nuts stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator should keep for six months. For longer the nuts should be stored in the freezer. Frozen nuts may last longer if they are unshelled during the storage period.
It is possible to keep nuts for months without having them shrivel up or dry out. Follow these steps and you can store nuts for several months without losing freshness or taste. Then enjoy the nuts in your favorite cookies, brownies or other desserts.