by | Jun 8, 2021 | Nuts, Nuts Benefits | 0 comments

A guide to choosing the freshest nuts

Introduction

So, you’re just like us. You’re an avid fan of the whole range of nuts available. However, nuts are sold in such a wide variety of ways. Raw, roasted, shelled, deshelled. In bags, cans, bins, etc. It can be confusing when trying to decide which type of nut is best for you and how to tell if they are fresh. This guide will walk you through the process of selecting the best option. No more getting overwhelmed when choosing your favourite snack!

Raw vs roasted

The difference between raw and roasted nuts is minimal. Indeed, they don’t differ all that much in terms of nutritional benefits. The main differences are the taste and texture. Raw nuts may taste blander than their roasted versions since roasting the nuts enhances the nutty, rich aroma of the nuts. In fact, should you only have raw nuts on hand, raw nuts can just as easily be roasted at home. Click here to find out more!

Though they do not vary much in terms of nutritional value, they differ in terms of shelf life. Whole, raw nuts and seeds stay fresh the longest. That’s because when chopped, roasted, or ground, the nuts will release their oils. These oils are then exposed to more oxygen, which makes nuts go rancid or turn ‘bad’ more quickly.

shelled vs deshelled

Shelled vs deshelled

In general, shelled nuts have a longer shelf life as compared to their deshelled counterparts. This is because the shell behaves as an excellent (and natural!) protective barrier, reducing the exposure of nuts to oxygen in the atmosphere, preventing them from going rancid. Due to this protective shield against the elements, shelled nuts not only keep longer but also have less strict storage requirements. For example, unshelled walnuts don’t require refrigeration and just need to be stored in a cold dark place. However, since walnuts are terribly fussy and are require great skill to deshell properly, the deshelled option is usually what’s on offer.

 

Things to look out for

Packaged, shelled or unshelled Most nuts can be found packaged and shelled at your local grocer or supermarket, packaged in vacuum-sealed packs or plastic bags. These are your safest bet since the plastic helps to prevent exposure to the air. Just remember to check the expiry date printed on the package!
Unpackaged, unshelled, raw or roasted

If you are looking to buy unpackaged, raw nuts, just remember to take note that some nuts are only available seasonally. For example, nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are only found fresh in supermarkets towards to fall or winter. To purchase these nuts all year round, you might want to click here.

 

Always take a couple of nuts to check that they do not smell rancid (sour), musty, or rubbery. They should be crisp and smell wonderfully nutty. They should also appear plump and uniform in size.

Unpackaged, shelled, raw

If you are buying shelled nuts, such as pistachios, ensure that the shells are undamaged and have no visible cracks or scarring.

 

Always take a couple of nuts to check that they do not smell rancid (sour), musty, or rubbery. They should be crisp and smell wonderfully nutty. They should also appear plump and uniform in size.

avoid candied and salted nuts

Things to avoid

Avoid nuts with additives

These include candied or honey-roasted nuts. Such varieties of nuts may be tasty to snack on, but in reality, have been processed with a large amount of sugar and heat. The sugars add unnecessary empty calories to your nuts and are completely unnecessary since regular nuts are already scrumptious. Furthermore, the heat and processing reduce the number of natural oils in the nuts, cutting out the nutritional benefits that the nuts can provide. The additional water added during these processes could cause them to go bad faster, resulting in more additives and harsh preservatives being added to the food as well.

Avoid salted nuts

High sodium levels in salted nuts can raise blood pressure. High sodium intake is associated with many chronic diseases. Opt for the natural, raw/roasted nut, or choose a bag of mixed nuts with dried fruit if you are missing that variety and flavour.

Storage

Lastly, to keep your freshly-bought nuts from going rancid, make sure to keep them in an airtight container where possible. Store them in the fridge and your nuts will remain fresh. If you don’t use the nuts all that often, freezing them may even be a good option for you! Nuts can keep for 6-9 months when refrigerated, or up to slightly more than a year when frozen. Enjoy your favourite nuts all year round!

Buying nuts

Choosing the freshest nuts isn’t the simplest task and we can totally understand why one could consider it such a hassle. Fret not, pick out some of our fresh nuts from here or here to ensure you have an endless supply of your favourite snack!

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