How to Properly Store Almonds

Storage Keeps Almonds Fresh and Safe

Almonds
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Almonds are a fantastic snack and an ideal addition to a healthy diet. These nuts are rich in nutrients, including fiber and protein, and they're quite tasty. However, if you're a fan of almonds, you might have noticed that they can go stale and end up tasting really bad. These should not be eaten, though the solution is simple and all you need are a few tips about proper storage.

Storing Almonds

Almonds should be stored in an airtight container and it's best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. It's not recommended that they are stored at room temperature for periods of time, so your pantry is not a good idea. However, you can take enough for a day or two out of storage while keeping the rest safe and fresh.

According to the California Almond Board, the shelf-life of almonds depends on how they're processed.

  • Natural almonds can be stored for up to two years and you can maximize their freshness by placing them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Roasted almonds can stay good for up to a year in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Almond paste should be refrigerated and will stay fresh for 1 to 1 1/2 years.

It's the Fats That Matter

Almonds are rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, which is why they're good for a heart-healthy diet. But those fats start to go rancid if the almonds are exposed to the oxygen in the air, especially at room temperature.

Rancid oil makes the stale almonds taste bad. Spoiled almonds aren't poisonous, but the fats are no longer beneficial. It is possible that the rancid fat could contribute to chronic health problems if consumed often. So when the almonds taste bad, it's time to throw them out.

Almonds last longer than other nuts because they contain some phytochemical antioxidants that protect the nuts.

These antioxidants might be good for people too. In fact, almonds make it to the top of many superfood lists.

What About Salmonella?

Generally, you should be safe from salmonella when it comes to almonds. Salmonella is a bacteria that causes the typical foodborne illness symptoms, including an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

We usually think of salmonella with raw eggs or raw chicken. However, raw almonds were responsible for two salmonella outbreaks in the United States, back in 2000 and 2004. There was also an outbreak due to raw almonds in Australia and one in Sweden.

Due to those cases, almonds now need to be roasted, blanched, or processed in some way. They may also be steamed or treated with a gas called propylene oxide. None of these treatments destroy the nutritional goodness of almonds.

A Word From Verywell

Almonds are a great part of your diet, but to get their full benefits, they do need to be stored properly. The most important thing to remember is that if an almond tastes bad, you should not eat it.

Sources:

Bruhn C, Harris LJ, Giovanni M, Metz D. Nuts: Safe Methods for Consumers to Handle, Store and Enjoy Almonds, Chestnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, and Walnuts. University of California Davis. 2010. http://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/files/44384.pdf.

California Almonds Board. FAQs: How Do I Store My Almonds. 2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts About Cyanide. 2015.

Harris LJ, Palumbo M, Beuchat LR, Danyluk MD. Outbreaks From Tree Nuts, Peanuts, and Sesame Seeds. 2017.