If nut-related allergies are not a concern to you, you know the value almonds have to your loved ones. These nuts make excellent and healthy snacks and can be added to food to add flavor or as garnishes.
You can buy shelled or unshelled almonds, depending on your preference. Almonds are always purchased in packs from small to large quantities. If you use these nuts often, large packages are preferable.
Almonds have a long life span and are easy to store. But, you should give them enough care so they can serve you for long. If you are dealing with processed almonds, manufacturers provide guidelines for handling them which you should refer to.
(Also Read: How long does Almond Flour last? Can it go bad?)
How Long Do Almonds Last?
Almonds are some of the long-lasting nuts. You can store them while raw or roasted. Each of these states determine how long your nuts can last since they are stored differently.
If you choose to buy unshelled almonds, you can enjoy a longer lifespan than the shelled ones. The shells protect the nuts from the external environment elements such as light, moisture, and heat. However, you should not expose your nuts to these elements simply because they are coated.
Because unshelled almonds have their natural cover, you can store them in your pantry for 6 months without going bad. Since most of the unshelled almonds are found in the grocery stores, they do not come with a best before date. You can also refrigerate them to serve you for 16 months or 20 months when frozen.
If you do not like removing the shells on your own, you can go with the shelled almonds. These are more sensitive to their environment because they lack the protective coat. We recommend storing them under refrigeration if you do not intend to eat them soon.
Shelled almonds come with a best before date. When not opened, they can stay in the pantry for 4 months. If you open them, you should refrigerate them to last for approximately 8 months. If you want them to last even longer, freeze them and that will take them for 10 months.
Honestly, unshelled almonds are a sure bet if you are looking for long-term preservation. So, if you come across fresh nuts being sold at a ridiculously discounted price, take large quantities. Such rates are rare to find.
Can Almonds Go Bad?
Almonds contain monounsaturated fats and omega-3 oils. That is why these nuts are recommended since these nutrients are good for your heart.
However, since they are rich in these fats and oils, they become susceptible to spoilage by heat. So, yes, almonds can go bad. They become rancid when exposed to dampness or heat.
Also, if your almonds are packed commercially and the manufacturer has specified storage conditions they can go bad if you do not consider such conditions.
Poor handling of your almonds can also make them go bad soon. For example, if you have refrigerated them and then you remove them from the fridge for long, they can get spoilt fast. If you are not using your almonds, do not keep them unrefrigerated for more than 8 hours.
Past this time, microbes become active and multiply fast, making your nuts go bad.
How Can You Tell That Your Almonds have Gone Bad?
Imagine baking a huge cake to celebrate an anniversary, birthday, or an achievement only to throw it because your almonds are spoilt. How about throwing away that salad you spent a lot of time to learn and prepare? It can be totally disheartening.
To avoid all the frustration, you can always check whether your almonds have gone bad. The first thing is through observable signs. They include mold growth, drying or color change. These signs are obvious that your nuts have gone bad and you should not use them anywhere you had planned.
You can also smell to check if your almonds are still fresh. However, this method is not accurate since almonds that are in their initial stage of going bad do not produce any smell. But, if their spoilage has advanced, you can feel a sour smell coming from your nuts.
Another way of testing your almonds is by tasting. If they have gone bad, they give a bitter or sour taste that can last for a few minutes in your mouth. Actually, most people who hate almonds probably had spoilt ones for the first time and perhaps ate them.
If your house attracts insects, they will surely come when your nuts go bad in the pantry or the cupboard. If you notice insects coming from the area you have kept yours, it is time to check whether they are still good for use.
Is it Okay to Eat Almonds Past their Best Before Date?
Yes and no. It is okay to eat almonds past their expiry date if they do not exhibit signs of spoilage. Since this date is merely an estimation of how long your packed almonds can last, they necessarily don’t go bad when the date arrives.
If you store your almonds in the right conditions; you can eat them for months past the best before date. However, always check before consuming.
But, when you pull out one of the packets you bought some time back and discover it is past its expiry date with mold grown all over, it is not okay to consume. Discard the almonds and check the rest of the packages if they are spoilt.
There is something else you should not ignore. When you notice your almonds changing color, smelling sour, or tasting bitter before their best before date, it does not make them good. They are unfit, and you should get rid of them.
What Happens if You Eat Spoilt Almonds?
Pretty sure you are conversant with food poisoning. When almonds go bad, they become unfit for consumption. Well, some foods seem to cause severe poisoning and make others look less damaging.
Although almonds are not popular in causing food poisoning, they do. When spoilt, they contain the notorious Salmonella bacteria which, when severe, can lead to death.
Salmonella poisoning can lead to fever, diarrhoea, stomach ache, and vomiting. To avoid this pain, you would rather dispose before anyone eats them unknowingly.
Something interesting about spoilt almonds is they are hard to eat. You cannot withstand their taste unless they are mixed with other foods.
How Do You Store Almonds?
You do not have to own specialized equipment for storing almonds. You can keep them at room temperature in a pantry, refrigerated, or frozen. Almonds stay longer in cold temperatures.
When storing in a dry space, ensure the place is dark, well ventilated, and free from moisture and away from sources of heat.
Almonds can be stored using storage bags or jars. The best thing about the storage bags is they can be reused. However, they should be breathable, so your nuts do not sweat if stored in a pantry. If jars are used, they should be airtight to prevent oxidation of the nuts.
If your nuts come pre-packed, there is no need to transfer them when unopened. But, after opening and the package is not sealable, transfer them in a jar. If it is sealable, let them remain in the package.
What Can You Do with Almond Shells?
When it is time to prepare your unshelled almonds for eating, it is okay to look for ways to use your shells. It is possibly the reason you did not go for the shelled ones.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do with the shells. For example, if you like lighting your fireplace to keep you warm, you can use these shells to help you start a fire before adding the thick logs.
Still, you can use these shells to decorate your paintings if you are a creative DIYer. When painted, these shells beautifully complement your artwork.
If you have an organic garden, you can use the shells with other organic waste to make compost manure. Soak the shells before using them to make manure in water to make them soft and easy to decompose.
Some people also mix these shells with loose gravel and pour it on their pathways at home. They make such pathways look attractive while giving them a natural touch.
What Are Almonds Good for?
Almonds are good for both child and adult health. You can eat them roasted, baked, in paste form, steamed, or in any other way you feel like preparing them.
Other than richness in monounsaturated fats, proteins and Omega-3 oils, almonds are also good antioxidants. We know how important these are to our health.
Almonds can be excellent replacements for processed snacks. This way, you reduce the amount of processed sugars and calorie intake in your body. They replace them with healthy fats, protecting your heart from diet-related diseases.
Did you recently buy almonds and realized they are excess? There is no need to worry. You can store them properly in your pantry or freezer and enjoy using them for up to 20 months. Eat a healthy snack often because you are informed about storing almonds and how long they can last.