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How Long Do Brazil Nuts Last? Can They Go Bad?

There are few greater culinary shames in the world than gone off Brazil nuts. Not only are they notoriously expensive due to their complicated harvest process, but they are also delicious and relatively hard to get one’s hands on at times. Unfortunately, for some of us, we don’t often find that we are making recipes that call for them. As a result, they can find themselves cast aside and exiled into a forgotten corner of the kitchen until it is too late to save them. Given that many of us tend to stockpile rarer items when we can find them, it is totally understandable that this situation could arise. More often than not, we will find ourselves looking at a pack of Brazil nuts that are only a few days or a week beyond their sell-by date.

Many of us, not knowing the signs of spoilage, will then decide to take a bite to see what the status of them is. Bam! The taste of rancid oils instantly fills the mouth, causing us to instantly spit it out. We’ve all been there, and know the awful, bitter flavor that is so hard to get rid of. Well, once you’ve experienced this, you definitely never want to experience it again. So, to make that happen, we decided to put together this handy little guide. In this, we will go through the best ways to store Brazil nuts, how long you can possibly keep them for, and perhaps most importantly, how to spot the signs that they have spoiled. Let’s kick off with the best way to store Brazil nuts for a long shelf-life.


The Best Way to Store Brazil Nuts

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Unopened packages

Like macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts are absolutely chock full of oils. These oils give the nut its wonderful buttery flavor and aroma, but they can also be the reason that your Brazil nuts go bad prematurely. In order to take care of the nut properly, the key is to stop any of this oil from escaping the nut and exposing itself to air. In order to do this, the best way to store them is to keep them away from light and heat. As such, we would recommend keeping them in the pantry or in a kitchen cabinet away from sources of heat.

Opened Packages

Once a bag of Brazil nuts has been opened, they will begin to turn far quicker than their unopened counterparts. The best thing to do to stop this process is to transfer the nuts into an airtight container straight away after opening. If you are tight for space, an airtight bag will also suffice.


How Long Do Brazil Nuts Last?

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See also
How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last? Can They Go Bad?

The shelf-life of Brazil nuts can vary dramatically depending on how they were stored and how they were treated before they showed up in your house. As such, we won’t be able to get you an exact date that your Brazil nuts will expire. However, we will be able to get you as close as possible. In fact, you may never have to eat a bad nut again! The sell-by date should never be considered as an expiration date for nuts. Instead, they serve as a vague advisory. The truth is that you can get much longer out of them depending on how you choose to store them. In our experience, Brazil nuts that haven’t been opened will last for up to 5 months in the pantry and up to as far as 8 months in the fridge. In some cases, this can be equal to adding an extra 3 months on top of the sell-by date.

However, if you are the type to stock up on pound after pound of the elusive Brazil nut, this may still not be enough time. For situations such as this, the only remaining option is to freeze the excess and keep it for a later date. By doing so, we reckon that you can easily add up to a year onto their shelf life (sell-by date plus a year) and the quality of the nut won’t be affected. However, there is always the potential that these nuts might not have been handled correctly before they came into your possession. When this happens, it is entirely possible that their expiry date may come quite a bit sooner than either you or the sell-by date on the package had anticipated. To combat this, the next course of action we would recommend is to learn the signs that your Brazil nuts may have expired. By doing so, you can effectively sidestep the possibility of ever having to eat a gone off nut again.


Signs That Your Brazil Nuts May Have Gone Off

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See also
How Long Can Honey Last? Can it go bad?

Checking for the signs of rot in Brazil nuts begins with putting some trust in your senses. For the first check, we’re going to be visually running over the nuts looking for disparities in quality.

Sight testing

There are two different tell-tale signs that your nuts have expired that you can pick up by using your sight alone. The first involves looking out for color changes on the surface of the nut. Whereas nuts rarely get the time to go moldy, this can happen if they have consistently been exposed to too much air and moisture. Such environments effectively create a breeding ground in which bacteria can really take hold. So, if you see any hint of fuzz or any off-looking specks of color, this will indicate immediately that the nut has gone rancid. If this proves to be the case, there is no point in trying to salvage the other nuts in the package. Instead, your only port of call is to immediately discard the whole package or container.

A much more subtle sign that your Brazil nuts may not be up to spec is if a few of them appear to be shrunken or wrinkled. This will indicate that they have been stored for too long and have lost the bulk of their moisture content. In this state, they are essentially a petrified version of their former selves and won’t taste anywhere near as good as what they once did. Though these may be safe to eat, we would still direct towards replacing them rather than continuing to use them.

Smell and taste

Should it be the case that the nuts have passed the sight test but you’re still not entirely sure whether they should be used in a recipe, the next course of action is to simply have a sniff of them. Given that nuts have a high oil content, and oils are subject to go rancid after continued exposure to the elements, this is a relatively straightforward test. What you should be looking for is that the old nutty and rich aroma will have dissipated. Instead, it will have been replaced by a totally unpleasant bitter aroma which doesn’t really compare to any other smell. After this, if there is any remaining doubt whatsoever, the only remaining action is to have a nibble at one of them. If the taste matches the bitter aroma, it is time for them to go. However, we would advise that if you are still in doubt by the time that you reach this test that you go with your gut. They really taste horrible when they have gone off! So, when in doubt, chuck them out!

Can Brazil Nuts be Refrigerated?

Refrigerating an opened package of Brazil nuts in an airtight container in the fridge can add months to their shelf-life. We absolutely recommend doing this if you intend to keep them for as long as possible. If you happen to have overstocked on Brazil nuts (if such a thing is possible!) they can also be frozen. In this state, they will last for up to a year beyond their sell-by date.


Brazil Nut Storage, Sell-by Dates, and Other Related Questions

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Why are Brazil nuts so expensive?

Rated as the 7th most expensive nut in the world, there is a good reason for the lofty price of the Brazil nut. Simply put, there isn’t really all that reliable a source for them. For example, if the Amazon rainforest doesn’t receive enough rainfall, the harvest can be severely compromised. Additionally, Brazil nuts are also ridiculously rich in nutrients, which some speculate adds to their market value.

Are Brazil nuts keto?

Brazil nuts are one of the best nuts you could possibly opt for on the keto diet. For example, the cashew nut contains 22 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving, whereas the Brazil nut only contains 4.

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