Do Pine Nuts Go Bad? Tips to Extend Its Shelf-life!

According to The Spruce Eats, pine nuts are also known as pignoli. They are actually seeds which are edible.

Imagine making asparagus for lunch today, but wouldn’t you want to include pine nuts in it? So, you look around in your kitchen cabinet, search the refrigerator and finally open the door to the pantry. It’s there that you find a packet full of pine nuts stashed carelessly among other essentials.

As you take it out, you begin to wonder if it is fine to use them. Stale pine nuts make your dish taste worse. It is a bad idea to put stale nuts into a dish specially if you are preparing it for your guests.

You turn over the label and find out that it is past its expiration date. That’s when you ask yourself, do pine nuts go bad?

How Long Do Pine Nuts Last? Do Pine Nuts Go Bad?

Whether it’s tofu that you want to make or pesto, you need pine nuts that will not make your dish taste weird. Before you get down to making any dish, you might wonder if you can use the pine nuts you have at your home even if they are past the Best By date mentioned on the packet.

Just like peanuts, pine nuts also go bad. Like all nuts, they have a high content of oil, which has the tendency to become rancid over time and make pine nuts stale.

You can expect unshelled nuts to last 6 to 12 months. Hence, the shelf life of pine nuts with their shells intact is about a year.

However, most pine nuts are sold without a shell. With no protective covering, they can’t last too long. Unshelled pine nuts can only last one to three months after you open the packet they come in.

If you tossed the nuts in the freezer, they will last for a good three months, but if you put them in the fridge, they will retain their freshness for only a month before they start to degrade. Storage methods matter, so it is important that you store pine nuts properly.

How to Tell If Pine Nuts Are Bad?

Although they will not become inedible after a few months, pine nuts tend to taste bad. There are ways in which you can tell for sure if they have lost their freshness.

We have listed some of the ways you can examine them for any signs of rancidity. If you feel like your pine nuts show these signs, it is better if you do not use them.

  • Smell the pine nuts. If they have a nutty aroma, that means they are not stale. If the oil has gone bad, they will have an unpleasant smell, which is a sure sign that they have gone bad.
  • Taste them to know if they are fresh. Nuts that go bad have a bitter taste because of the degrading oil. Fresh ones will always taste delicious because their oil has not turned rancid.

How to Store Pine Nuts Properly

Like any other nuts, to prevent pine nuts from going stale quickly, you need to make sure they do not turn rancid anytime soon. For that, you will have to keep them away from moisture and air.

High temperature also contributes to pine nuts going bad, so keeping nuts away from heat is another way to keep them fresh.

Epicurious states that keeping nuts in a cool, dark place is the best way to store them. You can store unshelled pine nuts in a cabinet away from heat if you want to retain their freshness.

According to HuffPost, freezing nuts will keep them fresh longer. You can put shelled pine nuts in a freezer by wrapping them up before you put them in the freezer. You can also try using an airtight jar for this purpose. Pine nuts will remain fresh in fridge as well, just not for as long as in the freezer.

Storing pine nuts properly will slow down the process of degradation, and you will get to enjoy them for months.

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