According to Encyclopedia Britannica, walnuts are nuts that grow on walnut trees. They are quite delicious and consumed in many parts of the world. They are highly beneficial as well, as indicated by Healthline. However, it is not pleasant to eat a stale walnut as it tastes bad.
Walnuts and winters go hand in hand. There’s nothing like keeping a packet of walnuts in your coat pocket while walking on icy cold pavements and popping them into your mouth now and then. Each time you swallow a walnut, you crave for more. You keep digging into your pockets to take out another handful of walnuts and keep on munching until there are no more left.
All this happens when you have quality and fresh walnuts to eat. But sometimes you might find them to be very bitter for your palate and you start to question, do walnuts go bad?
Do Walnuts Go Bad? How Long Do Walnuts Last? Shelf Life of Walnuts
Walnuts do go bad. This is because of the oil inside walnuts, which turns rancid after a while and gives them a bitter taste, making them unpalatable.
While it is true that walnuts remain fresh and edible for a long time, there does come a point when they no longer taste good. If you have bought some, you should know how you can make them last for a long period. But before you get to that, you will need to understand how long walnuts usually last.
The shelf life of walnuts with a shell is more than for those without a shell. Unshelled walnuts can last for a whole year, sometimes even more than that. Hence, you can expect quality walnuts to remain fresh for at least 12 months if they are still in their shell.
After the best by date on the packet, most walnuts go bad, but some still retain their freshness if stored properly. Hence, it is not necessary for you to throw them away after the expiration date.
As stated before, shelled walnuts go bad faster than unshelled ones. If you keep them in the fridge, they will not turn rancid before six months. However, if you put them in a freezer, you can enjoy them the whole year round.
How to Tell If Walnuts are Bad? Shelled & Unshelled Walnuts
The best way to tell whether an unshelled walnut has gone bad is by looking at its shell. However, if you have shelled walnuts, you will need to use some of your senses to figure out if they have gone stale.
Below are some ways by which you can tell whether your walnuts have gone bad.
If you notice any of these signs, that means your walnuts have gone bad and you need to discard them.
How to Store Walnuts Properly?
You store walnuts the same way as you would store pine nuts or peanuts. Nuts have a lot of oil in them, which goes rancid on exposure to heat and moisture. Therefore, you will have to store them in a certain way so as to reduce their chances of going stale.
As shelled and unshelled walnuts have a different shelf life, you need to store them differently. As opposed to shelled walnuts, unshelled ones last longer due to the shell around them that gives them protection.
Many experts suggest that for freezing shelled walnuts, use an airtight container so that they last longer. You can also use a plastic bag in which you can seal them to give them the same protection as a shell would. Place the bag in the freezer so that the walnuts last for a long time.
If you have not opened the package of walnuts, there’s no need to seal them in an air tight container as you can simply put the package in the fridge or freezer. They will not go bad.
In case you want to protect unshelled walnuts from turning rancid, there is no need to refrigerate them. Just like pine nuts, cashews, a cool, dry place is all you need to keep unshelled walnuts fresh. Put them in a kitchen cabinet, which isn’t exposed to sunlight, and you are good to go.