How Long Do Nuts Last?

How long do nuts last? Nuts are a healthy protein snack choice because they are high in unsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL). The shelf life of nuts depends on a variety of factors, such as the best by date, the type of nut and how they are stored. Each variety of nuts bears its own distinctive flavor and qualities.

So, how long do nuts last? When properly stored, the shelf life of nuts past their sell by date is approximately ...

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Nuts Expiration Date

Pantry Fridge Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Almonds last 9-12 Months 1 Year 2 Years
Brazil Nuts last 9 Months 1 Year 1 Year
Cashews last for 6-9 Months 1 Year 2 Years
Hazelnuts last for 4-6 Months 1 Year 1 Year
Macadamias last for 6-9 Months 1 Year 2 Years
Peanuts last 6-9 Months 1 Year 2 Years
Pecans last 6 Months 1 Year 2 Years
Pine Nuts last 1-2 Months 3-4 Months 5-6 Months
Pistachios last for 3 Months -- --
Walnuts last for 6 Months 1 Year 1-2 Years

Of course, nuts lasts for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. Opened packages will last for a shorter time, again depending on the variety. But remember that nuts, unlike a lot of other proteins, usually have a best by date and not an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use nuts to compliment your favorite meals even after the best by date has lapsed. As a rule, nuts that are purchased in their shell will last for a shorter period of time than those which have been shelled. This has a lot to do with the packaging and is true as long as the package is unopened. Once the package has been opened, nuts with the shells intact will generally last for a longer period of time than those which were already shelled.

How to tell if Nuts are bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, your nose is usually the most reliable instrument to tell if your nuts have gone bad. Rancid nuts smell. The best way to describe the odor is that spoiled nuts smell like paint. It's a distinct and unpleasant odor.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Nuts to extend their shelf life?

Nuts are usually best kept in the refrigerator, not necessary but it does extend their shelf life. This is especially true of walnuts, pecans and cashews that become rancid quickly in warm environments. Nuts should be stored in tightly closed containers to keep out moisture and other contaminants. A canning jar with a tight seal lid works great for pecans and walnuts as it provides extra protection from odors leaking into the nuts from other foods stored nearby.

The most delicate and quickest expiring nuts are pine and pistachio. While our tables list the time frame that nuts are good beyond their printed date, if you can't find any date on your package, you can expect most shelled varieties to last about 2 years. For opened packages, it's best to take a whiff before serving.

Since opened packages of nuts last for a shorter period of time, if you buy a large bag re-seal them into smaller bags or jars and keep them in the fridge.

For a long-term option, you can freeze your nuts (except shelled pistachios) while preserving their taste if you use an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze each kind of nut separately. This is an excellent option, especially if you live in a warm climate. Remember that nuts pick up odors around them if not sealed tightly. A year in the freezer is often long enough for most nuts, but some can last longer.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Nuts:

  • When using nuts for baking or snacking, add some taste and crunch by roasting nuts before use.
  • Of all the varieties, only peanuts are actually legumes and grow below the ground.
  • BEWARE - Macadamias should never be fed to dogs, read our post on what dogs eat to find out more.
  • How long are Nuts good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long do nuts last? That depends. How long does chicken last? In general, nuts last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Nuts lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Nuts.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Nuts shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

    Our Favorite Food Storage Set!

    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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