Almond and Walnut Shelf Life
The Local Forage group nut buy was completed last month -- a huge order of over 250 pounds! As usual, Farmer Ruth delivered a delicious (unpasteurized, of course) crop. Nuts can be bought unpasteurized at farmers markets and "roadside markets" up to 100 pounds but no matter what the quantity, Ruth still structures sales in her accounting books as a "tree shares" as I reported last year in Tree Share for Unpasteurized Almonds. I think she's smart to do this as one never knows what the USDA and the Almond Board are going to come up with next, or how they will rule on a situation. Indeed, there seems to be an ongoing assault on our right to access healthy food at all levels of government and industry.
Back to shelf life...Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, while if stored in the freezer, almonds can be kept for up to a year. (Ruth says her nuts will keep for 2 months unrefrigerated.) Optimum storage temperature is 45 to 52 degrees according to what I read on some almond association/producer sites. Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds.
Since almonds readily absorb odors, they should never be stored near or exposed to pungent foods or chemicals. For this reason, I store them in big glass jars.
For those who bought the almonds, don't forget to take an extra few steps to Turbo Charge Your Almonds! If you bought the walnuts, you might want to take a gander at my answer to a reader's question about sprouting walnuts.
COMING SOON: LOCAL FORAGE MAP OF THE SF ALEMANY FARMERS MARKET