If you’re like most people, you probably think of almonds as a healthy snack that can last for a long time. And you would be right! Almonds are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. But did you know that almonds can go bad?
Almonds can go bad if they are not stored properly. If you have raw almonds they won’t go bad for as long as one or two years. Refrigerated processed almonds may stay safe longer. Roasted almonds will be safe if you put them in an air-tight container and refrigerate it.
When almonds go bad the oil is not beneficial anymore and it becomes rancid. It is possible that consuming these stale almonds can cause health risks.
So, even if there is no proven danger from eating stale almonds it is better to throw them away when they start to taste bad.
Reasons Why Almonds Can Go Bad
If you want to keep your almonds safe for a long time, you should store them in the refrigerator or freezer or, in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
You should always check the almonds if they are showing any damage or rotten signs. There are a few reasons why almonds can go bad.
- The first reason is, almonds contain oil, like all other nuts. These oils can go rancid over time, especially if the nuts are exposed to heat or light.
- Another reason almonds can go bad is because of mold. Mold can grow on any food, but it prefers foods that are high in fat, like nuts.
- Almonds can also go bad if they are stored in a damp environment or if they are not stored in a cool, dry place. If they are stored in a warm place, the nuts can become rancid and develop an off-flavor.
- Finally, almonds can be infested with insects. This is more common in countries where there are fewer regulations on food production, but it can happen anywhere.
LEARN MORE: Can You Boil Almond Milk?
How to Know if Almonds Have Gone Bad
Almonds are a delicious and healthy snack, but they don’t last forever. Almonds can go bad over time if not stored properly.
Knowing how to spot when almonds have gone bad is essential for ensuring you’re eating the freshest almonds possible.
Here’s what you need to know about how to tell if your almonds have been in storage for too long:
- The first thing you’ll notice is the smell. Almonds that have gone bad will have a sour, rancid smell. If your almonds smell off, it’s best to discard them.
- Almonds that are past their expiration date may also start to sprout. This is a sure sign that they’re no longer fresh.
- The texture of bad almonds will also be different from fresh ones. Bad almonds will be brittle and dry, while fresh almonds will be plump and moist.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out your almonds and get a new batch.
LEARN MORE: Can Frozen Chicken Go Bad?
How Long Do Almonds Stay Fresh?
Almonds are a healthy and tasty snack, but like all food, they can go bad. They will stay fresh at room temperature for a few weeks, but for the longest shelf life, store them in the fridge or freezer.
Unopened almonds generally last for 2-4 weeks in the pantry and for opened almonds, the time is 2 weeks.
The packaged almonds will stay fresh as long as their expiration date, which is labeled in the package. Here’s what more you need to know about how long almonds last:
- Almond paste can stay fresh when refrigerated for 2 to 2 1/2 years.
- Natural almonds can be refrigerated or frozen for up to two years.
- You can refrigerate or freeze roasted almonds for up to a year.
Source: Almond Board Of California
- The quality and shelf life of almonds can be affected by three main things: the product, the environment where they are distributed and stored, and the package. These factors work together in many ways to affect the quality of almonds and how long they last. So, the shelf-life guidance for almonds must be specific about the product and how it should be stored.
- A long-term study in the Journal of Food Science looked at how almonds, including raw kernels, blanched kernels, and blanched-sliced kernels, held up when stored for at least 18 months in a variety of conditions.
- A study by U.S. Army Natick researchers found that different types of almonds, such as raw, roasted, blanched, and sliced, can last for three years if they are stored in the optimal packages.
LEARN MORE: Can Cookie Dough Go Bad?
How to Prevent Almonds From Going Bad
It’s important to know how to prevent almonds from going bad because stale almonds can make you sick if you eat them.
Almonds that have gone bad will start to rot, and they will smell bad. They will also be in a different color than almonds that are fresh.
- One of the best ways to prevent almonds from going bad is by storing them in a cool, dry place. Almonds that are stored in the pantry will last for about three to four months.
- You can also freeze them to help extend their shelf life. Almonds that are stored in the fridge will last for about a year, while those that are stored in the freezer will last for up to almost two years.
- Another way to preserve almonds is to process them for future use. For example, you can make almond pastes, refrigerate them and use them in recipes or eat it directly later. You can also grind them and add them to your milk for getting all the health benefits.
LEARN MORE: Can You Cook Frozen Bacon?
Almonds can definitely go bad. If you have followed the correct storage methods for your almonds and they are still within their expiration date, then there is a very low chance that they have gone bad.
However, if you are unsure whether or not your almonds are still edible, it is always better to throw them out. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry!