With a subtle buttery flavor, macadamia nuts are tree nuts popularly used in baking and desserts. Boasting a variety of health benefits, these nuts are a valuable addition to your pantry, even beyond macadamia nut cookies.
Macadamia nuts make a great snack on their own or as an addition to baked goods. If you purchased a container of them for a batch of cookies a few months or years ago, you might wonder if they are still good to use or if they have gone bad.
Here’s the bottom line: Macadamia nuts will eventually go bad, just like other nuts.
Read ahead to know how long you can expect your macadamia nuts to last and how to check for any signs of spoilage.
Nutritional Value Of Macadamia Nuts
Though not as common of a staple to healthy diets as almonds or pecans, macadamia nuts are packed full of nutrients and health benefits.
Macadamia nuts are rich in iron, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin B6 and are loaded with antioxidants. The nutrients within macadamia nuts contribute to good digestive health, prevent inflammation, and can even boost heart health.
To ensure you are getting all the valuable nutrients found within macadamia nuts, you will want to ensure they have not passed their prime.
Purchasing Fresh Macadamia Nuts
A long shelf life for macadamia nuts begins in the store. Macadamia nuts are typically offered shelled in grocery stores, though they can also be found unshelled, typically in bulk areas.
Macadamia nuts come with natural packaging – their shells. However, once they have been shelled, the packaging they end up in makes all the difference in how long their shelf life will be.
If purchasing macadamia with the shells still on, look for ones that are fully intact, without cracks or holes in the shells.
Helpful Tip: Shake each of the macadamia nuts. If you hear any rattling, the nut has begun to dry out and will not be as fresh.
If purchasing shelled macadamia nuts, look for ones packaged in a sealed container. This will maximize the freshness and long life of the macadamia nuts.
Shelf Life Of Macadamia Nuts
Regarding the shelf life of your macadamia nuts, temperature makes all the difference.
You can expect unshelled macadamia nuts to remain in good quality for at least seven months at room temperature. Shelled macadamia nuts will be good for up to five months when stored properly at room temperature.
Refrigerating or freezing your macadamia nuts can lead to far longer shelf life. You can expect both shelled and unshelled macadamia nuts to last up to a year in the fridge. When frozen, macadamia nuts will last up to 2 to 3 years.
Most packages of shelled macadamia nuts have a “best by” date included on the packaging. This is a good indication of when the macadamia nuts will begin to lose quality, though they will be fine to eat for several months longer as long as there are no signs of spoilage.
How To Store Macadamia Nuts
Ensuring a long life for your macadamia nuts is dependent on good storage techniques. When it comes to long-term storage of nuts, the colder, the better.
If you know you will use up the macadamia nuts within a few months, storing them at room temperature is perfectly fine. To do so, keep them in a cool, dark location, such as a pantry.
Shelled macadamia nuts should be kept in an airtight container away from any sources of moisture. Unshelled macadamia nuts already have sufficient natural packaging and can be kept in any bag or container in your pantry.
When refrigerating or freezing macadamia nuts, you will want to ensure they are in airtight packaging or a container. They should be placed in a location in your refrigerator or freezer that has a consistent temperature.
Are These Macadamia Nuts Bad?
Macadamia nuts will go bad, and when they do, they will have an unpleasant scent and flavor. You will want to check for any signs of spoilage before using them for baking or eating, even if they appear fine.
The first indication of spoilage you will want to look for is any change in appearance. If there is any mold, usually a white-ish growth, you will want to throw them out.
Another visible sign of a macadamia nut going bad is if it has dried out, shriveled, or become discolored. While these macadamia nuts will likely be fine to consume, they will not taste good and have likely begun going rancid.
Macadamia nuts contain fats and oils naturally. Like other oils, these components within macadamia nuts can begin to go rancid. Rancidity occurs when the fats and oils start to oxidize, changing the chemical composition.
When foods become rancid, they will put off an off odor. Smell the macadamia nuts to see if there are any rancid smells, which are often similar to soap, paint, or sour butter. If it smells odd at all, you will want to throw it out.
If the macadamia nuts smell and appear fine, you can take a small bite of one. If it tastes off or bitter, you will want to dispose of them.
As with most foods, trust your gut when looking for signs of spoilage. If anything seems off, it will be best to throw them out.
- Like other nuts, macadamia nuts will go bad.
- At room temperature, you can expect shelled macadamia nuts to last for five months and unshelled nuts to last for seven months.
- When refrigerated, macadamia nuts will last for up to a year. When frozen, they can last for up to two to three years.
- Shelled macadamia nuts should be kept in an airtight container, ensuring no exposure to excess moisture.
- Signs of spoilage in macadamia nuts can include a bitter smell or flavor and appearances of mold or have shriveled.
Macadamia nuts are delicious, packed with nutrients, and great for baked goods. Ensure they have not gone bad to get all of the benefits these tasty macadamia nuts provide.