Holiday Entertaining - Keeping Your Nuts Cool

This time of year, I seem to need a lot of nuts - pecans for pie, hazelnuts for desserts, pine nuts for side dishes, almonds and walnuts for snacking and granola. 

Here’s a little tip I like to give, especially around this time of year. 
Keep your nuts cool.
I know, I know...that sounds like innuendo of some sort. But I mean it in the most literal and lipid-friendly sense. 

I keep all my nuts in the freezer. They simply keep longer and stay fresher in there. 
Nuts contain delicate fatty acids (oils) that can spoil with time, especially if they aren’t stored properly. You’ll notice that rancidity of these oils has occured when your nuts have an “off” flavor or aroma, and you should avoid eating them! These oxidized oils can be damaging to human body cells and no longer have the beneficial properties that we love. Throw these nuts out immediately!

Whenever I buy nuts – say it with me, now – I transfer them into glass jars as soon as I get them home from the market. I also label them for easy identification, of course. 

My method of storage is as follows:
I put the nuts that only get used every once in awhile in small jars in the front.
I put the nuts I use a little more often behind them in mid-size jars, with the labels positioned a little higher so they can be seen over the small jars. 
And finally, I put the tallest jars filled with the nuts I buy more of and use most often in the back, with the labels positioned a bit higher so they can be seen over the mid-sized jars. 

I know what you’re thinking – “that sounds backwards!” – but I promise, it works for me because I can see everything very clearly! (and it looks pretty!)

For almonds that I plan to toast, I like to buy raw, organic almonds. This way there are no added oils. 

My favorite way to toast them is to put them on a baking sheet and dry roast them at 350° for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to develop a pleasant crunch and sweet, nutty flavor. It’s easy to over-toast these, but try to avoid it as best you can, as it will spoil the nut’s delicate oils and they simply won’t taste good!

The only nuts I don’t keep in the freezer are the ones named Erica, Emma, and Howard. 
I keep those near by for hugs. 
I’m thankful for my wonderful family!
I hope everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday! 

Kenzie Gallagher