Cashews are a dope addition to lots of tasty dishes. They’re also a solid source of fiber, healthy fats, and plant protein, making them a great on-the-go snack. But can these nutritious nuts go bad? Spoiler: Yes, they can.
Since you should not eat expired nuts, here’s how to spot rancid cashews. We also have a rundown of smart storage tips to extend the nuts’ shelf life.
Yup! Cashews can go bad just like any other perishable food. But there’s still some good nut news. Cashews can last more than a year if stored correctly. And it’s easy to tell if they’ve gone bad before you eat them. (More on that in a minute.)
A cashew nut’s life span depends on how it’s stored. Here are some factors that can make a big difference:
- Light. Direct sun exposure can speed up the spoilage process.
- Storage. Cashews that are stored in airtight containers last longer than nuts left out in the open.
- Type of nut. Whole, raw cashews stay fresh longer than those that are chopped, salted, candied, or roasted.
- Temperature. Cashew nuts last about 6 months when kept at room temp, about 68°F (20°C). But they can last more than a year when stored in the freezer.
Cashews don’t turn rancid overnight. You’ll usually notice them gradually declining over the course of a few days or even weeks. But once these nuts break bad, there’s no going back.
Now you might be wondering, what do rancid cashews look like? Well, a cashew nut is prob spoiled if it:
- looks dark or blotchy
- is wrinkly, dry, or shriveled
- has any signs of mold or bacteria
- has a bitter, funky, or chemical smell
Cashews last the longest when kept in the freezer. They can remain fresh AF for more than a year in a freezer-safe bag. Just be sure to press the air out before sealing the bag.
The next best thing is to keep cashews in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Place them toward the back of the fridge to ensure a consistently cool temperature. With this method, they should be good for 6 to 12 months.
No fridge space? No problem. Cashews can last up to 6 months at room temp. Just be sure to store them in a cool, dimly lit area. And again, don’t forget the airtight container!
Pro tip: Take out a week’s supply of cashews from the freezer at a time. That way you don’t have to wait for them to defrost every time you’re feeling snacky.
You should never eat rancid or expired nuts. Seriously. Research shows that cashews can produce harmful bacteria and fungi that can be really risky to consume. And at the very least, eating mold can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
PSA: When in doubt, throw it out. Food waste isn’t great, but the risk of food poisoning isn’t worth it. Trust us.
Cashew nuts have a long shelf life when stored in the right conditions. Storing them in a cupboard will keep them fresh for up to 6 months. But your best bet is to store them in the freezer if you know you won’t eat them quickly enough. They can last more than a year in very cold temps.
Reminder: Don’t eat rancid nuts. It’s usually easy to tell if cashews have gone bad. Rancid nuts will have a funky smell and may be discolored or shriveled.
Cashew later 😉!