Almonds are the oil-rich seeds of fruit produced by specialized deciduous trees belonging to the genus Prunus.
Apart from the fruit found inside the hard shell, there’s also a thin layer of almond pulp which is not commonly eaten.
Almonds are a popular ingredient in cooking and baking because of their delicate, nutty taste and high oil content.
They are used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, from marzipan to almond tarts.
Almonds are sold in two forms: whole nuts or almond pieces (chopped, peeled, sliced, or ground).
Whole almonds are used for baking and cooking, but they have a relatively short shelf life.
Almonds can be frozen and stored for up to six months without losing any flavor or aroma.
But don’t expect them to thaw out and taste as good as fresh almonds.
In this article, we will guide you through the method of freezing almonds and tell you how to use them in cooking after they have been frozen.
Does Freezing Affect Almonds?
Almonds can be frozen, but so that you know, it’s not going to make them taste any better.
When almonds are frozen, their oil content will cause them to separate into hard chunks resembling rocks.
They might lose their crunchy texture and are softer than you’re probably used to.
When cooked with frozen almonds, you may not notice any major difference in the results-taste will probably suffer a little bit.
Another thing to be aware of is the fact that frozen almonds will not thaw out into crumbs.
They’ll still retain their shape, but they will lose their crunchiness.
Freezing may have a negative impact on almonds, but it’s not likely that you’ll be able to tell the difference by just looking at them.
You’ll have to try them yourself.
How To Freeze Almonds?
Almonds come in various forms, but if you’re planning to freeze them, we recommend freezing whole almonds.
Blanching the nuts is not required before throwing them into the freezer because blanching will cause them to lose some of their flavor and aroma.
Blanched almonds can be frozen if you’d prefer to use them for baking purposes (see the next section).
But if you’re planning to eat them or use them in a savory dish, choose whole, unblanched almonds.
First of all, place the whole almonds in a freezer bag and squeeze out some of the air.
Next, seal the bag and place it in your freezer. Whole almonds will keep for up to six months in a freezer set at -18°C.
When the time comes that you want to use them, just put them back in your fridge for two days to thaw out.
For almonds pieces or sliced almonds, you can use the same method for whole almonds, but be aware that they tend to get soggy.
If you plan to keep them for an extended period and if you’d like to make sure they will not go bad, blanch them first before freezing them.
Blanching involves immersing almonds in boiling water for about 30 seconds only.
This is enough to make them safe for storage, but remember that blanching will cause the flavor and aroma of the almonds to deteriorate.
If you want to freeze ground almonds, you can do that too.
Ground almonds should be stored in an air-tight container or a vacuum-pack bag to prevent them from going bad.
Make sure to label the container with the date and use-by or best before date.
Frozen almonds typically last for up to 6 months, but it may depend on the quality of your almonds.
The better (or fresher) they are, the better they will taste after thawing.
How to Thaw Frozen Almonds?
If you’re wondering how to thaw frozen almonds, don’t worry.
It’s not complicated, and it will probably take less time than you think.
All you have to do is put them in your refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
If you’re planning to use the almonds right away, just leave them on the counter and wait for one or two hours until they thaw out.
The absolute best way to speed up this process would be to put them in hot water (or a microwave).
This is probably not very practical for most home chefs.
If you thaw your almonds in the microwave, don’t forget to remove them and let them cool down before you start cooking with them.
Overcooking frozen almonds are quite easy to do.
How to Use Thawed Almonds?
There’s no reason why you can’t use thawed almonds in your favorite recipe.
Almonds that have been frozen retain their nutritional value and will not go bad, but they might taste a little different than before they were put in the freezer.
They will be softer than you remember them to be, and some of the flavors may have changed as well.
On the positive side, almonds will be easier to grind into a paste or butter after being thawed.
The most important thing to remember when using thawed almonds is not to cook them too much.
This applies both to whole and ground almonds.
If you’re wondering how to use thawed almonds, you can do so by using them in the same way you normally use fresh almonds in your recipes.
How to Tell if Almonds are Bad?
If you’re wondering how to tell if almonds are bad, don’t worry.
The process is easy, and it doesn’t take long either. All you have to do is look at them closely.
If there’s any damage to the shell or the nut itself, they should be discarded because they may be contaminated.
If your almonds have changed color (and not in the way that they turn brown when roasted), then you should throw them away as well.
If there are small cracks on the shell, it is probably because they were dry, and the shells have started to shrink slightly.
This won’t affect their taste, but you will certainly notice a crunchy texture that you’ve never experienced before.
If they have a strange or sour odor, you should not use them in your recipes because they may cause health problems and other issues.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your almond is still good is to look for any signs of mold on it.
If there’s some, remove it immediately as it may affect other parts of the nut too.
Remember, almonds will not go bad if stored in a properly sealed container, and you follow the recommended storage methods.
In conclusion, almonds are an excellent source of protein and make for a great snack between meals.
They also have some fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
However, you must know how to freeze almonds to preserve their taste and texture and nutritional value.
Once you’ve discovered how to freeze almonds, the chances are that you’ll never throw them away again.