As the world of nutrition continues convincing us that fats do not have to be evil, more people are accepting nuts as a wonderful alternative.
Pecans are especially popular due to their sweet flavor, easy availability in America, and surprisingly healthy nutritional values.
If you have a pecan or almond tree nearby, you might be able to harvest a year’s worth of nuts every fall.
Perhaps you prefer the benefits of bulk buying.
Or you may like the convenience of buying in bulk, but it is important to protect your pecans.
Is it possible to freeze pecans to extend their lifespan? It is possible.
It would be best if you even froze pecans to preserve their freshness and flavor for years.
Pecans absorb the flavors of other foods and from the frigid environment, so be sure to seal them properly before freezing.
This article will discuss how to freeze and store pecans if you don’t have enough freezer space.
Why Consider Freezing Pecans?
Freezing has been an effective method for food preservation for years, but many people have shied away from freezing nuts because they believe that they will lose the flavor and texture.
Fortunately, there is a way to freeze pecans and still enjoy them later.
For example, if you buy pecan halves or pieces in bulk from your local grocery store and you don’t have freezer space, it is better to freeze them.
It is important to keep still pecans frozen so they will stay fresh for a long time.
If you put the pecan pieces or halves in plastic bags that are left on the counter overnight, your pecans can become spoiled quickly.
It is important to keep the pecans in airtight containers so they will stay fresh in your freezer.
To successfully freeze pecans without losing much flavor, it is recommended that you do not leave any plastic covering on them because there can be an aroma loss when stored this way.
Instead, freeze them using a vacuum sealer or place the pecans in a freezer bag and squeeze out all of the air before freezing.
Some people choose to spread the nuts throughout multiple bags or containers to separate them, but this will increase your chances of losing some.
This is because when frozen together, they tend to blend into each other.
If you spread them unevenly, you will lose access to the hidden pecan, and it will be a waste.
After frozen, the nuts are best stored in an airtight freezer bag, so they stay fresh for later use.
How to Freeze Pecans?
The best way to keep your nuts, or any nuts, frozen for a long time is by using a vacuum sealer.
If you have one of these at home, you can put around two cups of pecans in each bag or container and spread them evenly.
The more space between the nuts as they freeze, the greater the chance that it will lose flavor because there will be less circulation while frozen.
Another method is to use freezer bags, but you must squeeze out all air before freezing them.
If you don’t do this, they will be prone to freezer burn because there will be too much contact with oxygen.
This can make the nuts lose some flavor and get a bit stale-looking in appearance.
Store your nuts in either their shells or shelled by placing them into an airtight Ziploc freezer bag.
Place the sealed bag in a freezer-safe Tupperware container for extra protection.
It is important to label the pecans before freezing them, so you don’t forget which type or how they were frozen.
You can write the contents on a piece of tape and place it where you can see it until the pecans are used.
Pecans are known for their ability to maintain freshness.
Proper storage is essential in preventing pecans from becoming stale or rancid.
Stored properly, shelled pecans will keep up to two years and stored intact they will maintain a shelf life of another two years.
How to Defrost Pecans?
You can defrost pecans by letting them rest on your counter until it reaches room temperature.
It will take about 30 minutes in most cases.
Don’t be tempted to put them in the microwave.
Frozen nuts that have been heated can lose their nutrition and can lead to chewy or other flavorings.
It is best to freeze them until you are nearly ready to use them.
To keep them fresh, do not defrost them before they’re almost ready to use.
To defrost properly, they must be frozen evenly.
It is best to place them in the refrigerator overnight, so they are completely frozen before you try to use them.
It will take about two days for your nuts to be ready for use.
How to Use Defrosted Pecans?
As fast as it is to thaw them, they can be used in recipes right away.
Some people refuse to use some nuts after being frozen and are not sure how defrosted pecans will taste.
Once your pecans have completely thawed out, you should take a taste test before adding them to your recipe.
After the nuts have thawed, you can add them to your favorite dish and proceed with making it as normal.
They tend to work just fine when frozen without any problems with the recipe.
Does Freezing Affect Pecan’s Quality?
Freezing pecans will help extend their freshness and flavor for much longer than if they were left unfrozen.
Freezing them is a great way to preserve their nutritional value as well.
Pecans contain plenty of antioxidants which are great for fighting off diseases and ailments that can damage our bodies.
Pecans can be frozen without the flavor being affected in any way.
Freezing them does tend to change their texture slightly, but not enough that it requires a lot of work on your part to get them ready for cooking and eating again.
Once they are thawed, there is no difference between frozen pecans and those that have never been frozen.
Freezing does not affect the taste of pecans in any way and can be done with or without their shell on.
How to Tell if Pecans are Bad?
It is possible to tell if pecans are bad by looking at the nuts.
You can tell they are spoiled because their appearance will change, and you may notice that it smells a little off when compared to its fresh counterpart.
If your nuts smell rotten, then it’s best to throw them out.
You want to make sure you do not use them as a food source.
Some of the other signs that pecans are bad include when they have mold growing on or in the shell shriveled up or discoloration on them.
Pecans can also be bad if they are cracked or damaged in some way and no longer intact.
Pecan pieces that have been left to sit for a long time will dry out as well, but not to the extent of them becoming rancid or having mold growing on them.
If you notice any of these signs, it is best to throw your pecans away in a garbage can.
They are not good to eat when they exhibit these signs of being spoiled.
You will also want to make sure the nuts you purchased have never been recalled by the store you bought them from or the USDA.
In conclusion, pecans are a great nut to eat and stored in any room temperature environment.
These nuts are great for snacking on or adding into desserts such as pecan pie.
If you have some extra pecans that you would like to preserve, freezing them is the best way to ensure they maintain all of their flavor and nutrients.
So consider freezing pecans after you purchase them, so they do not go bad.