Tag Archives: nuts

What you can do when you can’t can

Pistachios too

Now that you know better than to can nut meats (except for green peanuts), what will you do to preserve those delicious fresh pecans, chestnuts, and other nuts? For ease and satisfaction, freeze!

Here are freezing tips specific to a few different types of nuts:

DCF 1.0

Chestnuts

Select fully mature chestnuts and slit their shells to prevent exploding during heating. Spread chestnuts in a single layer on a shallow pan and heat in a 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool, and package in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. If you’d like extra protection, then double-bag with another freezer bag. Put in the freezer.

Pecans

To prevent brittleness while cracking, place nuts in a damp place overnight. Shell the nuts, keeping kernels as whole as possible. Spread in a thin layer to dry for 24 hours, then package in airtight containers and freeze.

Green (raw) Peanuts in the shell

Clean, wash, and rinse fully mature peanuts. Blanch the peanuts in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, cool, package in freezer containers then put in the freezer.

Raw peanuts in the shell or out of the shell can also simply be packaged in freezer containers and frozen.

Peanuts

Information in this entry comes from So Easy to Preserve by E.L Andress and J.A. Harrison. (2011). pp. 288-289. Cooperative Extension/University of Georgia.

Whatever happened to canning nut meats?

Close-up of a Squirrel EatingNuts in Shell

In light of recent research looking at survival of Salmonella bacteria in low moisture foods, our concern has arisen about canning processes for nuts. Even after drying, the nuts may be exposed to moisture during canning processes. Although it is not likely that your particular batch of nuts is contaminated with Salmonella, the risk is present and exposure to moisture could be an issue.

Therefore Cooperative Extension, University of Georgia and the National Center for Home Food Preservation no longer offer a procedure for canning nut meats, with the single exception of our current procedure for green peanuts. USDA canning recommendations are unaffected, as they have no recommendations for canning nuts of any kind.

Alternatively, you can store nuts in sterilized canning jars without putting them through a canning process. To store nuts this way, it’s important that you heat and dry them first. Shell the nuts and spread them in a single layer on baking pans. Then place them in a 250°F oven until they are dry, but not brown or scorched, stirring occasionally. Allow them to cool at room temperature and simply put them in sterilized canning jars, covering with lids and ring bands.

Mixed Nuts

Sterilizing jars provides extra protection against mold spores that could be on the jars. To sterilize jars, submerge them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and sit them with open end down to allow them completely dry before filling with nuts.

Be aware that with any nuts, rancidity will eventually develop, making the product unappealing though not unsafe. Rancidity occurs in foods when fats or oils are exposed to oxygen over time, causing oxidation which leads to that yucky off-flavor. You might want to buy oxygen absorber packets to put in the jars. They will get rid of some of the oxygen, increasing their shelf-life. These packets are widely used in the food industry in products like bacon bits, jerky, etc.  Multiple sources can be found on the Internet.