Nuts are one of the most prized foods from among nature's bounty. They are the healthiest foods to include in your daily diet. They're great as healthy snacks and can be used to amp up desserts and a number of sweet and savoury dishes as well. The crunchy foods are a must for your pantry, if you're looking to clean up your diet and lead a healthy lifestyle. Nuts are endowed with healthy, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which protect your heart by fighting the levels of bad cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood. Nuts are rich in fibre and protein and also fight hunger pangs. Some research has also suggested that nuts can regulate mood and sharpen the mind. So, it's safe to say that befriending nuts is going to be good for you.
What's more? Nuts are great in taste! Whether you like them roasted or raw, these little packets of goodness have a way of pleasing your palate as well. They can be turned into nut butters to be used as healthy alternatives for sandwich spread and dairy butters. But, what makes nuts so healthy is also what makes them perishable - the unsaturated fats. Nuts have a longer shelf life than our fresh fruits and vegetables, but they are susceptible to rancidity over a period of time. Rancidity takes place when the fat inside nuts gets oxidised.
Rancidity In Nuts: How To Recognise It And Avoid It
Consuming rancid or stale nuts like almonds, walnuts or cashews in small amounts may not immediately make you sick, but it's generally not advisable as it may hamper digestion or have other harmful effects on your body in the long term. Baking with these nuts is a big no - it can make your cookies, cakes and brownies taste bitter and sour. This is why you must have a nose for recognising rancid or stale nuts and there are two very easy ways of determining whether your nuts are unusable.
Here's How You Can Tell When Your Nuts Have Gone Rancid:
Usually nuts are stored in air-tight jars and boxes in cool and dry places to ensure they have a long life. When you open a box of good nuts, the smell that you are treated to is a pleasant and appetising nutty waft. Rancid nuts will have a characteristic smell that will remind you of paint or nail polish. Some people talk about rancid nuts smelling like old plastic containers. If you recognise any of these smells in your box of nuts, chances are that they have gone bad.
If you can't tell from the smell of your nuts if they have gone rancid or not, then you may try a little taste test to determine the same. Break a small piece off of your nut and eat it. The flavour and taste of the nut will immediately repel you. The taste of rancid nuts is a nasty sour or bitter taste. If that's how your nuts taste, then immediately spit them out and discard the rest of the stock.
Rancidity in Nuts: Stale or rancid nuts smell weird and taste bitter
To avoid oxidisation of fats in your nuts, make sure you transfer them from their packaging to air-tight containers immediately after opening them. Most nuts will last for about three to six months, if stored in a proper way. You may also choose to store your nuts in a refrigerator, if you live in particularly warm climates.
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