Kitchen Tips: How To Use Stale Hazelnuts And Store Them
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Do Hazelnuts Expire? Hazelnuts, like other nuts, go rancid. If they are stored for an extended period of time or in poor conditions, they will eventually become rancid. Rancid hazelnuts have a sharp, bitter taste, similar to rancid oil. They may also emit a paint-like, slightly chemical odour on occasion.

And, while they are not necessarily dangerous to consume, they are also not particularly healthy. Furthermore, the flavour is subpar. To summarise, it is best to get rid of them. However, compared to other nuts, hazelnuts have a low amount of polyunsaturated fats, which helps them retain quality for longer. This should make them last a little longer than, say, walnuts.

Using Stale Hazelnuts

If your hazelnuts have gone bad and are no longer suitable for snacking, one option is to discard them. Nobody will hold it against you. Fortunately, there are other options worth considering, such as:

1. Dessert topping

Make plain vanilla ice cream into a dessert by topping it with chocolate or strawberry sauce and chopped hazelnuts.

2. Can be topped and folded in baked goods

Chopped hazelnuts can add a lot of flavour to muffins, cupcakes, and other cakes. It is better to include nuts in any recipe that lacks crunch. It's sometimes just what a recipe needs to go from good to great.

3. Roast them

You can roast hazelnuts on the stovetop or in the oven, and you can even add additional spices or sweeteners to enhance the flavour. One thing to keep in mind is that roasted hazelnuts don't last as long as plain ones, so only roast as many as you'll eat in the next week or two.

4. Toss into a salad

Some salads clearly benefit from hazelnuts, while others do not. As a result, it is preferable to use a recipe that specifically calls for these nuts.


Shelled hazelnuts keep for 3 to 5 months at room temperature and up to a year in the refrigerator. Unshelled hazelnuts, on the other hand, keep for at least 6 months at room temperature and more than 12 months refrigerated. You can freeze them if you need them to last even longer.

Of course, those are just rough estimates. This means that if you look at other sources, you'll get different recommendations. That is normal in this situation.

It's difficult to tell when hazelnuts are spoiled, as it is with all high-fat products that go rancid. Or that their quality is no longer suitable for consumption.

As a result, rather than relying on arbitrary time periods, it is best to inspect the quality of your hazelnuts before eating. That being said, shelled hazelnuts are clearly superior to unshelled hazelnuts in every way.

Unshelled hazelnuts should be stored at room temperature in a ventilated bag or a sealed container or bag. This method should keep them for at least 6 months. Shelled hazelnuts will keep for about 3 months in a bag on the counter and about a year in a bag in the fridge. Cold storage is the best option for all nuts, but hazelnuts can last quite a while on the counter.