The second wave of COVID-19 was met by a certain preparedness when it came to healthy habits and snacking. The unhealthy patterns that most people had adopted at the beginning of the pandemic seemed to be left behind as the awareness of exercise, a healthy diet, and snacking were absorbed by many. Nuts and dried fruits have become increasingly popular as a healthy snacking option owing to the value they add to the diet. Nuts and dried fruits are a powerhouse of essential nutrients and provide us with fibre, vegetable protein, vitamins unsaturated fats and minerals.
These powerhouses can do wonders for our health while being extremely delicious. They are the perfect diet snack. It is essential to consume them in moderation and store them well to reap their benefits wholeheartedly. Storing nuts and dried fruits can be challenging especially in a country like India where we experience humid summers and a 3-4 month long monsoon season. Though there are a variety of factors that can influence the shelf life of nuts and dried fruits, storing them properly to keep them away from moisture can be a bit strenuous. Here are a few imperative aspects that can be looked at to store nuts and dried fruits during this monsoon:
Store in Air-tight containers:
Nuts like walnuts and almonds have the tendency of absorbing moisture when exposed to it, this makes them go rancid and they start tasting unusual. The easiest way to avoid this is by storing them in an air-tight container. Airtight containers avoid moisture and air from seeping in, this keeps the nuts fresh and retains their taste.
Store at a dry place away from heat:
Nuts and dry fruits when exposed to direct sunlight become rancid quickly. Most people store their dry fruits in pantries that are located in the kitchen, but storing them close to the stove has the same effect as storing them in places that get exposed to direct sunlight. The high temperature because of the heat causes the nuts and dry fruits to go rancid sooner. Storing them in a cool, dry place that is not exposed to much heat can help with the shelf life of the nuts and dry fruits.
Refrigerate if required:
Buying dried fruits and nuts in bulk is a very common practice in Indian households. We used dried fruits in our sweets, desserts and most of our festivals. This means storing a larger quantity of dried fruits, storing them in the refrigerator or freezer can make them last up to 12 months if stored properly. It also helps if you remove only the necessary amount and seal the pack well once opened once refrigerated.
There are various other factors that need to be considered to keep the dried fruits and nuts fresh and tasty, like they were on their manufacturing date. Keeping them away from strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions is advised too as some nuts absorb the flavours quickly. It is advisable to buy them from trusted dealers that take good care while processing and packing them.