Back in 2012 I scoured this forum and took some advice on long term storage of nuts. General advice was they don't last more than a year, however if you read through enough posts from MikeK and other find enough exceptions, there were some gold nuggets of "well, you COULD do this to maximize your storage" that were spread amongst the forum. As with most things, temperature, oxygen and light penetration make a huge difference on long term storage. So I compiled what advice I deemed best and took a chance. It's now five years later, I just popped one can today and am sharing my experience as a thank you to the community. Take it or leave it as you desire:
Which Nuts to Store
- There were plenty that were no-go's, peanuts is a commonly rejected request so I didn't bother.
- I Chose Walnuts, Almonds, and Sunflower Seeds (comments were these can last on longer end of scale and my family is amenable to these),
- Kept all three in their original shells
Rest of comments below are about the walnuts and almonds.
- Stored in the #10 cans self-canned,
- Used the borrowed canner from LDS group and their food grade cans that were created just a few months earlier,
- Used 2 each fresh 100cc (150?) oxygen absorbers.
- Kept in normal refrigerator settings for 2.5 years,
- Can moved into interior home for last 2.5 years, which is air conditioned between 65 and 78 year round,
- Can showed a little rust on outer edge, nothing penetrated interior.
Flavor & Freshness vs Nutrition
- Can opened with clear "seal break" when pierced with can opener,
- Smell as they should and look normal, IMO.
[*]They taste great!
- My wife, who knows raw almonds very well and especially knows the scent of rancid nuts a mile away, says they are great. I've eaten a handful, but don't yet have a good hand cracker. Just using a hammer, lol.
- I will certainly do plenty more cans this time and use the same method, and test a few under the house which stays cool 8 months of the year and gets to 80 the other months. I already know the moisture under the house ruins the outer can and any mice eat up the labels immediately, pest control is a must.
I should note for a modicum of completeness that a simple test of flavor and lack of staleness only indicates the nuts have not gone rancid. When storing food for long term, your goals are obviously nutrition whether you realize it or not. Most people think "If I'm starving I want anything, it doesn't have to be perfect" but in reality in a long term SHTF situation you'll need a variety of nutrient sources and it's important to realize food does not have all its original nutrition after LTS. I have no way of measuring this loss, but will at least presume, in general, a food in its natural state without modification (other than storage conditions) will retain said nutrition longer than foods heavily processed for added flavor (not talking about just adding salt or sugar to certain edibles to increase longevity). Even so, I could be wrong as I'm certainly not a food scientist and common logic does not always hold for each circumstance.
The Sunflower Seeds
I also did store sunflower seeds in their original shells, using 7mm mylar and OA, and was successful at the 2 year mark when I removed them from the refrigerator. They tasted perfectly fine and I ate about half and tossed the rest. No pictures of sunflower seeds....
Happy survivalist sharing and let's try to keep some faith in humanity!