Quick Answer: Do Peanuts Go Bad? Despite not being widely known, it’s possible for peanuts to go bad over time, especially if kept in an unsuitable environment. The main sign that peanuts have gone bad (rancid) is a sour or bitter taste. This can occur to opened peanuts after around four weeks unless the peanuts are refrigerated.
Who doesn’t love peanuts? They’re tasty, healthy, and super versatile.
But what you might not know is that peanuts can go bad!
This is a quick but complete guide on peanuts, including the different types of peanuts, how long it takes for peanuts to go bad, and how to store peanuts properly.
With that said, let’s get right into it.
The Different Types Of Peanuts
Peanuts come in different types, each having their own shapes, sizes, and flavors.
There are four main types of peanuts—Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia—which are produced in various countries around the world.
Runners are the most popular type of peanuts, often used for peanut butter. Virginias, on the other hand, are mainly used for packaged peanuts that are salted or flavored.
Despite the name, peanuts are a type of legume, and should not be confused as nuts in general!
Where Do Peanuts Come From?
Peanuts are grown from peanut plants – a unique plant that produces the peanuts below ground, but flowers above ground.
Peanuts are grown in countries around the world, including the United States, Nigeria, India, China, Argentina, Senegal, and Burma.
Peanuts generally grow in spring, harvested after around four to five months, although this can depend on the type of the peanut.
From a single peanut plant, it’s possible to harvest between 25 and 50 peanuts.
What Do Peanuts Taste Like?
The taste of peanuts can depend on whether they are raw, roasted, boiled, or flavored. Raw peanuts have a bland taste similar to peas (ironically).
When roasted, the taste becomes sweeter with a subtle hint of chocolate or coffee.
When salted, the peanuts will have a salty, seawater-like taste, needless to say, while still retaining a vegetal flavor.
Not everyone likes peanuts, however (at least on their own), and some consider the flavor of peanuts to be an acquired taste!
What Do Peanuts Smell Like?
Since the taste of raw peanuts is quite subtle, peanuts also have a typically mild smell.
This smell can be described as woody, nutty, casky, earthy, or similar to the scent of coffee or fresh potatoes (and other vegetables).
When roasted or flavored, though, peanuts can have a different smell altogether. The smell can become chocolatey or with a stronger scent of coffee.
Salt typically doesn’t have a smell, so salted peanuts do not have a distinct scent that’s different from roasted peanuts.
What Is The Texture Of Peanuts?
When held in the hand, raw peanuts are hard and smooth, but can sometimes feel slightly rough to the touch, depending on the type.
If boiled or roasted, they can become harder or softer, which depends on how long they are cooked for.
When eaten, raw peanuts have a hard and crunchy, yet slightly soft and chewy, texture as they are broken down in the mouth.
This is generally the same for boiled and roasted peanuts. Peanuts that are salted have a slightly rougher, sandier texture that feels grittier.
Are Peanuts Healthy?
Peanuts are widely considered healthy! They are high in protein, fiber, and saturated fat, as well as a great source of magnesium.
This makes them an ideal snack, plus a versatile ingredient that can be added to a range of popular dishes and desserts.
Despite being high in fat, the saturated fat in peanuts makes them healthier than any food that’s high in unsaturated fat.
One drawback, however, is that peanuts are high in calories, which does not make them ideal for dieting.
Different Ways To Eat Peanuts
Peanuts are small and crunchy with a subtle earthy taste, which makes them perfect for eating in different ways – flavored on their own or when added to a dish or dessert.
And it will come as no surprise that peanut butter is one of the most popular ways to consume peanuts.
Raw peanuts can be added to cakes, cereals, pastas, ice creams, and more.
When crushed and blended for their flavor, however, peanuts can be used to make milk, sauces, shakes, frosting, and lots more.
Do Peanuts Go Bad?
Peanuts can go bad, mainly due to their high fat content. This will occur faster than usual if the peanuts are not stored properly – especially in a damp environment.
When peanuts go bad, they are considered rancid, meaning they will give off a stale or sour taste.
Despite that, eating peanuts that have gone bad is unlikely to lead to severe negative side effects.
At most, peanuts that have gone bad will simply taste unpleasant, most noticeable as a sour or bitter flavor.
How Long Does It Take For Peanuts To Go Bad?
How long it takes peanuts to go bad can depend on whether or not they are kept in their shells. Another factor is how they have been stored.
In general, though, opened peanuts can last up to four weeks stored in a dry, cool environment.
Peanuts can last longer if kept in the refrigerator – something that not everyone knows! In this case, peanuts can last up to one year before going bad.
When properly stored and frozen, peanuts can last even longer.
How To Store Peanuts Properly
Overall, the best way to store peanuts is in a sealed bag or container that reduces their exposure to air and dampness.
If you prefer to keep your peanuts in their original packaging, you can reseal the bag using any method to prevent the peanuts from going bad quickly.
If desired, peanuts can last longer when refrigerated or frozen. Generally, however, this doesn’t need to be done unless the peanuts are not going to be consumed for a long time, such as for several months or up to one year.
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