You think you love nuts, but you have never loved a nut the way you love a frozen nut.
Consider the cashew, the Cadillac of nuts, a nut so arduous to harvest and process that you’re going to pay three to four times as much for it per pound than you will the humble peanut lying next door in the mixed nuts bowl.
I submit to you that the cashew is an okay nut in its raw, room-temperature form. The problem with the room-temp cashew is it is a soft nut. It’s a chewy nut, and therefore it’s a nut that lodges a bit in your teeth, unlike cleaner nuts, such as the so-called “superfood,” the raw almond. An unfrozen cashew is a retiring nut, a nut that is tasty enough but makes no real impression.
Freezing Nuts Keeps Them Fresher Longer
A few years ago, when I briefly lost my mind and convinced myself that not only was I a vegan, I was also a vegan who made her own nut cheeses, I bought a bulk bag of raw cashews from my local purveyor for around $40. Which is, let’s face it, nuts.
I stored my king’s ransom of raw cashews in the freezer, which is essential in preventing any nut from going rancid – you are keeping your grains and nuts in the freezer, right? They look good on the counter in glass jars of varying sizes, but nuts last only a few months when stored at room temperature. In the fridge, they will last up to a year, and they may last up to two years in the freezer. Freezing nuts protects your investment.
Frozen Cashews Are the Only Cashews Worth Eating
Once it became clear that I was never going to make nut cheese, I began to snack on my cashew trove. And so I discovered quite by accident that a frozen cashew is a superior cashew. It is cold, crispy, cracking on the teeth with a bright, clean snap that is so satisfying as to relegate all memories of lesser, warmer cashews to the dustbin of history. A solitary frozen cashew is a revelation – you would never dare toss back a handful of frozen cashews, for each nut is a delight unto itself.
Like the cashew, inferior when not frozen.
The cashew is the nut that most appreciably improves with freezing, but frozen walnuts, almonds and pine nuts get an added cold crunch from freezer storage. Be sure to store nuts in freezer-safe bags, sucking the air out of them to create a vacuum seal.