The Ideal Way To Store Natural Nut Butters So They Don't Turn Rancid

When it comes to picking a type of nut butter to store in your kitchen, there are many choices, each of which has their own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right nut butter for you involves deciding between not only different nuts and textures, but also between traditional and natural options. While natural nut butters offer many positives, one factor you should be aware of is the difference in how they should be stored in order to keep them fresh. 

The key difference between natural and traditional nut butter is the way that they behave when left standing. Traditional nut butters tend to be made using emulsifiers, which help to maintain the texture of the butter by keeping the ground nuts and oil from separating. Most natural nut butters, like homemade peanut butter, exclude these emulsifiers from their recipes, and as a result, they are prone to separation. This means that the nut butter has a layer of oil sitting at the top of the jar where it can easily oxidize and become rancid. To slow the rate at which this oil oxidizes, it is best to keep it in the fridge away from excess heat and light. There, it will last for three to six months.

How to know if natural nut butter has gone bad

Whether you prefer to keep your nut butter at peak quality in the fridge or take a gamble by storing it in the pantry, it will eventually, like all foods, expire. The most common form this takes is when the aforementioned oil in the spread finally turns rancid. If your nut butter smells sharp or funky, you can assume it has become rancid. In this case, while the expired butter won't make you sick, it certainly will not taste good, so it is best to throw it out. There is also a chance that your nut butter will spoil in a more serious way that does introduce you to harmful pathogens like mold and bacteria, so if you find that your nut butter has changed colors or tastes off, definitely discard it.

In the case that you need to make your nut butter last even longer, you do have the option of freezing it. Before doing so, just be sure to transfer the butter from its jar into a freezer-friendly container or resealable bag. Frozen nut butter can last for up to an additional six months and is easily thawed by allowing it to come up to the proper temperature in the fridge or on the counter.