Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet is a great way to go healthy. But you may not use them all at once; hence, there’s always a bunch of leftovers. So, if you are wondering how long pumpkin seeds last, let’s explore that here!
Pumpkin seeds tend to have a “best before” date printed on the package. They will surely last until that day but can last up to three months beyond that date, especially if the packet is unopened. However, even an opened packet can last three months, if the storage is proper, beyond the expiry date.
Lately, pumpkin seeds have gained a lot of popularity. They are nutritious, delicious, and a great way to add a healthy ingredient to your overall diet. Pumpkin seeds can be added to various dessert and savory recipes.
Moreover, you can also roast pumpkin seeds and have them on your own as a healthy snack. They are packed with antioxidants and have many more health benefits beyond being a low-calorie snack.
However, more often than not, most of us tend to use only a handful of them at a time. The chances of leftovers being abundant are very likely. Hence, you may even have packets close to their expiration date.
This can be a massive dilemma since pumpkin seeds are not technically perishable. However, they are still likely to go wrong, especially if not stored properly. In this blog post, you will get all the answers you need about pumpkin seeds, so let’s get right into it!
How Long Do Pumpkin Seeds Last?
|Opened||1-2 months||3-6 months|
|Unopened||2-3 months||6-9 months|
These time frames depict how long pumpkin seeds would last beyond their “best before” date. As they are non-perishable, they can last beyond the expiration date, per the time frames mentioned in the table.
In most cases, keeping pumpkin seeds in the pantry is a perfectly safe option. However, refrigeration can be an excellent tactic to increase the shelf life. But there is also an important thing to remember here: pumpkin seeds can go bad beyond a point.
With most non-perishable food, the chances of their quality deteriorating after expiration are higher. However, pumpkin seeds can go rancid and not just deteriorate in quality. So, storage is an essential aspect of increased shelf life.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Seeds?
Often, freezing is one of the best ways to preserve food for a long time. Mostly freezing is done with perishable food items. However, people do end up freezing all sorts of foods. So, can you freeze pumpkin seeds to ensure they stay at peak quality for longer?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin seeds. Like most other food items, freezing helps pumpkin seeds retain their quality for longer. However, freezing pumpkin seeds has to be done correctly, along with proper storage, as otherwise, the cold temperatures can even deteriorate their quality.
How To Tell If Pumpkin Seeds Have Gone Bad?
With pumpkin seeds, it might be more challenging than with dairy, meat, or vegetables to tell if they have gone wrong. However, there are a few ways to tell if pumpkin seeds have gone wrong. These signs are much easier to point out than you may have thought!
Pumpkin seeds tend to have a uniform color all over. But, if you look at pumpkin seeds and see any discoloration, mold growth, or general, they have an off texture, then they should not be used. If the mold has not spread through them all, you can discard the seeds with mold and save the rest.
These seeds are also primarily odorless. If your pumpkin seeds smell rancid or have an off odor, they should not be eaten. Rotten pumpkin seeds don’t necessarily mean that they have gone wrong. But their nutritional value is no longer the same, so avoiding them is best.
If the above two methods haven’t convinced you enough about the status of your pumpkin seeds, you could do a taste test. Pumpkin seeds should have a mild nutty flavor with a crunchy texture. If the pumpkin seeds taste sour, bitter, or just rancid, throwing them away is best.
How To Store Pumpkin Seeds To Improve Their Shelf Life?
Pumpkin seeds are one of those food items where storage is one of the most critical aspects. If pumpkin seeds are stored properly, they can last longer than mentioned earlier. However, this has to be done very carefully.
Moreover, if you plan on using a few at a time, storing some in a separate container is a good option. This way, you can save the majority of them from going rancid. Here, we will look at the best way to store pumpkin seeds in three ways.
1. In The Pantry
Storing pumpkin seeds in the pantry is one of the best ways to store them, especially if you plan to finish them quickly. If your pumpkin seeds were already in an airtight container, you could leave them like that in the pantry.
If they came in a loose packet, it is best to transfer them to an airtight container or a ziplock bag. These will keep the moisture away, which is one of the main reasons why these seeds go bad quickly. Make sure that you keep them away from direct sunlight and excess humidity.
2. In The Refrigerator
Once you have opened your pack, and if you feel you are not using them all too quickly, storing pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator is a good idea. But again, similar to storing in the pantry, you need to ensure they are packed in airtight containers or ziplock bags.
3. In The Freezer
Lastly, to save your pumpkin seeds even longer, you can very well freeze them. Unlike other sources and spices, freezing does not deteriorate the quality of pumpkin seeds, which is a big plus. However, ensure that they are correctly packed in an airtight container or a ziplock bag so no moisture gets into them.
Pumpkin seeds are among the most common healthy snacks, and many people love them. However, as they are not used in abundance at once, the chances of there being leftovers of them are likely.
Luckily, pumpkin seeds can last well beyond their lifespan as long as they are stored properly. Pumpkin seeds can last for up to three months in the pantry, up to six months in the refrigerator, and close to twelve months in the freezer, as long as they are correctly stored!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does a pack of unopened pumpkin seeds last?
A pack of unopened pumpkin seeds can last up to three months in the pantry and six months in the refrigerator beyond its best-before date.
Can you freeze pumpkin seeds to extend their shelf life?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin seeds to extend their shelf life.
Can you freeze or refrigerate a loose open packet of pumpkin seeds?
No, this is not recommended as this way, the seeds will attract moisture and eventually go bad. Instead, transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag before keeping them in the refrigerator or the freezer.
Can pumpkin seeds go bad?
Yes, pumpkin seeds can very well turn rancid if not stored correctly, giving them a sour flavor and aroma and making them devoid of nutritional value.