Used to make shampoo, dyes, spreads and cosmetics, the peanut offers a variety of uses that are beneficial to everyday living. The humble peanut in its shell makes a fun snack at a ball game, picnic or cookout. Shelled peanuts have found themselves in bowls to fend off hunger at bars and before big holiday meals. Before you devour these protein-packed legumes, learn how to check to see if they are still fresh.

Things You'll Need

Look at the surface of the nut. Peanut shells will have a rough, solid brown exterior. No green, gray or white mold should be present. Shelled peanuts will have a papery skin covering the kernel. The kernel itself should be solid and smooth. Do not eat the peanuts if mold is present or the nut looks shriveled or black.

Smell the nuts. Peanuts have a strong, nutty smell. Rancid peanuts will smell like sour milk or mold. Do not use peanuts that smell bad.

Taste a nut. If you are unsure if a batch of nuts is still fresh, try one. Rancid nuts will taste sour and bitter. Fresh nuts will have a creamy, nutty flavor. Discard nuts if they taste sour or spoiled.

Store peanuts in a cool, dry place such as a refrigerator. Keep shelled nuts for four to five months and unshelled nuts for up to a year in an airtight container in the fridge.


  • Check the label on your package to make sure you consume or use the nuts by the expiration date.