Palmetto, which is also popularly known as “Hearts of Palm,” is used as a vegetable, as “heart” in its name suggests that it is the innermost part of sabal palm trees cut and used as a vegetable in South American countries mostly.
Palmetto has always been the choice of vegans because of its nutty yet rich creamy flavor; its texture somehow mimics the texture of meat, which is also used in certain cuisines as a replacement for seafood and meat. Palmetto is available in two forms one is fresh, and the other is canned or processed; fresh one should be used within 2-3 days, while you can use canned palmetto for a couple of months given that they are stored appropriately.
How to Store Palmetto
Palmetto has a delicate flavor, which makes it suitable for salads, but it can also be consumed in boiled or fried forms. But the most important thing is to store it well to use it for an extended period.
Based on the type of palmetto you have bought, it should be kept carefully to retain its flavor and taste. Some key pointers are listed below, which can help preserve palmetto.
Keep it away from Moisture and Heat.
Fresh Palmetto is very vulnerable to get spoiled because it is the innermost part of a palm tree, and it should be kept carefully like a dry and well-ventilated place. Also, take care of the humidity levels because too much moisture can cause them to grow mold inside of it.
If you buy fresh ones, always buy in small quantities and use them within 2-3 days, or one-week maximum, because they can easily get spoiled.
Keep It in Refrigerator
Whether you have fresh palmetto or canned ones, refrigerating them is a good way to preserve their flavor. To refrigerate them, if you have a can, then tighten the can perfectly and put it into the fridge; keep checking for rusting or damaging the can while it is in the refrigerator to prevent it from causing spoilage in it.
You can put it into the fridge for fresh palmetto as a whole or in the shredded form enclosed in plastic bags; you can also keep them in an airtight jar that can prevent too much moisture exposure.
Can You Freeze Palmetto
If you have not opened canned palmetto, you can place it at your kitchen counter or rack, but if you have opened it already, then immediately put it into the refrigerator or freezer; put the can of palmetto into the freezer and take them out of the freezer 3-4 hours before using it. This way, they can remain stable for more than a year.
Fresh palmetto is more prone to get spoiled, so if you have leftovers and you don’t plan to use all of them presently, then you should freeze them to avoid spoilage.
You can freeze them either as whole or in sliced form; in both cases, put them into freezer bags and make sure that they are separated from each other; this way, they don’t freeze in the form of one huge lump, which will be difficult for you to defrost. These can be used for one month approximately.
How Long Does Palmetto Last
Palmetto’s life span depends on several factors; firstly, it depends on its form. Fresh palmetto can be used for 2-3 days at room temperature while remaining stable for up to a week after refrigerated.
Unopened canned palmetto remains good for the whole year at room temperature because of the high sodium content in its syrup. But if you have opened it, it is better to keep it refrigerated, this way it can remain good for half of the year.
Freezing opened canned palmetto can increase its shelf life for a year, and its flavor and taste will be the same as you experience in fresh ones. Keep checking the can for rusting or damaging, and if you notice something like this happening in it, immediately transfer the content into freezer bags or another can.
How to Tell If Palmetto Is Bad
Palmetto is known for its earthy plus nutty flavor, creamy white, little soft yet firmed texture, but its characteristics don’t remain the same if it has started to spoil or has gone bad.
You can check for the following changes that occur when palmetto has gone bad,
- The appearance of Blemishes: If you notice black spots over the skin of the palmetto, it means they are bad, and you should not use them.
- Foul Odor: Usually, palmetto has an earthy smell, but if it changes to an unpleasant odor, it also indicates spoilage.
- Mold Growth: If you see that the texture of palmetto becomes uneven like some parts are super soft and other parts are firmed, it shows mold growth, and it can no longer be used for eating purposes.