Are you a fan of almond milk?
Do you often find yourself wondering how long it lasts past the expiration date?
You’re not alone!
Almond milk has become a popular alternative to dairy milk, but its shelf life can be confusing.
With so many different types of almond milk available, it’s hard to know how long each one lasts.
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of almond milk and provide some tips on how to tell if it’s gone bad.
So, whether you’re a regular almond milk drinker or just curious about this trendy beverage, keep reading to learn more!
How Long Does Almond Milk Last Past Expiration Date?
The shelf life of almond milk depends on several factors, including the type of almond milk and how it’s stored.
Homemade almond milk or fresh almond milk from a local source typically lasts only about five days in the refrigerator, even if stored properly.
Store-bought refrigerated almond milk is usually ultra-pasteurized, which extends its shelf life. Once opened, it should last up to seven days when stored in the refrigerator.
Shelf-stable almond milk, on the other hand, has the longest shelf life. If unopened and stored properly, it can last up to two months. Once opened, it should be consumed within 7-10 days if kept in the refrigerator.
It’s important to note that these are just guidelines, and the shelf life of almond milk can vary depending on the brand and how well it’s stored.
Understanding The Expiration Date On Almond Milk
Almond milk, like many other food products, comes with an expiration date. However, it’s important to note that the “best by” or “sell by” date listed on the carton is not an expiration date. These dates are actually the manufacturer’s assessment of the peak quality of the product.
Unopened shelf-stable almond milk typically lasts for 1 to 2 years, and it should easily keep for an extra couple of months without quality changes. The drink is well protected from the outside world and doesn’t contain any microbes thanks to how it’s processed, so it doesn’t spoil easily.
Refrigerated almond milk, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life. An unopened carton of refrigerated almond milk will stay fresh for roughly one week after the date listed on the product, provided it was kept at a consistent temperature of 40°F or below. Once opened, it should be consumed within 7-10 days if kept in the refrigerator.
It’s important to remember that these guidelines are just that – guidelines. The shelf life of almond milk can vary depending on how well it’s stored and the brand of almond milk you purchase. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming almond milk that has gone past its expiration date. If in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard any questionable almond milk.
Factors That Affect The Shelf Life Of Almond Milk
There are several factors that can affect the shelf life of almond milk. The first factor is the type of almond milk. Homemade or fresh almond milk from a local source doesn’t contain any additives to preserve it, so it has a shorter shelf life of about five days in the refrigerator. Store-bought refrigerated almond milk, on the other hand, tends to be ultra-pasteurized, which is a heating and cooling process that kills bacteria and extends its shelf life.
The second factor that affects the shelf life of almond milk is how it’s stored. Almond milk should always be stored in the refrigerator, regardless of whether it’s unopened or opened. When storing almond milk, it’s important to keep it away from temperature fluctuations. Don’t store almond milk in the door of the fridge where it’s susceptible to temperature changes. Instead, store it in the main part of the fridge where the temperature is more consistent.
Another factor that can affect the shelf life of almond milk is whether it’s shelf-stable or refrigerated. Shelf-stable almond milk has been ultra-pasteurized and then sealed in special packaging that keeps it from spoiling when stored at room temperature. This type of almond milk typically lasts longer than refrigerated almond milk. An unopened carton of shelf-stable almond milk can last for up to two months if stored properly at room temperature. Once opened, it should be consumed within 7-10 days if kept in the refrigerator.
Lastly, the expiration date listed on the carton can also affect the shelf life of almond milk. While the expiration date is a good guideline to follow, it’s important to remember that it’s not always an accurate indicator of when the almond milk will actually spoil. Always check the almond milk for signs of spoilage such as a thick texture, clumps, off smell or sour taste before consuming it.
How To Store Almond Milk Properly
To ensure that your almond milk stays fresh and lasts as long as possible, it’s crucial to store it properly. Here are some tips on how to do so:
1. Always refrigerate almond milk, including homemade almond milk, immediately after opening it. Keep it towards the back of the fridge, where the temperature is coldest and most stable. Avoid storing it on the door, where the temperature fluctuates.
2. For homemade almond milk, rinse the almonds well and store them in an airtight container to prevent bacteria from creeping in.
3. Keep all opened cartons tightly closed and stored in the back of the fridge to maintain consistent temperature.
4. If you have unopened shelf-stable almond milk, store it in a cool, dry place like a pantry or cupboard until the “best-by” date on the carton. Once opened, transfer it to the fridge immediately.
5. If you freeze almond milk, do so in individual servings or an airtight container for up to two months.
6. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming almond milk. If it looks lumpy or clumpy, smells funny, or has an off taste, discard it immediately.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your almond milk stays fresh and safe to consume for as long as possible.
Signs That Almond Milk Has Gone Bad
Knowing when almond milk has gone bad is crucial for your health and safety. Here are some signs that your almond milk has gone bad:
1. Smell: If your almond milk has a sour or rancid smell, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad. If it smells off or unpleasant, it’s best to discard it.
2. Texture: Almond milk that has gone bad may have a thicker or slimy texture. If you notice any clumps or curdles in your almond milk, it’s time to throw it away.
3. Taste: If your almond milk tastes sour or unpleasant, it’s a sign that it has gone bad. If you notice any change in the taste of your almond milk, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
4. Appearance: Almond milk that has gone bad may have a yellowish or brownish tint, indicating that it’s no longer safe to consume.
It’s important to remember that these signs may not always be present, and sometimes, almond milk can go bad without any visible signs. That’s why it’s important to always check the expiration date and use your senses to determine if the almond milk is still safe to consume. When in doubt, it’s best to throw it away and buy a fresh carton.
How To Use Almond Milk Past Its Expiration Date
While it’s always best to consume almond milk before its expiration date, there are some ways to use it past that date if it still looks, smells, and tastes okay. Here are a few ideas:
1. Use it in smoothies or shakes: If you have some expired almond milk in the fridge, blend it up with some frozen fruit and yogurt for a delicious and healthy smoothie.
2. Make oatmeal or cereal: Pour some expired almond milk over your morning oats or cereal for a nutritious breakfast.
3. Bake with it: Expired almond milk can still be used in baking recipes like cakes, muffins, and bread. Just make sure to check the expiration date of any other ingredients you’re using.
4. Use it in coffee or tea: If you’re out of fresh milk or creamer, expired almond milk can be a good alternative for your morning coffee or tea.
5. Freeze it: If you don’t think you’ll be able to use up the expired almond milk before it goes bad, consider freezing it in an ice cube tray. You can then use these almond milk cubes in smoothies or other recipes as needed.
Remember, if your almond milk looks, smells, or tastes off in any way, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
Conclusion: Enjoying Almond Milk Safely And Deliciously
When it comes to enjoying almond milk, it’s important to keep in mind the expiration date and how it’s stored. While shelf-stable almond milk has a longer shelf life, it’s always a good idea to check for signs of spoilage before consuming. Refrigerated almond milk has a shorter shelf life, so it’s important to consume it within the recommended time frame.
It’s also important to note that the expiration date is not an exact science and should be used as a guideline. Always use your senses to check for any changes in taste, smell, or appearance before consuming. If you’re unsure whether the almond milk is still safe to drink, it’s better to err on the side of caution and dispose of it.
To ensure the longest possible shelf life for your almond milk, make sure to store it properly. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Once opened, always store it in the refrigerator and use within the recommended time frame.