Almond milk is a popular plant-based milk alternative that is made from ground almonds and water. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin E, and healthy fats. However, like any other dairy or non-dairy milk, it has a shelf life and it is important to understand how long it lasts and how to properly store it to ensure safety and longevity.
How Long Does Almond Milk Last?
The shelf life of almond milk varies depending on the brand and whether it is opened or unopened. Unopened almond milk can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator after the expiration date.
Once opened, it should be consumed within 5-7 days, however, you can also check the 'use by' date on the package. It's also important to note that almond milk that has been sitting on the shelf for a long time may not taste as fresh as the fresh one, so it's always better to check the expiration date before buying.
There are several factors that affect the shelf life of almond milk. One of the most important factors is storage conditions. Almond milk should always be stored in the refrigerator, as it is perishable and can spoil quickly at room temperature. It is also important to keep the container sealed tightly to prevent air from entering, which can cause spoilage.
Pasteurization also plays a role in the shelf life of almond milk. Pasteurized almond milk is heated to a high temperature to kill any bacteria, which makes it last longer than non-pasteurized almond milk.
How to Tell if Almond Milk Has Gone Bad
It's important to know how to tell if almond milk has gone bad, as consuming spoiled milk can lead to food poisoning and other health issues. One of the most obvious signs that almond milk has gone bad is a change in its appearance.
If the milk has curdled or turned chunky, it's a clear indication that it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately. Curdling occurs when the milk's proteins and fats separate, which can happen when the milk is exposed to air or is past its expiration date.
Another way to tell if almond milk has gone bad is to check its smell. A sour smell or off smell is a sign that the milk has spoiled and should not be consumed. The smell of spoiled milk is distinct and hard to miss, so if you notice an unusual smell when you open the container, it's best to discard it.
Taste is also a good indicator of whether almond milk has gone bad. If the milk has a sour or rancid taste, it's no longer safe to consume. This can happen when the milk is exposed to air or has been stored for too long.
Storing Almond Milk
Proper storage of almond milk is crucial to ensuring its safety and longevity. Almond milk is a perishable product and should be treated as such. To ensure your almond milk lasts as long as possible, it should always be stored in the refrigerator.
Keeping it at a cool temperature slows down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause spoilage. The refrigerator also helps to prevent the separation of fats and proteins that can cause curdling, which is a clear sign that the milk has gone bad.
If you don't think you will use the almond milk before it goes bad, freezing it can be a great option to preserve it. You can freeze almond milk in an airtight container or a ziplock bag, and it will last for up to 6 months in the freezer. When you're ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before using to ensure that it's well mixed.
Keep in mind that freezing almond milk may change its texture and consistency, making it slightly thicker and less smooth than fresh almond milk.
In conclusion, understanding the shelf life and proper storage of almond milk is important to ensure safety and longevity. Always check the expiration date before buying and store it in the refrigerator. If you don't think you will use it before it goes bad, consider freezing it for later use. By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the taste and benefits of almond milk for as long as possible.
Meet Iris Janine Freeman, a freelance copywriter and food blogger from the East Coast. When she's not busy crafting the perfect words for her clients, Iris can be found experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or planning her next travel adventure.