How long does almond milk last?

Almond milk is one of two most popular milk alternative available on the market. People use it in all kinds of recipes, including smoothies, soups, desserts or simply add it to coffee. Since almond milk is mostly water, some people think it doesn’t go bad or that its shelf life is really long. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Let’s go through storage and expiration info for almond milk.

Shelf with almond milk

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How to store shelf stable almond milk?

An unopened container or bottle of almond milk should be stored in a cool and dark area. Pantry is the best place for such a product. If you’re short on pantry space, just make sure it’s away from heat sources and direct light.

Once you open the container, store the remaining almond milk in the fridge and make sure the bottle or package is always closed. For bonus points (that is, slightly extended shelf life), don’t keep it on the fridge door. That’s because the temperature there changes a lot due to opening the fridge.

How long does shelf stable almond milk last?

As long as the container is unopened, this nut milk will keep its best quality for three weeks to a month after the production date. Provided, of course, it’s stored properly and the package is left intact. In most cases you will find a “Best by” date on the package and that date is an estimate of how long the milk’s quality will remain best.

Once you open the package, it should be used within a week. Maybe up to 10 days. If you already store an opened container in the fridge for a few days, make sure to check if it’s still good before using.

Jar with almonds

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash.

How to store refrigerated almond milk?

While refrigerated almond milk isn’t as popular as its shelf stable variety, you can still buy it in a number of stores. You always store it in the fridge, just like you would any other refrigerated product. Similarly to shelf stable almond milk, keeping the container away from the fridge door helps with extending its shelf life a bit.

How long does refrigerated almond milk last?

The shelf life of refrigerated almond milk is, understandably, much shorter than of the shelf stable variety. It’s usually about a week from the date of the package. Once you open the package, try to use it within a few days to get the best quality and don’t risk it going bad.

Can you freeze almond milk?

If you’d like to keep almond milk for much longer, you can freeze it. Generally speaking, producers don’t recommend freezing almond milk (just check Blue Diamond’s FAQ). That’s because freezing makes the contents separate and the consistency changes significantly upon thawing. If you’d like to freeze almond milk to drink it in the future, those changes ruin the product and you’ll most likely hate the experience.

Things change if you’d like to use this milk alternative in a recipe like a soup. If that’s the case, freezing and thawing might not be that bad. Of course, the described changes will still occur, but after stirring the nut milk and combining with other ingredients, the prepared dish probably won’t be that bad. Best thing you can do is to test out your recipes with frozen and thawed almond milk to learn how the recipe turns out.

When freezing almond milk, make sure to leave some head space, as the water in it expands. Thawing should be done in the fridge, possibly overnight. After thawing, aim for using the milk within a few days.

How to tell if almond milk is bad?

First, check the bottle or container. If it’s not leaky or damaged, time to check its contents. Pour half a glass of almond milk and check its smell and appearance (discolorations, and so on). If it looks and smells okay, give it a taste. If the flavor is okay, the milk is most likely just fine.

The milk might separate (the top will be more watery, while the bottom more “meaty”) and that doesn’t mean it has gone bad. Stirring it thoroughly should help.

Is almond milk safe to use after “expiration” date?

Unopened shelf stable almond milk can stay safe to consume for quite a long time after its “Best by” date. If everything is still intact, give it a try using the instructions above.

When it comes to refrigerated almond milk, if it’s only a day or two after the expiration date, feel free to give it a try. If it’s longer than that, it’s better to be safe than sorry and just toss it out.

Published April 10, 2018

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