While rearranging the fridge, you found a bottle of almond milk sitting at the back of the bottom shelf. Then while taking it out of the fridge, you found yourself wondering how long it was there.
Hoping to use it for breakfast, you checked the label and couldn’t spot the best before date, making you hesitant to use it.
So how do you tell if your almond milk is bad?
First, check its appearance. If the milk gets thick and clumps a little, it’s likely bad.
Next, do a smell and taste test. If it smells and tastes off and sour, it’s time to throw it!
If you want to know more interesting facts surrounding the shelf life of almond milk, hop on!
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll also discuss the best way to store the milk along with some vital information if you’re planning to freeze it.
What is almond milk?
Almond milk is a dairy-free drink that’s made from two simple ingredients: raw almonds and freshwater. The raw almonds are soaked in cold filtered water for 8 to 48 minutes at room temperature.
Once done, the soaked almonds are transferred to a blender, where they get mixed with fresh water until they’re broken down. Some people play with its flavor by adding a pinch of salt, a sweetener like a maple syrup, and a flavoring like vanilla extract.
This type of milk is a great alternative to traditional milk like cow’s milk and other non-dairy milk products such as cashew milk, oat milk, peanut milk, and soy milk.
And because it has no animal products, fresh almond milk is suitable for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals.
Does almond milk go bad?
To cut to the chase, yes, almond milk goes bad just like any other milk. However, the shelf life of almond milk depends if it’s fresh or commercially made.
If you happen to make your own almond milk or buy a bottle of it at the grocery store, it takes at least five to seven days before it starts to smell off.
What’s the best way to store almond milk?
Keeping your almond milk fresh is quite similar to the storage process of soy milk. For unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk, you need to store it in a cool and dark area like your kitchen pantry.
It’s also recommended to keep the milk away from direct heat as this affects its shelf life.
If you happen to open the carton or container, this is the time you refrigerate it! Ensure to seal it tightly before sliding it in the coldest part of your fridge.
And in case you purchase refrigerated almond milk, the best way to store it is in the bottom shelf, in the main body, or in the back of the fridge where the temperature is coldest and steadiest.
Avoid putting the milk on the shelf of the fridge’s door as this spot is prone to temperature fluctuations.
For homemade ones, storing almond milk in an airtight container is advisable. Keep in mind that they should be refrigerated all the time for longer shelf life.
- Unopened unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk should be stored in a cool and dark area like a kitchen pantry.
- Opened unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk should be kept in the coldest part of the fridge.
- Refrigerated almond milk can be kept fresh in the main body or back of the fridge where the temperature is coldest and steadiest.
- Homemade almond milk should be stored in an airtight container before sliding it into the fridge.
If you want to enjoy your almond milk fresh, it’s best to drink it as soon as you purchase it or make it to prevent the milk from possible spoilage.
How long does almond milk last?
Just as with any other milk, it’s dangerous if you drink spoiled almond milk. If you’re doubtful of the printed date or new to this whole almond thing, keep these reminders in mind.
- Unopened unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk comes with a best-by date or often lasts for up to two months.
- Opened unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk lasts for up to 10 days in the fridge.
- Refrigerated almond milk comes with a use-by date, which means the milk can last only a few days up to a week past the said date. Opened or unopened milk should be kept in the fridge.
- Homemade almond milk generally lasts up to four days in the fridge.
How to know if almond milk has gone bad?
As mentioned, there are three ways in which you can tell if your almond milk has turned rancid.
Sniff the milk
To identify whether your almond milk is still fresh or already bad, you can always rely on your sense of smell.
Open the carton or container and sniff the milk. If it smells funky a little off, then it’s a clear sign that your stored almond milk has expired.
Check the appearance
Another alternative way to know if the milk has gone bad is by checking its appearance.
Generally, bad almond milk gets thick and clumps a little. If your milk looks like this, you better throw them right away!
Perform taste test
If you’re still confused, you can utilize your sense of taste to check the condition of the almond milk.
If your almond milk tastes off and sour, then the milk has turned bad.
Can you freeze almond milk?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk however, don’t expect to have an exact result the time you make or buy them in the grocery store.
Almond milk tends to have a different texture, color, and taste after freezing and it has a three to five-day shelf life once thawed (shorter than those unfrozen and fresh ones after opening).
My take on this is that it’s best not to freeze almond milk since most of the shelf-stable milk sold in sealed cartons or containers often lasts for up to two months.
The bottom line
There are some great recipes you can make using almond milk—from smoothies to salad dressings.
But just like other milk varieties, it doesn’t have a longer shelf life so it’s best to use it judiciously the moment you open it or make it at home.
If you’re hesitant to consume it because you don’t know how to identify whether it’s good or bad, or maybe the use-by and best-by date of your almond milk carton are unclear, I hope that the guide above will be the answer to your dilemma.