With the increasing popularity of almond butter, many are left wondering: does almond butter go bad?
And if so, how long does it last?
Almond butter is one of a handful of natural nut butters, due to its rich layer of oil, creamy texture and nutty flavor.
It’s a versatile protein-rich food that can be used in sweet and savory dishes (like stir fry), making it a staple in many kitchen cabinets.
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy and well-stocked pantry, better consider the questions stated above.
So, let’s dive into the world of almond butter and find out everything you need to know about its shelf life, storage, and signs of spoilage.
Yes, almond butter goes rancid or expires, just like any other product on the market.
Almond butter, in particular, becomes bad-smelling after a certain period.
The surface area of the almond butter increases about a thousand times when the almonds are made into butter.
Even though raw almonds haven’t been roasted, they’ve been pasteurized. Though this helps suppress the spread of food-borne illness in almonds, almonds, like all natural products, break down.
It then becomes more liable to bacterial and chemical decay due to this fact.
After all, almond butter is a highly fatty product, and it is highly vulnerable to rancidity.
A jar of almond butter can be stable on the shelf for up to two years, as long as it is unopened.
However, once you open the jar and use even half of the almond butter, it is bound to become bad and expire.
So once you buy your almond butter, make sure to finish it up as soon as possible.
And use clean utensils (not your finger) to serve up a delicious bite!
How to tell if almond butter has gone bad
How do you ensure that your almond butter has already gone past the point of no return?
Here are a few signs to look out for when trying to determine if your almond butter is still good to eat:
- Check the expiration date: This may seem obvious, but it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date to make sure that you’re not consuming anything that’s past its prime.
- Look for signs of separation: If the oil from the almonds has separated from the solid matter and has become too dense to stir, it may be a sign that your almond butter has gone bad. BUT, but separation often happens in still-good “natural” nut butters, so this would be in combination with one of the following signs.
- Check the aroma: A strong, rancid smell is a sure sign that your almond butter has gone bad. Almond butter has a lot of fat in it, and both nuts and nut butters can go rancid. A paint or turpentine-like smell is a dead giveaway that it’s time to throw away and replace your almond butter.
- Examine the texture: If your almond butter has become thicker, harder, or grainy, it may be time to replace it.
- Taste a tiny bit: If your almond butter has a bitter, sour, or off taste, it’s no longer safe to eat.
By paying attention to these key signs, you can determine whether your almond butter is still safe to eat, or if it’s time to replace it.
So, don’t be afraid to use your senses to ensure your almond butter is fresh and delicious before you use it!
How long does almond butter last?
If your almond butter is store-bought, you are in luck!
It will last much longer due to the additives and preservatives present in most of these products.
If your store-bought almond butter has been unopened, it may last even a year after its expiry date.
It’s worth remembering that the expiry date listed on almond butter is always a best-by date.
The manufacturer states that the product tastes best consumed before the expiry date, labeled the “best before.”
Yet it does not mean that the product has gone wrong if you eat it right after.
So to answer, it is essential to know how long your almond butter is good for after the expiration date of about six months if it’s unopened.
It can last a long time, such as 3-5 months after the expiration date if it is opened and stored in a cool, dark place.
It may also be dependent on the exact brand and what is contained in the product.
How long does homemade almond butter last?
Homemade almond butter is a delicious and healthful alternative to store-bought varieties.
However, with no preservatives, it’s important to understand how long it will last in your pantry.
Proper storage is key to keeping your almond butter fresh and edible for as long as possible.
When stored tightly closed in an airtight container at cold temperature, homemade almond butter will last for about 2 to 3 weeks.
The best way to extend the shelf life of your homemade almond butter is to avoid storing it in direct sun or near a heat source, as high temperatures can cause it to spoil faster.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to give your almond butter a sniff and a taste test before using it, to make sure it’s still fresh and safe to consume.
So, whether you’re spreading it on toast, using it in a smoothie, or simply enjoying it by the spoonful, you can feel confident that your homemade almond butter will be delicious and healthy for as long as it lasts!
How to best store almond butter
Homemade almond butter has no preservatives, so it should be kept in an airtight jar or container, tightly lidded, and chilled, where it will last for up to three weeks if kept cold.
Commercially packaged almond butter will have different instructions on each brand’s label.
Some almond butter brands say to refrigerate, some say you can keep it closed at room temperature in the pantry.
It’s generally best to refrigerate our nut butters. Because they do not contain any artificial preservatives or stabilizers, they can become rancid if left out of refrigeration for an extended period of time and/or exposed to warm temperatures.From Maranatha brand almond butter:
Storing homemade nut butter correctly is crucial to maintaining its freshness, flavor, and overall quality.
Here are some tips to help you store almond butter properly:
- Keep it airtight: Store your almond butter in an airtight container or mason jar to prevent it from absorbing unwanted flavors or odors. This will also help to slow down the oxidation process, which can cause your almond butter to go bad faster.
- Store it in a cool place: Avoid storing your almond butter in direct sunlight or near a heat source, as warm temperatures can cause oil separation and spoil faster. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place, such as your pantry or refrigerator.
- Consider refrigeration: Refrigerating can help extend shelf life of almond butter and prevent spoilage. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before using, as it will be thicker and harder to stir straight from the fridge.
Some commercially packaged almond butter has palm oil in the recipe to keep the natural oils from separating.
This allows the almond butter to be used without stirring first.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your almond butter stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
So, whether you’re using it as a spread, a cooking ingredient, or just enjoying it straight from the jar, you can be confident that your almond butter is stored correctly and ready to use whenever you need it!
How to best store homemade almond butter
Meanwhile, if your almond butter is homemade, then you should keep it in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
If you want your almond butter to keep its light, creamy texture still, then you should keep it refrigerated or frozen.
If the room temperature in your area is above 21 degrees Celsius, it is best to keep it in the fridge.
Refrigeration is necessary because, once opened, especially your almond butter, if it does not have any salt, sugar, or preservatives, it is incredibly susceptible to spoilage and rancidity.
How to best store opened almond butter
Keep homemade almond butter in the refrigerator. Keep commercially prepared almond butter without preservatives in the refrigerator. Keep commercially prepared almond butter WITH preservatives either in the refrigerator or the pantry.
The optimal shelf life of our nut butters is 1 year from its manufacturing date. From a food safety standpoint, our nut butters are safe to consume past the optimal shelf life, however product quality will decrease the longer it sits past the optimal shelf life. As with any product made without artificial preservatives, we recommend eating our nut butters by the Best By Date (which is printed on the jar).From Justin’s FAQ:
While many people keep their almond butter in the fridge, Justin’s chimes in regarding refrigerating their nut butters:
Nope! We recommend storing our nut butters at room temperature so that it is easier to spread.
That said, it’s best to place your homemade almond butter in the refrigerator to reduce the risk of losing its flavor faster and going rancid, which means the fat spoils.
Does rancid almond butter smell bad?
Yes, when almond butter goes rancid it smells sour, very bitter or like strong paint or industrial elements.
Usually, nuts such as almonds are stored in boxes in dry and cool places and in airtight jars to ensure longevity.
As soon as you open a box of good almonds, the smell that welcomes you is a delicious and pleasant nutty waft.
Rancid almonds, however, will have a characteristic odor that reminds you of nail polish or paint.
A terrifying thing would be once you smell your almond butter, an unusual smell comes from the glass jar.
If your almond butter has begun to develop an odor or ferment, it is likely no longer safe to eat.
It may also have that distinct smell feature, just like old plastic containers.
As soon as you recognize these horrid smells in your box of almonds or your almond butter, they may have gone wrong.
What does bad almond butter look like?
You can also spot rancid almond butter with your vision.
One key and notable sign is a noticeable change in color or texture.
For instance, your almond butter may suddenly look like it has taken on a darker hue or seem very grainy.
The usual possible color for this instance is your almond butter looking quite pale or turning into a dull gray from a rich brown.
You may also see the almond butter with how its texture has changed.
Additionally, you may notice any signs of brown or black spots and mold growth on the surface of your almond butter.
These black or brown spots could also signify that it has gone wrong and that you should avoid consuming it.
In that case, this could be an indication of spoilage.
This will help you and your family from the trouble of trying out horrid and rancid almond butter.
Also, while not a safety issue on its own, if the oil has been drained off from the jar of almond butter, you may notice desert-like cracks in the surface, which will make for a nearly inedible jar of super dense almond butter.
Good almond butter needs that oil stirred in to spread properly and taste good.
If someone accidentally disposed of the oil floating on top of a still-good jar of almond oil, you’ll probably need to replace the jar with a fresh one.
Oil separation is totally natural. All nuts have oil in them, and while we do process our almond butter in a way that minimizes oil separation (almost to a point of non-existence), certain environmental and shipping conditions can cause oil separation.From Barney Butter Almond Butter:
The bottom line
Almond butter is a great spread.
It can be eaten with your toast or sandwiches and can significantly differ from the usual peanut butter and jam.
It is excellent for those Sunday afternoons, lounging with your family and enjoying a great snack for the day.
Its flavor is yummy and creamy, and it also has a beautifully smooth texture that can rival all of the best peanut butter out there.
It brings a whole new world of flavors to your usual sandwich.
Yet the worst thing about almond butter is when it goes wrong and rotten.
That’s why it is vital to ensure you know how to refrigerate your almond butter, store it in a cool place, and notice the signs of it turning bad.
If you don’t, its health repercussions may take a toll, and it wouldn’t be unpleasant to eat.
It is essential to not only cook and store well but store and cook smart too.
So when making some homemade almond butter, keep your butter safe and tight in a cold area, or best yet, refrigerated or in a freezer.
How To Make Homemade Almond Butter
Here's a simple recipe with instructions for making homemade almond butter with raw almonds you toast at home.
- 3 c raw almonds, whole or sliced
- ⅛ t salt
- 1 T sugar or agave syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a single layer, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and heat through for 8 minutes, then use a spatula to turn them and bake for another 8 minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted.
- Allow the almonds to cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the nuts to a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground.
- Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor as needed.
- Continue blending the almonds until they release their oils and become smooth and creamy, which can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the power of your blender or food processor.
- Stop the blender or food processor and scrape down the sides as needed.
- If desired, add a pinch of salt, sweetener or any other desired seasonings to taste.
- Blend again until well combined.
- Store the almond butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month, checking for signs of spoilage and rancid smells before consuming.