If you’re looking for a tasty milk alternative, almond milk is one of the popular choices. Can almond milk go bad?
It surely can. Of course, it doesn’t spoil as quickly as cow’s milk does, but after a certain period, it isn’t safe to drink anymore.
If you’re new to almond milk, this article is for you. It covers everything from storing almond milk, its shelf life, to telling if it’s bad and should be discarded.
If that sounds interesting, read along!
Storing Almond Milk
There are many brands that offer almond milk, but it’s quite possible that you have already (or will in the nearest future) found one that you like the most.
They taste different, so you will probably like some brands and dislike others. That’s just the nature of the beast. It’s like coconut milk in this regard.
As long as the almond milk is unopened, you should store it in a way the manufacturer recommends.
Most of them require you to keep it in a cool place (e.g., in the pantry), while some specifically say that it should be stored in the refrigerator and anywhere else. Follow those requirements.
If it isn’t explicitly written how it should be stored, store it in similar conditions to in which it was stored in the store.
That means you should put it in the fridge if it was in the refrigerated part of the store or keep in the pantry otherwise.
Homemade almond milk should be stored in the fridge.
After you open the milk for the first time, you should store it in the fridge, no matter what company manufactured it.
Another thing to remember is to keep almond milk sealed tightly when not in use. It’s easy when the dairy-free milk comes in a resealable carton. If it doesn’t, grab an airtight container or pitcher and use that instead.
That’s about it when it comes to almond milk storage.
Shelf Life of Almond Milk
As long as almond milk is unopened, the “best by” date on the label is the best indicator of how long it will be fine (approximately).
Of course, the milk won’t go bad in a day or two after the mentioned date. If stored properly, in most cases it will be fine for at least a few weeks more.
If almond milk is past the “use by” date, you should always check if it’s bad before drinking a glass or two.
Once the almond milk is opened, you should use it within about a week. Usually, the label clearly says how long the product lasts upon opening, and that period is between two and ten days.
The time almond milk stays okay after opening depends on the ingredients of the product. The more natural ones last only a few days, while those with preservatives tend to keep for longer.
Chances are the milk alternative will be fine for up to 2 weeks or even a little more. But it’s always better to consume it right away than wait until it starts to deteriorate quickly and (possibly) go bad.
How to tell if almond milk is bad
If the milk is in a carton that is still unopened, make sure the carton isn’t unnaturally bloated. If it is, the liquid is probably spoiled.
When examining almond milk, look for color and smell changes first. Color changes should be easy to spot. If the drink smells somewhat similar to sour milk, you can be sure it’s bad already and should be discarded.
Then make sure to check the consistency of the liquid. If it has any thick parts or is curdled, throw it away.
The last thing is the taste of the milk – if it doesn’t taste right, it’s probably not safe to consume.
- Store unopened almond milk the way it was stored in the supermarket. Usually that means the pantry is good enough.
- Keep opened almond milk in the fridge, sealed tightly.
- Unopened almond milk lasts for up a a few weeks past its date. Once you open the container, finish it within a week.
- When checking if the product is spoiled, start with visible changes (color, texture), continue with smell changes (is it sour?), and finish with a taste test.