If you do not consume dairy milk for some reason, you need to find the best possible alternative for it. Plant-based milk is the only option you have. The only thing you have to do is to choose which one suits you the best.
You need to know that it is very hard to find good plant-based milk nowadays since most taste bland and diluted.
My favorite dairy milk alternative is almond milk. I love its subtle taste and aroma, but I did have a hard time finding the one that I enjoy. I spent months searching for the right consistency, taste, and sweetness.
In a few moments of despair, I even tried making my own, and I got to admit it tastes amazing. The only “bad” thing is that it requires spare time and effort to make it, and unfortunately, I am super busy.
Anyhow, I found my favorite brand of almond milk on sale, and I decided to stockpile on it. But luckily in that frenzied moment of “let me buy it all”, I stopped and questioned myself, does almond milk go bad?
Since I did not know the exact answer, I decided to look it up when I come home. If you would like to know more about storing almond milk, keep reading.
What’s The Proper Way To Store Almond Milk?
As said, many brands on the market offer almond milk. But I hope that you have already found the one that you like the most as I finally did. In case you didn’t, I must warn you that they all taste different.
Why am I saying this?
Well, I guarantee you that you will find a few brands that offer very tasty nutty milk. But at the same time, some brands, unfortunately, taste awful, and pretty bland. That’s the nature of this product. The most common mistake that people make is thinking about how that milk turned rancid.
Anyhow, storing almond milk depends on which kind of almond milk you prefer to use – the shelf-stable or refrigerated kind. Storing soy milk is almost the same as storing almond milk. You should always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer labeled on the packaging.
The shelf-stable kind of almond milk is familiar with shelf-stable coconut milk. Or even regular dairy milk. You should store the unopened carton in a cool and dark area such as the pantry or kitchen cabinet. Any place that is far away from sources of heat and sun.
There is no need to refrigerate this type of almond milk until you open it. Once you are ready to use it and open the package, you need to seal it tight and keep it refrigerated.
Common sense tells us that the refrigerated type of almond milk needs to sit in the fridge. Always place it away from the doors. That is because the doors are the warmest part of the fridge, and the temperature there fluctuates a lot.
In case you are not sure where you should store your almond milk, think about where you found it in the store. If it was in the fridge, it requires storing at low temperatures. You should always store the homemade almond milk in the fridge.
After you open up the milk for the first time (no matter which kind), make sure you place it in the fridge as soon as possible. Of course, make sure you always keep it tight-sealed when not in use.
Can You Freeze Almond Milk?
Most people love to freeze the food they don’t tend to use in the next few weeks. But can you freeze almond milk? Well, of course, it can, but it is not recommended.
The liquid will change the texture after thawing. It won’t taste nor look the same as before, so you may not want to consume it. In case you are using almond milk for cooking and baking, you can freeze the leftovers to avoid wasting. In this case, freezing is acceptable since the change of a texture does not affect the end result.
In short, do not freeze almond milk if you tend to drink it. If you tend to freeze it for baking and cooking purposes, use the ice cube trays. This makes it easy to keep the almond milk fresh for a few months.
Does Almond Milk Go Bad?
Yes! Almond milk is a very perishable ingredient, so you should treat it with a lot of care. I always store my almond milk in the fridge to make sure I avoid any kind of contamination. I would recommend you do the same, especially if you are not so sure if your milk is shelf-stable.
If you want to learn how long can different kinds of almond milk last when unopened and opened, read further.
Related Question: Does Buttermilk Go Bad?
How Long Does Almond Milk Last?
I am repeating myself, but it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prolong the shelf life.
The shelf-stable almond milk comes with a best-by date. The point of this date is to estimate how long it will stay fresh and tasty. Since it is shelf-stable, you can expect it to last beyond that date if stored the proper way.
How long depends on storing conditions in the past. But you should expect it to stay in good shape for at least 2 to 4 weeks after that best-by date. If it’s far beyond that period, you should discard it. The moment you open up the carton, it can sit in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
Refrigerated almond milk always comes with a use-by date printed on the product. The main difference is that the use-by date is much more strict than the best-by date. That means unopened cartons of this almond milk can last a few days up to a week max, past the labeled use-by date. After you open the package, you must use it in a week before it spoils.
When we talk about homemade almond milk, you should use it within 3 to 4 days. The reason for that is because they are not pasteurized as store-bought varieties. Remember, if you leave the almond milk at room temperature for more than two hours, it can turn rancid.
How To Tell If Almond Milk Turned Bad
There are a few very distinctive signs of spoilage of almond milk. The first sign is if your unopened carton of almond milk looks bloated. This happens due to fermentation, and if you notice it, throw out the milk immediately.
If the package looks good, open it and pour it in the glass and give it a good sniff. The smell must be fresh and nutty, if that is not the case with your product, discard it since it is no good to use.
Do I need to mention that any visible signs of lumps, curdled texture, or discoloration you should treat as a risk? I hope not, but there now you know what to do if that occurs.
If you go through all that and the milk seems to be fine, it is time for the final taste test. If it tastes good, you are free to use it. If it tastes funky, it must be because it is past its prime time, and you should discard it by any means.
If you opened the almond milk about a week or two weeks ago, it is best to toss it out and avoid risk. The same thing goes if your milk is past a month or even more the best-by date. It is not so simple to catch the first signs of spoilage, so you should play it safe and get rid of it before it is too late.
Regardless of which type of almond milk you buy and use, the key to keeping it fresh is in temperature control. Always keep it deep in your fridge since the temperature in that area is coldest and most stable.
In the end, it is my duty to warn you about the myth considering almond milk and separation. The legend says that if almond milk separates and does not look like a consistent liquid, it is bad. Well, that is false information since separation is a natural process in almond milk.
So now you know that almond milk is very delicate and that you must store it with care. Make a habit of checking the label to avoid consuming spoiled milk.