If you have a blender in your kitchen, you probably came across making your homemade almond milk. If you don’t make almond milk at home, you can buy it at any store. Almond milk is one of the best-selling plant-based dairy products because of its creamy texture and flavor. In both scenarios, almond milk has its expiration dates, however depending on whether it is made at home or bought at the store, its shelf life differs.
But how to know when the almond milk goes bad? With regular cow’s milk, it is pretty straightforward – it’s bad smell is enough to tell that it is time to throw it out. However, with almond milk, it is a bit more tricky. In this article, we will discuss what you have to look at to know if your almond milk has gone bad.
1. Does almond milk go bad?
Same as any other product, almond milk goes bad. If you have made your own almond milk or bought a fresh bottle from a small producer, you have from five to seven days before it gets sticky and starts to smell. You will definitely know when it has reached this stage and when it’s time to throw it out.
Commercially made almond milk is usually pasteurized. This process increases product shelf life, and in that case, it is typically recommended to consume the juice within seven to ten days after it is opened.
However, these time frames are approximate and may vary depending on the producer and other factors. Sometimes, the milk can be completely fine even after ten days. So, to make sure your milk is bad, you rather want to judge by its look and taste. If it is getting thicker and sour – it is a definite signal to put it to waste.
2. How to store almond milk?
If you are interested how to store almond milk – here is the answer:
Homemade almond milk should be stored in a glass container at a temperature of 40-45 F. The ideal environment is a refrigerator or a cool basement. For an opened commercially made almond milk, the rules are pretty much the same. Usually, you can see the terms on the pack. Unopened commercially produced almond milk can be stored in a room temperature for up to one year.
Storing homemade almond milk:
- Prepare the container for storage: wash a glass jar or a jug, make sure it is dry. Do the same with the lid. Ideally, sterilize the jar and the lid.
- Pour your almond milk into the prepared container.
- Close the container tightly with a clean lid.
- Place the jar with the milk in the refrigerator or in a cool place.
Storing commercial almond milk:
- After opening the package, the drink should be poured into a clean and sterilized glass container.
- Cover the container with an airtight lid.
- Put the container in the refrigerator. The decreased temperature slows down the fermentation processes, which are activated when you open the package.
3. Can you freeze almond milk?
There are several ways to extend the shelf life of almond milk. The first and most effective is – freezing. By the way, it also works with any other milk type. By freezing it, you can extend milks’ shelf life up to one year.
Indeed, most of the almond milk producers recommend not to freeze the milk. After thawing, almond milk can lose its consistency and acquires a not very appetizing, slightly yellow color. Besides, the longer you keep your almond milk frozen – the less healthy substances it contains.
Needless to say that any milk product is better to be consumed fresh. However, many of us don’t drink almond milk every day but use it in small amounts in-home bakery, smoothies, coffee, etc. Considering its relatively short shelf life, many of us face the same problem – throwing out half-full bottles of almond milk.
The reasonable workaround here is freezing it for later usage. It might not be as good for drinking as fresh milk, but you probably won’t feel any difference if you use it in a recipe.
3.1 Tips for freezing almond milk
You can freeze almond milk in:
- plastic bags with a clasp
- small plastic bottles or other plastic containers
- ice cube tray – cubes of frozen milk can be added to coffee or tea
- Wash and dry the bag, bottle, tray, or any other container you plan to use for freezing the almond milk.
- When you have filled the container with milk, tightly close it with the lid to ensure it is hermetic.
- Frozen almond milk is sensitive to different smells. Therefore, to ensure it does not absorb other foods’ smells in the freezer, it is better if the bag or bottle is well sealed or nothing apart from the milk in the freezer. Otherwise, it may not taste very pleasant after it has thawed.
- If you choose to freeze milk in ice cubes, it’s best to transfer the milk cubes to sealable plastic bags or containers right after they get frozen.
- If you decide to freeze milk in a bottle, don’t fill the whole bottle, as milk expands when frozen, and the bottle may crack.
We prefer freezing almond milk in ice cubes; it is comfortable to put in coffee and tea. Two thawed ice cubes are approximately equal to ¼ of the glass, so if you need to use a precise amount of almond milk for a recipe, you can keep it in mind.
3.2 Defrosting almond milk
To reduce the risk of bacterial growth to a minimum, it is recommended to defrost almond milk in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. If the milk stays at room temperature for a longer time, there is a risk of bacterial growth, which can become a reason for food poisoning.
If you prefer to defrost it faster, you can put it in cold water. This method is slightly less safe than the one described above because of the higher risk of bacterial growth. It is important to note that you should never defrost frozen milk in warm or hot water.
If you plan to use almond milk as an ingredient for some dish, you can defrost it directly in a pot or pan while cooking.
Tip: We recommend blending the milk after defrosting. It helps to restore its consistency after thawing.
Almond milk can go bad as any other product. Homemade milk’s shelf life is just several days. That’s why It is important to know how to store it properly in order to prolong its life and reduce waste. We hope you found our article useful.
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