Almond milk is a popular plant-based milk alternative, known for its creamy and nutty flavor. It is a great choice for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. However, like all other milk products, almond milk has a limited shelf life, and it can go bad if not stored properly.
In this article, we will discuss how you can detect if almond milk has gone bad, why it happens, and how to store almond milk to prolong its shelf life.
What is almond milk, and How is it Made?
Almond milk is a dairy-free alternative to milk made by blending water and ground almonds. It is naturally lactose-free and has a lower calorie count than cow’s milk. Almond milk is a great source of nutrients such as vitamin E, calcium, and protein.
Why does Almond Milk go Bad?
Almond milk goes bad because it is a perishable product. When exposed to air and light, it can spoil or turn rancid. Rancidity occurs when the natural oils in the almonds break down, creating a stale or sour odor and flavor.
Another factor that contributes to spoilage is contamination. Bacteria can thrive in the nut-based milk product, especially if it has been open for an extended period. Almond milk manufacturers may also add preservatives, such as carrageenan, to extend its shelf life.
How to Check if Almond Milk Has Gone Bad?
Before consuming almond milk, you should always check whether it has gone bad. Here are some ways to tell if your almond milk is spoiled or not:
One of the most obvious ways to check if almond milk has gone bad is through its smell. Fresh almond milk has a subtle nutty aroma, while bad almond milk smells sour or rancid.
Texture and Color
Another way is to check the texture and color of the milk. Fresh almond milk is creamy and homogenous. If you notice any separation or curdling, it means the milk has gone bad. The color of the bad almond milk can also change, giving off a yellowish or grayish tone.
If the almond milk looks and smells fine, you can do a quick taste test. If it has a strong chemical or sour taste, it means it has gone bad or is at the brink of going bad.
You should also check the expiration dates and the best by dates on the almond milk packaging before purchasing it. This will help you avoid buying spoiled milk.
How to Store Almond Milk?
Proper storage can help to extend the shelf life of almond milk. Here are some tips to consider:
Always refrigerate almond milk to prevent spoilage. The ideal temperature for storing almond milk should be around 40F/4C. Be sure to check the temperature of your fridge regularly, to ensure that it is not too warm.
Keep it Sealed
After opening the almond milk carton, ensure that you replace the lid securely to prevent air exposure. You can also pour the milk into a sealed container. This will help to extend its shelf life.
Freeze Almond Milk
You can freeze almond milk in ice cube trays or airtight containers. This is a great way to store your almond milk for longer periods. To use, thaw the almond milk in the refrigerator for a day.
Do Not Contaminate
Always use clean utensils and equipment when handling almond milk. Do not leave it out in the open for too long, especially when preparing recipes that require heating.
When to Discard Almond Milk?
If you are unsure about the freshness of your almond milk, it is better to throw it away to avoid any risks. Here are some scenarios to consider:
If your almond milk has expired, it is no longer safe to consume. This applies even if the smell or taste is not affected.
Off-Smell and Taste
Discard your almond milk if it has a sour or rancid smell, or if it has a strange taste.
Throw away any almond milk that has mold or a visible separation of liquid and solids. If the liquid appears curdled or chunky, it is also a sign that the milk has gone bad.
Almond milk is an excellent alternative to regular milk, but it can spoil like any other dairy-based product. Always check the smell, color, and taste before consuming it, and ensure that you store it correctly. If you are unsure about the freshness of your almond milk, it is best to discard it to avoid any adverse reactions.
List of Common Questions and Answers
- What should fresh almond milk smell like?
- Fresh almond milk has a subtle nutty aroma.
- Can bad almond milk make you sick?
- Yes, drinking spoiled almond milk can lead to food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Is it okay to drink almond milk past the expiry date?
- No, almond milk should not be consumed past its expiry date, even if it looks and smells okay.
- Can you freeze almond milk?
- Yes, you can freeze almond milk in ice cube trays or airtight containers to extend its shelf life.
- How long can almond milk last in the refrigerator?
- Almond milk can last between 7 to 10 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.