Almond milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk. Many people enjoy it with their meals, whether they make it themselves or buy it at the store. The label tells you to use it within seven to ten days but it is important to know how to tell when it is bad because you won’t always know how long it was on the shelf at the store.
Look at the Expiration Date
If the almond milk is unopened, you can look at the “best by” date to get an idea of how long it will be good. This date isn’t set in stone; it is more of a guideline. The almond milk will probably be okay to drink for a few days after this date.
When you buy commercial almond milk at the grocery store, it is packaged in special cartons that allow it to be stored at room temperature until it is opened. However, once you open it, it needs to go into the fridge. This type of almond milk is called shelf-stable almond milk.
Once you open the almond milk, you need to use it within a week or two. Pay attention to this date and use it as a guideline. The sooner you drink it, the better it will taste so you should try to drink it within a few weeks.
Smell the Almond Milk
Another way to tell if the almond milk has gone bad is to smell it. Similar to cow’s milk, almond milk will smell bad when it goes bad. Fresh almond milk will smell fresh and have a slightly sweet almond scent. If it is starting to go bad, it will smell similar to sour milk. You shouldn’t have any trouble noticing if it smells bad and you will want to throw it out if it does.
When almond milk has gone bad, the odor will be very unpleasant. Even if you only notice a faint rancid odor, you should not drink it. The smell indicates that the milk is going bad and the taste will also be terrible. In addition, it becomes acidic and spoiled almond milk can make you ill. If your almond milk smells bad, it is bad and you should throw it away.
Look for Clumping
Finally, you can tell if almond milk has gone bad by looking at its color and texture. Fresh almond milk should be liquid without any clumping at all. It is a cream color and it is consistent throughout. When it goes bad, the color will start to change. You should be able to notice this pretty easily. In addition, it can clump and start to curdle. If you see any clumping in the almond milk, it needs to be thrown out right away.
Almond milk starts to clump when it goes bad because the proteins in it bind together. Almond milk that is fresh might clump in your coffee but this is okay. It is when you see almond milk clumping in its container that you need to throw it out.
When you buy almond milk at the grocery store, it is usually ultra-pasteurized. This means that it is heated very quickly to 280 degrees Fahrenheit and then cooled down rapidly. The process extends the shelf life of the almond milk so that it can get to the store and then to your home. You will have between seven and ten days, give or take, before it goes bad.
It is important to know when almond milk has gone bad because you can become ill if you drink it. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to tell. If the expiration date has passed, you smell a rancid odor, or you see the milk clumping and curdling, it is definitely bad. You should throw it away at this point. Almond milk is delicious when it is fresh so make sure that you store it properly.
If your almond milk is commercially prepared, you should be able to keep it fresh for seven to ten days in the refrigerator. You can keep many brands on the counter until they are opened. Keep track of how old it is and check the smell every time that you open it. If you follow these steps, you will know when your almond milk has gone bad.