Almond milk is one of the sweetest types of milk derivable from plant products. You can drink it from the pack or use it to cook diverse types of food and snacks.
However, you only want to eat and cook with fresh milk if you want to enjoy your food and avoid food poisoning. How then can you tell if almond milk is bad?
The appearance and smell of the milk are all the signs you need to determine whether the milk is bad or not. Spoiled almond milk will have an unusual color, lumps, unpleasant smell, and even attract fungi which produces mold. You should dispose of bad almond milk.
How can you tell if almond milk is bad or not? Can you store almond milk for months? Continue reading to find out.
How Do You Know if Almond Milk is Bad?
Here are some simple ways to tell if your almond milk has gone bad or not:
1. When You Leave the Milk Out in the Open for Long
Will almond milk go bad if left out?
Almond milk will certainly go bad when left out in the open for too long. This is because you have exposed it to the air and everything airborne (e.g., the spores of microbes).
Opened almond milk left out for more than a few hours will have gone bad. You should not consume what was left out.
What if you cannot see any sign of spoilage in it? Well, signs of spoilage do not show at once. Remember that microbes are not easily seen (until they make colonies or mold), so you do not need to examine the opened milk that was left out for a long time. Just dispose of it.
2. There Is a Change in Color
Spoiled milk will have an unusual color. While the milk is supposed to be immaculate white, it will become ash or brown in color when it is spoiled. Creamy milk will become brown.
Sometimes, dark-colored milk (due to flavoring) will get a lighter color. As soon as you see a change of color in your milk, you should dispose of it. Though, almond milk can have a color change for other reasons.
If you freeze your milk, it can get a slight color change because different reactions have occurred in the milk when it was frozen. This does not mean that the milk is bad.
If you did not do anything to your milk, such as adding flavoring of a distinct color, but you can see that it has undergone a change in color, then you should dispose of it.
3. Presence of Lumps and Colored Spots
If the milk is still in a pack, pour it into a clear cup made of glass and carefully look at it. If you can see lumps but are not so sure if they are lumps or not, pour the milk on a clear and flat surface such as your kitchen sink, and look at it. You should see lumps in the almond milk if it has gone bad.
However, the sight of lumps does not always mean that the milk is bad. But one thing is sure, bad milk would often have lumps. Lumps could be caused by freezing the milk or keeping it in a place with an unstable temperature.
In such cases, the milk may have lumps and still be good enough for consumption. When you see lumps in your milk, you may need to test the milk with other methods.
4. There Is the Presence of Mold
As soon as you see mold in your milk, please dispose of it immediately because such milk is no longer safe for consumption anymore. Mold indicates that the milk is rotten, and fungi have been acting on it for a long time.
You will most likely see mold in the almond milk that you have abandoned for a long time. The same thing applies to most of the other milk varieties.
5. It Has a Bad Smell
Does your almond milk produce an unpleasant smell? Dispose of it!
Do not try to taste or drink any almond milk with a nauseating smell because it can make you sick.
6. The Package Is Bloated
The fungi and other microbes in your milk produce gases, so when the gases cannot escape from the pack, they make the pack become bloated. Aside from the sight of a bloated almond milk pack, you can also tell that your almond milk is bad when the gas forcefully leaves the pack as you try to open it.
7. It Has a Very Unpleasant Taste
Well, you should not try to drink almond milk that you think is bad. However, if you drank it by mistake, you would surely know that it is bad through the foul taste.
If the almond milk (flavored or plain) does not meet up with or differ from the sweet, usual taste you’re familiar with, dispose of the milk because it has already gone bad.
Now you can identify spoiled almond milk, right? But, how can you store your almond milk properly to avoid spoilage?
Best Way to Store Almond Milk
If you want your milk to last for a longer time, here are some ways to store it:
1. Refrigerate the Milk
If you want your refrigerated almond milk to last longer, put it in the fridge. If you have opened the milk, it can last seven to ten days in a fridge. If you have not opened the milk, it can last two or three days more (i.e., after its expiry date).
Please ensure that you cover or seal the milk before you keep it in the fridge so that water (in the form of condensation present within the fridge) does not enter the milk.
Also, opened milk can affect the water and other items kept in the fridge. This is because opened milk can cause a change in the taste of water and whatever else that is kept in the fridge.
2. Freeze the Milk
Freezing almond milk is indeed the best way to store it if the extension of its shelf life is all that you are considering. While frozen milk will last for a longer time, the milk might get a different texture, look, and perhaps the taste also.
This is because the properties of milk change when frozen and some parts will most likely freeze before other parts.
If you want to enjoy your frozen almond milk, you need to wait until it is a bit warm. Before drinking the milk, blend or mix it so that everything will become whole once again. Also, consume it immediately as it can go bad quickly after being taken from the freezer.
3. Leave It Unopened
If you want to enjoy quality almond milk, you do not need to freeze it or leave it in the fridge. All you need to do is to collect a new pack of milk, consume it immediately, and dispose of the pack.
Opening the pack can expose the content to microbes in the air and encourage the milk to spoil quickly. Unopened milk can last until the expiration date and even a few days after.
While you can keep unopened milk at room temperature, please do not keep it near any heat-emitting appliance or a spot with direct sunlight as it can go bad quickly when kept there.
Related Questions and Answers
Here are answers to questions that you might have:
1. Can You Drink Bad Almond Milk?
Is it okay to use expired almond milk? Well, you can drink almond milk two to three days after the expiry date so long as you have never opened the package. However, do not drink opened milk on or after the expiry date.
What happens if you drink bad almond milk? If you drink bad almond milk, you’ll likely get a bloated stomach and might throw up.
The milk most probably has mold and toxins in it, so it will make you sick. It will give you a bloated stomach because of the excess amount of gas that the decomposing microbes produce while acting on the milk.
2. For How Long Does Almond Milk Last?
Remember that unopened almond milk lasts longer than opened. You can check the expiration date on the pack to know when it will expire. Some factors that affect the time it takes for almond milk to go bad are:
- Plain or flavored: Flavored milk goes bad two or three days before plain one because of the additives in the flavored one. The added ingredients can make the milk spoil quickly.
- Method of storage: Almond milk kept in the freezer will go bad six or more months after the milk left at room temperature must have spoiled. This means that you can extend the milk past its expiry date with a freezer (although not recommended).
- Homemade or store-bought: While you can make almond milk by yourself, it can only last three to five days because you may not sterilize it as effectively as milk factories do. Store-bought milk will last till its expiry date.
3. For How Long Does Cooked Almond Milk Last?
If you cooked with almond milk, it is not the milk that you should be thinking of anymore. You need to think of the food or snack as a whole. Some foods last longer than others.
What affects the shelf life of foods is the way the food was prepared (boiling, frying, etc.); storage method (left in the open or refrigerated); and the ingredients used in preparing the food.
If you made snacks with milk, they could last for just a day or two before you will find them uninteresting to eat. Well, you can always store your foods and snacks in the fridge or freezer if you want them to last for a longer time.
As you can see, it is very easy to tell if almond milk is bad or not. Also, you do not want to drink bad almond milk because it can make you sick. Remember to store your almond milk properly so that you can drink it later without any problems.