Lifestyle

How long does oat milk last?


OLDThick, fully foaming, and rich in protein, oat milk—a plant-based milk made by soaking oats in water—is worthy of being one of the popular alternatives. for cow’s milk. (And aside from being widely available, it’s easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.)

Here’s the problem, though: Even though it’s not a dairy product, know that oat milk can still go bad pretty quickly. So, the same way you would with regular stale cow’s milk, you want to make sure your can of oat milk *doesn’t go bad before you dip your precious granola in it or pour it into your matcha latte. your morning. Here’s how long you should store oat milk before it goes bad, along with food scientist recommendations to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

How long does oat milk last?

According to food scientist Natalie Alibrandi, CEO of London-based Nali Consulting, once opened, store-bought oat milk usually keeps well for about seven to 10 days in the refrigerator.

However, there are factors that can reduce the shelf life of oat milk—such as leaving an opened can at room temperature for more than a few minutes at a time, especially on a warm summer day. “As soon as you finish using the milk, close the lid and put it in the fridge,” says Alibrandi. “And whatever you do, don’t leave your oat milk on the counter uncovered for several hours — or ideally any length of time — as you’ll quickly reduce its perishability limit. “

The main concern with oat milk, Alibrandi explains, is the growth of mold that can make you sick if eaten. Although some brands of oat milk are made in sterile containers and can be kept for up to a year at room temperature unopened, Alibrandi explains that you should always Follow the “best by date” on the box for best results—and keep the can in the refrigerator if the packaging advises to do so. Once you open the box, your seven to 10 days will begin. “The actual milk is usually completely sterile before it is opened,” says Alibrandi. “Therefore, the only possible exposure to other bacteria is through the air after the product is opened.”

So how can you know that it’s time to cut your hole and toss that box of oat milk in the fridge for more than a week? Changes in the texture of oat milk – such as if it becomes thick and lumpy – are a sign that it has gone bad and should be discarded, Alibrandi says, adding that you should also pay attention. Notice the color and smell of the milk.

“If the color changes significantly from when the box was first opened, I recommend sniffing the product to see if there is a sour smell,” says Alibrandi. “If you can’t determine if the smell is sour, take a small sample and sip to see if the taste has changed much from the original taste. If the taste is sour or has a sour aftertaste, you should discard the milk before drinking again.”

How to make your milk replacer last longer

Alibrandi says oat milk should be stored at 40°F. To extend the shelf life of oat milk, she recommends storing the container in the lower drawers of the refrigerator rather than on the door, which she notes is the warmest part of any refrigerator. Alibrandi also says that different brands and types of oat milk (for example, “barista” oat milk is higher in fat than regular oat milk and is therefore considered better for steaming and foaming). , each may have slightly different instructions regarding proper storage and shelf life, and it’s best to follow the instructions on the packaging.

“You shouldn’t see a big difference in perishability between different types of oat milk, for example original versus concocted,” says Alibrandi. “But still follow the rules, as different products will have different formulations that affect shelf life.”

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