How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly?

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk Last And How Do I Store It Properly?

Homemade almond milk has become a popular plant-based milk substitute. With its creamy texture and nutty flavor, many people prefer it over store-bought varieties. However, there is often confusion around its shelf life and proper storage. Almond Milk vs Oat Milk Which Is Healthier

As an expert in plant-based cooking and nutrition, I have extensively researched the shelf life of homemade almond milk and optimal storage methods. In this article, I will share my expertise on exactly how long homemade almond milk lasts in the fridge and freezer, as well as best practices for storing it to maximize freshness.

 Key Takeaways How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly?

| 🥛 | **Homemade almond milk lasts 5-7 days refrigerated when unopened, 3-4 days when opened.**
| ❄️ | **Freeze homemade almond milk for up to 6 months unopened, 1 month opened.**
| 📦 | **Store almond milk in airtight, narrow-opening containers filled to the top.**
| 🌡️ | **Refrigerate almond milk immediately after making.**
| ⏱️ | **Extend fridge life by up to a week using proper storage methods.**
| 🔎 | **Check for signs of spoilage before consuming like smell, texture, color changes.**
| 🛠️ | **Making your own almond milk only takes 5 minutes active time.**
| 👥 | **The rewards of taste, nutrition and customization abilities outweigh the small effort.**

The shelf life of homemade almond milk can vary based on ingredients and storage method:

Fridge:

  • Unopened – 5 to 7 days
  • Opened – 3 to 4 days

Freezer:

  • Unopened – 6 months
  • Opened – 1 month

The shelf life when refrigerated is relatively short due to homemade almond milk having no preservatives. Freezing prolongs its life significantly. How To Store Homemade Almond Milk

Proper storage plays a key role in extending the shelf life of homemade almond milk. Below I detail optimal storage methods.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Proper Storage of Homemade Almond Milk

Follow these tips for storing homemade almond milk correctly:

Refrigeration

To maximize fridge life:

  • Store almond milk in an airtight container to prevent contamination
  • Use a container with a narrow opening to limit exposure to air
  • Fill container to the top to minimize air exposure
  • Store on a fridge shelf, not the door where temperature fluctuates

Ideal containers:

  • Mason jars
  • Pitchers with tight-fitting lids
  • Leak-proof bottles

Freezing

To successfully freeze homemade almond milk:

  • Leave 2 inches at the top for expansion
  • Use freezer-safe containers like mason jars or freezer bags
  • Lay bags flat in the freezer to prevent breakage

For easy use:

  • Freeze almond milk in ice cube trays, then store cubes in a bag
  • Freeze in batch-sized portions

Thawing

To thaw frozen almond milk properly:

  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Place sealed bag or container in bowl of cool water
  • Shake gently before using

Do not microwave frozen almond milk as high heat can cause separation and affect taste.

Storage MethodShelf LifeProper Storage Tips
RefrigerationUnopened: 5-7 days
Opened: 3-4 days
Store in airtight, narrow-opening container filled to top
FreezerUnopened: 6 months
Opened: 1 month
Leave room at top for expansion. Use freezer-safe containers. Lay bags flat.

Signs Homemade Almond Milk Has Spoiled

Be on the lookout for these visible and aromatic signs of spoiled homemade almond milk:

  • Change in consistency – separation, chunkiness, sliminess
  • Discoloration – dull, darker color
  • Mold growth – fuzzy spots or film on surface
  • Curdled texture – grains or clumps in liquid
  • Sour smell – pungent, unpleasant aroma
  • Fizzy bubbles when shaken – carbonation

If you notice any of the above signs, discard homemade almond milk immediately even if within suggested shelf life.

As you can see clearly from the information presented, the shelf life of homemade almond milk varies substantially based on storage method. When stored properly in airtight containers and the freezer, its life can be extended well beyond common estimates for fridge storage alone.

Implementing these best practices for refrigerating and freezing homemade almond milk can minimize waste and maximize both shelf life and food safety. My advice summarized:

  • Refrigerate unopened up to 7 days; opened up to 4 days
  • Freeze for up to 6 months unopened; 1 month opened
  • Use airtight, narrow-opening containers
  • Freeze in batches using freezer bags or containers
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in cool water

Knowing exactly when your homemade almond milk expires and how to store it optimally empowers you to enjoy this nutritious beverage while reducing food waste.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Benefits of Homemade Almond Milk

While knowing how to store almond milk is important, understanding the benefits of homemade varieties makes it clear why it’s worth the small effort.

Homemade almond milk packs more nutrition and tastes better than store-bought brands. You control the ingredients, avoiding additives like stabilizers and preservatives.

Nutrition

Homemade almond milk delivers more nutrients, including:

  • Healthy fats
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

And ounces for ounces, it contains more almonds than commercial types, meaning you get more benefits.

It’s also lower in sugar than flavored dairy milk or plant-based milk alternatives, which usually add sugar or sweeteners.

Flavor

The flavor of freshly made almond milk surpasses store-bought.

It tastes light, creamy and purely of almonds, unlike some brands which leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

You can also customize flavors by blending in vanilla, cocoa powder, cinnamon or fruits.

Customizing for Dietary Needs

Crafting your own almond milk means you can cater it to your dietary needs, unlike one-size-fits-all commercial products.

Add a date if you want a sweetener. Choose almond butter for extra protein. Use coconut milk for creaminess.

The possibilities are endless.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Is Making Your Own Almond Milk Difficult?

If you know how long homemade almond milk lasts, you may wonder if making it yourself is difficult or time-consuming compared to grabbing a carton.

It only takes 5 minutes of active prep time to make almond milk. The process is very simple:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water

Directions

  1. Soak almonds 8-12 hours or overnight
  2. Drain and rinse almonds
  3. Blend almonds and water until creamy white
  4. Strain through cheesecloth or nut bag
  5. Store in airtight container in fridge

That’s all it takes!

Sure, homemade almond milk doesn’t last as long as store-bought. But it requires very little hands-on time to make, and the payoff of superior nutrition and taste makes it worthwhile.

Follow my tips on proper storage, and your fresh almond milk will stay safe for consumption for up to a week.

Choosing the Best Almonds for Homemade Almond Milk

To make the best-tasting and most nutritious almond milk, start with high-quality almonds.

The variety and freshness of almonds impacts homemade almond milk’s flavor, creaminess, and nutritional value.

Follow these tips for selecting optimal almonds:

Almond Types

There are two main varieties of almonds:

Sweet Almonds – The most common type. Their mild, nutty flavor works well in almond milk.

Bitter Almonds – Contain traces of cyanide. Not suitable for almond milk.

While almond milk can be made from any sweet almond, certain varieties have preferable flavor and texture profiles.

Best Varieties for Almond Milk

The best almonds for almond milk are:

California Almonds – Popular for their mellow flavor, plump shape and high productivity. Most store-bought almonds are this variety.

Valencia Almonds – A Spanish variety with a sweeter, bolder flavor and higher oil content, resulting in more flavorful milk.

Italian Sweet Almonds – Similarly have a richer flavor and creamy texture from higher oil and protein.

I recommend splurging for gourmet Valencia or Italian almonds for superior homemade almond milk.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Almond Freshness

Seeking out fresh, high-quality almonds is also key.

For peak freshness:

  • Inspect package date – consume within 9 month of harvest
  • Avoid discolored or shriveled almonds
  • Shop stores with good almond turnover
  • Buy small batches to ensure freshness
  • Refrigerate or freeze unused almonds in airtight bags

Proper storage of unused almonds maintains freshness and flavor that transfers to your almond milk.

Grinding Method

The way you grind almonds also impacts milk properties.

Blanched or skinless almonds produce the smoothest, creamiest homemade almond milk. Their white appearance is more appetizing than versions using almonds with skins.

However, almonds with skin provide more fiber and antioxidant benefits.

I recommend compromising by opting for a fine almond flour which still contains skins but grinds almonds into a smooth powder that blends easily.

Now that you know how to select the best almonds, check out my recipe for creamy homemade almond milk. I look forward to hearing how it turns out! What’s your favorite almond milk variety?

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Making Your Own Almond Milk With Ease

While the basics of making almond milk are simple, there are some easy tips and tricks to help it go smoothly.

1. Prep Equipment & Ingredients

Gather:

  • High-powered blender
  • Fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag
  • Cheesecloth, fine mesh sieve, or coffee filter (optional)
  • Quart mason jars or airtight containers for storage

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups filtered water (more for soaking)
  • Pinch salt
  • Optionals: Dates, vanilla, cinnamon

2. Soak The Almonds

Soaking softens almonds for smooth blending.

Steps:

  • Rinse almonds
  • Place in bowl and cover with several inches of water
  • Soak 8 hours or overnight
  • Drain, rinse well

Tip: Soak in fridge during summer to inhibit bacteria growth.

3. Blend Mixture

To blend:

  • Add almonds and 4 cups fresh water to high-speed blender
  • Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes until milk is smooth, white, and frothy
  • For very smooth milk, blend in two batches

4. Strain Out Pulp

Straining removes leftover almond pulp for smoother milk.

Straining options:

  • Fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth
  • Reusable nut milk bag
  • Silk milk bag disposable filter

Regardless the method, allow milk to fully strain, gently pressing bag or sieve to facilitate flow. Discard pulp.

5. Transfer to Airtight Containers

As soon as almond milk is strained:

  • Gently stir in any flavor additions
  • Pour into quart mason jars or pitchers, leaving 1 inch of headspace
  • Seal tightly
  • Refrigerate immediately

Following my tips will all but ensure your homemade almond milk comes out perfectly creamy.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Common Issues When Making Homemade Almond Milk

While making almond milk is generally straightforward, several issues can arise that affect the final outcome:

1. Gritty Texture

A gritty or chunky texture usually means the almonds were not blended thoroughly enough into a fine powder.

To avoid grittiness:

  • Soak almonds 8+ hours to fully soften
  • Use a powerful blender
  • Blend for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir and scrape down sides
  • Strain in very fine mesh sieve or double layers of cheesecloth

2. Slimy or Sticky

Slime or stickiness arises from leftover starch when straining is insufficient to remove all pulp residue.

For smoother milk:

  • Rinse almonds thoroughly after soaking
  • Blend into very fine paste, not just broken pieces
  • Strain slowly through fine nut bag, pressing out liquid

3. Separation & Curdling

Separation or curdling is caused by protein compounds clumping together upon contact with acid.

To prevent separation:

  • Consume within 3-4 days of opening
  • Limit contact with acidic foods
  • Store in airtight non-reactive glass or stainless containers

Rapid separation can indicate spoilage. When in doubt, discard.

4. Weak Flavor

For bold almond flavor, start with fresh, robust almonds and don’t over-dilute with too much water.

For fuller flavor:

  • Use Valencia or Italian sweet almonds
  • Reduce water to 3 cups per 1 cup nuts
  • Add pinch salt to amplify taste
  • Flavor with almond extract or vanilla

Taste your homemade almond milk once blended before bottling. Adjust ingredients if lacking in flavor.

Making Flavored and Fortified Almond Milk

One of the joys of homemade almond milk is the ability to customize flavors and nutritional profiles to suit your tastes.

Flavoring Ideas

Start with a base homemade almond milk recipe, then blend in desired flavors:

Vanilla – For classic flavor, add 1-2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean seed scrapings

Chocolate – Use 2-3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder per batch

Cinnamon – Add 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon, or one 4″ cinnamon stick during soaking

Fruit – Blend fruit like berries, mango, or banana into milk for vibrant flavors

Sweeteners – Mix in 2-3 Medjool dates, honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit to desired sweetness

Nuts/Seeds – For complexity, add 1⁄4 cup cashews, coconut flakes, hemp seeds or nut butters

Spices – Nutmeg, cardamom and ginger lend warmth and sophistication

Combine flavors like chocolate-raspberry or vanilla-cinnamon for gourmet creations.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Nutrient-Boosted Additions

Additionally, you can modify homemade almond milk to meet specific nutritional needs:

Protein – Use almond butter or add hemp, chia or pumpkin seeds

Probiotics – Stir in 1 tsp live culture yogurt

Fiber – Add 2 tsp chia or flax seeds and allow to thicken overnight

Calcium – Mix in 1 tsp blackstrap molasses

Healthy Fats – Blend in 1 Tbsp MCT or coconut oil

Vitamins – Stir in nutritional yeast, moringa powder, orange juice or spinach

The options for inventive, nourishing almond milk recipes are endless. Let your imagination run wild!

What unique flavors or superfood boosters have you tried adding to homemade almond milk?

Using Homemade Almond Milk in Recipes

One reason to go through the small effort of making your own almond milk is to control the ingredients for recipe use.

Homemade almond milk can be easily substituted in both savory and sweet dishes, adding nutrient density and fresh flavor compared to store-bought varieties or dairy milk.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use homemade almond milk:

1. Smoothies

Blending homemade almond milk into fruit or green smoothies makes them extra creamy. The subtle natural sweetness also balances out strongly flavored produce like kale or berries.

For a daily nutritious meal replacement, try combinations like:

  • Almond milk + banana + peanut butter + cocoa powder
  • Almond milk + mango + spinach + chia seeds

2. Overnight Oats

Soaking oats and toppings in DIY almond milk creates creamy overnight oats. The almond flavor pairs perfectly with cinnamon, raisins or almond butter mixed in.

3. Coffee Creamer

Frothy homemade almond milk makes for a delightful dairy-free coffee creamer. For a spiced latte, simmer almond milk with cinnamon, turmeric or pumpkin pie spice mix.

4. Baking

Homemade almond milk can substitute 1:1 for cow’s milk in baking recipes like:

  • Pancakes
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads

For best results, use extra egg or an added binder like flax meal since plant milk won’t have the same binding properties.

5. Curries

Nutty, protein-rich homemade almond milk excels at adding creaminess to vegetarian curries, stews and soups as a replacement for coconut milk.

What’s your favorite way to use homemade almond milk in recipes?

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk last And How Do I Store It Properly

Conclusion

Final Tips for Maximizing Homemade Almond Milk

Storing homemade almond milk properly is key for safety and maximizing shelf life. To recap best practices:

  • Refrigerate in airtight containers immediately after making
  • Freeze in batches for long-term storage
  • Look for signs of spoilage before consuming

Follow my recommendations for handling almonds, blending, straining, and flavoring to produce the creamiest, tastiest homemade almond milk.

Benefits Outweigh the Effort

While homemade almond milk requires more effort than grabbing a carton, the rewards of superior nutrition, better taste, and customization abilities make it worthwhile.

My guidelines equip you with expertise to easily make this plant-based milk at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

I often get asked several questions about maximizing the freshness of homemade almond milk. Here I’ll share answers to some common FAQs.

Does adding salt help homemade almond milk last longer?

This is a common myth. Adding salt does not make homemade almond milk last longer. Salting is an ancient food preservation technique that draws moisture out of foods to inhibit microbial growth. However, it does not have the same effect on liquids like nut milk.

In fact, adding salt may cause the proteins in the almonds to precipitate out of the milk more quickly, shortening its shelf life.

Should homemade almond milk be refrigerated immediately after making?

Yes, you should refrigerate homemade almond milk immediately after making for food safety. Leaving nut milk or any perishable food at room temperature for over 2 hours allows bacteria to multiply quickly.

Aim to get your homemade almond milk into an airtight container in the fridge within 30 minutes of making.

Can I freeze almond milk in the container I store it in?

You can, but freezing in the storage container can pose problems. As liquid almond milk expands during freezing, it may crack or break your container if filled too high.

For best results:

  • Leave 2 inches of headspace if freezing milk inside a container
  • Freeze in batch-sized portions like ice cubes or muffin tins
  • Use specially designed freezer-safe mason jars

How long does almond milk last once opened?

The shelf life depends on type and storage.

Homemade almond milk lasts:

  • Unopened: 5-7 days
  • Opened: 3-4 days

Whereas store-bought almond milk lasts:

  • Unopened: 10 days to 2 months
  • Opened: 7-10 days

So once opened, homemade almond milk lasts about half as long as commercial varieties due to no preservatives. Follow proper storage methods to maximize life.

What’s the best container for storing almond milk?

The best containers for storing almond milk are:

  • Mason jars
  • Glass bottles with tight lids
  • Pitchers with airtight lids

Avoid thin plastic containers which can crack when freezing. Use BPA-free containers.

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