While one whiff of sour cow's milk is all you need to know it's gone bad, it can be a little harder to read the signals for almond milk. It of course spoils just like other kinds of dairy and non-dairy milk, but how can you tell? These are the things to look for to know if it's time to toss it.
How to Tell If Your Almond Milk Has Gone Bad
First, the telltale signs depend on whether it's fresh or commercially made almond milk. If you made your own almond milk or bought a bottle of fresh stuff from a small producer, you've only got about five to 7 days before it will start to smell funky and clump up. You'll definitely know when it's reached this stage.
Commercially made almond milk is usually ultra-pasteurized. That means it's been heated quickly to 280°F, then cooled down quickly — this process extends shelf life. If it's a refrigerated carton, it's generally recommended that once you open it, it should be consumed within seven days. It it's shelf-stable almond milk, which can be stored at room temperature until it's open, you have about seven to 10 days to drink it once open (as long as the open container is kept in the fridge).
This timeframe is a guideline, however — the milk could still be totally fine to drink after those days have passed. The true test is how the milk looks and tastes: Once it gets thick, clumps a little, smells off, and tastes sour, it's time to toss it.
The Best Way to Store Almond Milk
To help ensure your almond milk has the longest life possible, tuck it away in the back of your fridge, where the temperature is the coldest and steadiest. That controlled temperature will help keep it fresh.
Oh and if you find that your milk has separated (a common occurrence with the fresh stuff), that doesn't mean it's gone bad — just shake it up and it will be good to sip. If it's still chunky after shaking, then it's time to toss it.
Get a recipe: How To Make Almond Milk at Home