Does Oat Milk Go Bad? How Long Does Oat Milk Last?

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Oat milk’s one of the famous milk alternatives since it’s healthier and better for the environment than dairy milk. Since it’s not dairy or made from cow’s milk, you might be wondering: does oat milk go bad?

The answer may surprise you!

Oat milk is made from oats, so it has a shorter shelf-life than cow’s milk – but that doesn’t mean it goes bad right away.

Read on to learn more about the shelf life of oat milk and how you can keep it fresh for longer.

What’s Oat Milk Made Of?

It is made of oats, with some brands fortifying it with vitamins and minerals. These are plant-based milk alternatives for vegans and those allergic to nuts (like almond milk, soy milk) or lactose intolerant. Free from dairy and nuts, it became very popular for its health benefits. (*)

There are different brands to invest in, each having different flavors and vitamins fortified in it.

Learn more: What Does Oat Milk Taste Like? And Why Should You Try It

Does Oat Milk Go Bad? How Long Does Oat Milk Last?

You’re probably here because you have a pack of store-bought oat milk that’s gone way past the best by date. Is it still possible to drink it, or will you need to chuck it out?

Well, that depends on various factors, such as:

  • How do you store
  • The best by label
  • If it still looks and tastes good

The best by dates aren’t based on the most accurate sciences. That is why these dates are there for helping people know when the food retains its best quality.

It doesn’t completely determine the product’s food safety but shows you how long something will stay good for. That said, it can last past the expiration date!

And fortunately, oat milk can last very long if stored properly.

Here is oat milk’s shelf life based on how it’s stored:

  • Shelf-stable oat milk lasts for one to three months past the best by date.
  • An unopened pack lasts for seven to ten days past the best-by date if refrigerated.
  • An opened carton of oat milk lasts for about four to seven days if refrigerated.

Of course, another major factor to consider is whether you opened your carton or not.

Opened oat milk becomes exposed to bacteria, pollutants, and moisture, which makes it spoil quicker.

Also, take note that the mentioned shelf life recommendations are based on adequately stored oat milk.

It can spoil even quicker if left out in the open.

That’s not all, folks! We’ve got more in store so you know whether your oat milk’s gone bad and how to keep it fresh for longer.

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How To Tell If Oat Milk Is Bad?

Oat milk goes bad from improper storage, whether it’s before or after its past the expiration date. Before you drink it, we recommend that you test it out and watch out for signs that oat milk has gone bad.

Here are ways to tell if your milk is bad and needs to be disposed of:

1. Check the consistency

Pour your milk into a glass. If it is lumpy, thick, or slimy and difficult to pour, it’s spoiled. But if you notice milk separating a bit, that’s normal.

We recommend shaking it gently before you drink it.

Check the color as well. It should be creamy white. If it isn’t, then it may mean it’s bad.

A yellow tint on milk will indicate spoilage and mold growth.

Speaking of mold growth, pour a bit more milk into the glass, and you might see spores or other signs of mold and bacteria in the milk. If you do, dispose of the milk immediately.

But flavored varieties may have different colors. If the color is different from when you first got oat milk, it’s best to throw it out.

2. Smell It

Next is to smell your milk. If it’s gone sour or smells expired, it’s time to throw it away. Usually, rancid one smells acidic or not fresh, compared to when you first opened it.

Fresh oat milk would have a sweet, nutty aroma to it. You can smell it when you first open it so that you can compare the smell over time.

3. Taste It

Lastly, if you are still unsure whether it’s spoiled, taste it. Only have a small amount of it first. If it tastes sour, spit the milk out and dispose of the milk. But if it tastes normal, your milk is still good for drinking.

Learn more: The Shelf life of Dairy Products

Can You Get Sick From Expired Oat Milk?

If you drink rancid oat milk, there’s a possibility of getting sick. We don’t recommend trying expired milk of any kind, as food poisoning may occur.

You wouldn’t want to experience vomiting, diarrhea, or intestinal inflammation! If you tasted a sip of rancid oat milk, that’s fine. Just don’t drink an entire cup of it! Throw it out immediately.

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How to Store Oat Milk Properly?

Storing oat milk properly is essential for it to last longer than its expiration date. Here are a few storage tips to follow:

Storing Opened Oat Milk

Once you open the carton, shelf-stable or not, you’ll need to place it in the fridge. Chilled cartons already need to be placed in the fridge immediately, even if unopened.

Storing Unopened Oat Milk

For unopened cartons of shelf-stable oat milk, you can place it in your pantry, kitchen cabinet, or countertop. Just make sure that it stays away from heat sources and light. A cool and dry place is the best storage location, similar to being stored in supermarkets.

Other tips to consider

These are basic practices we recommend following to keep your milk from lasting longer:

  • Keep the milk’s carton sealed tight if not using it
  • Never drink straight out of the milk carton unless you plan on finishing it in one sitting
  • Pour all oat milk needed in one glass and place it right back in the fridge after use
  • If you don’t have a resealable carton, pour oat milk into your glass jar or plastic container.

What Can You Do With Expired Oat Milk?

Are you looking for ways to get creative with your expired oat milk? While it won’t be suitable for drinking past its expiration date, there are still plenty of creative and practical uses for expired oat milk. From unique DIY cleaning solutions to making natural facial masks and savory dishes, here are some clever ways to put your old carton of oat milk to good use:

  1. Try using it as an ingredient in baking recipes like breads, cakes and muffins – a great way to add moisture.
  2. Create a natural facial mask by combining equal parts honey, lemon juice and expired oat milk – perfect for soothing the skin!
  3. Mix up a natural detergent by combining expired oat milk with unscented liquid dish soap and white vinegar – great for cleaning dishes and more around the house.
  4. Cook savory dishes like risotto by substituting regular cream with equal parts water and expired oat milk – delicious!
  5. Whisk together one cup of water, two tablespoons of baking soda, two teaspoons of vegetable oil-based soap flakes, three tablespoons of white vinegar and one tablespoon of expired oat milk for an all-natural all-purpose cleaner that can be used on counters or surfaces around the home.

Wrapping It Up

Does oat milk go bad or expire? How long does oat milk last? Fortunately, it can stay fresh for long, provided you store it properly.

Now that you know more about oat milk keep your cartons in the proper place and test it continually to ensure it’s safe to drink.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve got more in store for you to learn more about this cow milk alternative!

Check out these frequently asked questions:

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