Oat milk is a vegan alternative to dairy milk that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is made from oats and water, which makes it a great alternative for people with allergies to soy, nuts, or lactose.
You can use oat milk in all the same ways as normal cow’s milk. You can use it in cereal, in your coffee or tea, or for cooking and baking. It is also a good alternative for those who want to cut back on their dairy intake.
But what exactly is oat milk? Does it go bad? How long does it last? Let’s find out.
What Is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is a plant-based alternative to dairy milk that you can drink on its own or add to coffee, smoothie, cereal, and more. It’s made by grinding oats, adding water, and straining the mixture to create a creamy beverage.
Oat milk is naturally gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan, which makes it a good choice for people with dietary restrictions or health concerns. It is similar to rice or soy milk but has a much milder flavor and thicker consistency than those other options.
With oat milk, you get what you pay for. Some brands are more processed than others, so read the label carefully before purchasing to make sure your brand contains only whole oats and water.
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Does Oat Milk Go Bad?
The answer is yes. Like all other types of milk, oat milk will eventually go bad. Store any unopened milk in its original container at room temperature (i.e. in your pantry or kitchen cabinet).
Once opened, transfer any leftover milk into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator (for up to 10 days). If you don’t use all of your refrigerated milk within seven days after opening it, it will spoil.
To extend the life of your opened milk, put it in the freezer. And if you notice any changes in its appearance, taste, or smell, throw it out and buy a new one.
What Is the Shelf Life of Oat Milk?
Oat milk has a shelf life of about 3 to 6 months past its best-by date (if unopened). This means that if you buy a carton of oat milk from the store, it should be fine for about 3 to 6 months after its expiration date as long as you don’t open it.
After opening, oat milk’s shelf life reduces to about 10 days if you store it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months, but keep in mind that this may cause it to become grainy when you defrost it.
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Can You Drink Expired Oat Milk?
Yes, you can drink expired oat milk, but you should probably avoid it. The reason for this is that the longer milk sits on the shelf, the more likely it is to have spoiled.
While some people may tolerate spoiled milk, you may develop food poisoning or other symptoms of foodborne illness. If your milk has reached its expiration date, open the carton and smell it before drinking it. If it smells sour or rancid, do yourself a favor and throw it out.
You should also make sure that there are no signs of spoilage on top or inside of the carton before drinking from it.
SEE: Can You Freeze Oat Milk to Make It Last Longer?
How to Tell If Oat Milk Is Bad
Look at the expiration date
If your milk has an expiration date, check it to see if the date has passed. If the date has passed, it’s probably bad and unsafe to drink.
Smell your milk
The next thing to do is open your milk and smell it carefully. If it has a sour odor or if it smells “off” in any way, don’t even bother with the other tests — throw it out immediately. Oat milk has a sweet, nutty aroma that should remain even after it putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Check for a color change
If you notice that your milk has turned brown or yellow, throw it out immediately. This is an indication that the product has been exposed to air or bacteria during manufacturing or storage.
Look for particles
Check if visible particles are floating in the liquid or settling at the bottom of the container. If this is the case, throw away the product immediately because it means it has been contaminated with bacteria.
Check for mold growth
Mold can grow in your milk if you don’t store it properly or if it has been contaminated by bacteria during production. Moldy food is dangerous to human health, so discard any milk that shows signs of mold growth (such as fuzzy patches on the surface).
Oat milk should not taste sour or bitter when you drink it straight from the carton or pour it into a glass of water or coffee. It should be sweet with no off-flavors that suggest spoilage. If this happens, throw away the container and buy another one from the store.
SEE: How to Stop Food Spoilage and Food Poisoning
How to Preserve Oat Milk
Store at room temperature
Don’t store your milk in direct sunlight or in a place where the temperature is high. Instead, store it at room temperature (around 68°F or lower).
Store it in the refrigerator
If you don’t want to use all of your milk right away, store it in the refrigerator after opening. Use an airtight container when storing it in the fridge so that there’s less oxygen available for bacteria growth.
Store it in the freezer
You can extend the shelf life of your milk by freezing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. You’ll want to leave some room for expansion when you freeze the milk because it will expand as it freezes.
Another good way to freeze your leftover milk is to pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it until solid. When you’re ready to use it, simply defrost it overnight in your fridge or at room temperature.
Always seal your milk tightly with lids or caps when storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This helps to prevent contamination from bacteria or mold growth.
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Is oat milk gluten-free?
Yes, it is. Oat milk is naturally gluten-free but there’s a chance that it may contain traces of gluten due to cross-contamination. If you follow a gluten-free diet and want to try this milk, look for products that are certified as gluten-free.
Is oat milk good for weight loss?
Yes, it is. Oats are high in fiber, which is essential for weight loss. And unlike other grains, oats are low in calories and fat — making them an ideal choice for weight loss.
If you want to include oat milk in your diet plan, make sure you buy unsweetened versions and limit your intake to 1 cup per day. This is because oat milk sometimes contains plenty of sugar from natural sources like honey or maple syrup.
Is oat milk good in coffee?
Yes, it is. Oat milk has a mild flavor that works well with any type of coffee, especially dark roasts. It also works well for lattes and cappuccinos because it doesn’t overpower the taste of the other ingredients in the drink.
If you want to use oat milk in your coffee, try using just a little at first and adjust as needed. You can also add some vanilla extract or cinnamon to give the milk a more balanced flavor.
SEE: Can You Freeze a Gallon of Milk and Have It Still Taste Good?
Oat milk does go bad. But it doesn’t go bad as quickly as some other types of milk, which is why it’s a great alternative to regular milk.
Unopened oat milk has a shelf life of about 3 to 6 months past its best-by date. Once you open your milk, be sure to store it in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it from going bad immediately.
Thanks for reading.
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