Are you a fan of walnut milk’s creamy, nutty goodness? If you’ve made the switch to this dairy-free alternative, you’re in good company. Walnut milk is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and antioxidants. However, to fully enjoy its benefits, you need to know how to store it properly.
Below, I’ll explore the best ways to store walnut milk, including refrigeration, freezing, and tips to spot spoiled walnut milk. Let’s get started!
What is the best way to store walnut milk?
The answer depends on whether you’ve purchased it from a store or made it at home.
If you’ve opted for store-bought walnut milk, you’ll likely find two main types on the market: shelf-stable and refrigerated.
Shelf-stable walnut milk is a convenient choice for those who prefer to stock up on their favorite dairy-free beverage. This type of walnut milk can be stored at room temperature until opened, making it an excellent option for pantry storage. Once you crack it open, though, it’s time to shift to the refrigerator.
The shelf-stable varieties are typically packaged in aseptic cartons or Tetra Paks, which provide a protective barrier against light and oxygen. This packaging helps extend the milk’s shelf life, but it’s crucial to read the label for any specific storage instructions.
Refrigerated walnut milk, on the other hand, is usually found in the chilled section of your local grocery store. This type of walnut milk is pasteurized, which means it has undergone heat treatment to kill harmful bacteria and extend its shelf life. Once opened, refrigerated walnut milk must be kept cold to maintain its freshness.
Before purchasing, always check the expiration date on the carton. When stored correctly, refrigerated walnut milk can stay fresh for up to a week or more after opening, depending on the brand and any preservatives used.
If you’re making your own walnut milk at home, store it in a lidded glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Does walnut milk need to be refrigerated?
Unlike the shelf-stable store-bought version, homemade walnut milk is not shelf-stable. It must be refrigerated promptly. As a general rule, store your homemade walnut milk in an airtight container or glass bottle with a lid to prevent exposure to air, which can lead to oxidation and spoilage.
Homemade walnut milk doesn’t have the same preservatives as store-bought versions, so it won’t last as long. Aim to consume it within 3-5 days to ensure optimal flavor and freshness. Keeping it in the coldest part of your refrigerator will help prolong its shelf life.
Can you freeze walnut milk?
The answer is yes! Freezing is a fantastic option to extend the shelf life of your walnut milk.
Steps to freeze walnut milk:
- Pour your walnut milk into an airtight container, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion when it freezes. You can also use an ice cube tray.
- Place the container or tray in the freezer, ideally in the back where the temperature remains the most consistent.
- Once frozen, transfer your walnut milk cubes to a freezer bag and seal tightly.
Thawing frozen walnut milk:
When you’re ready to use your frozen walnut milk, there are a couple of thawing options:
- Overnight in the refrigerator: The safest and best method is to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. This gradual thawing preserves the milk’s texture and flavor.
- Under cold water: If you need it in a hurry, you can speed up the thawing process by placing the sealed container or bag under cold running water. This should take an hour or less.
I don’t recommend microwaving frozen walnut milk, as it’s easy o overheat the milk, affecting its flavor and texture.
Remember that freezing and thawing can cause some separation in the milk, but a quick shake or stir will bring it back together.
How long does walnut milk last?
Whether you’ve got a store-bought or homemade batch of walnut milk, you might be wondering about its shelf life. Here’s a breakdown:
Store-bought shelf-stable walnut milk: Unopened, it can last for several months in a cool, dry place. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and consumed within 7-10 days.
Store-bought refrigerated walnut milk: It should be consumed within 7-10 days of opening.
Homemade walnut milk: Store it in the refrigerator and consume it within 3-5 days for the best taste and quality.
Frozen walnut milk: When properly frozen and stored, it can last for up to 3-6 months without significant loss of quality.
How to spot spoiled walnut milk
If your walnut milk smells or tastes sour, rancid, or off-putting in any way, it’s a clear indicator that it’s spoiled. In my experience, bad plant-based milk will often have a slimy texture. Fresh walnut milk should be smooth and consistent.
While separation can occur naturally in walnut milk, excessive separation or clumps that don’t mix back together with a quick shake may indicate spoilage.
If you observe any of these signs, it’s safest to err on the side of caution and dispose of the spoiled walnut milk.
As mentioned earlier, the shelf life of walnut milk depends on whether it’s store-bought or homemade. Store-bought varieties, whether shelf-stable or refrigerated, typically last between 7-10 days after opening. Homemade walnut milk should be consumed within 3-5 days for the best quality.
To keep nut milk fresh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Shake or stir before each use to prevent separation, and if you won’t use it within that time frame, consider freezing it in ice cube trays for longer storage.
Homemade nut milk, including walnut milk, should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge and consume it within 3-5 days.
To extend the shelf life of nut milk, consider freezing it. Properly frozen nut milk can last for several months without significant quality loss. Additionally, using preservatives, such as lemon juice or salt, in your homemade nut milk can help extend its freshness.