Coconut milk has long been lauded for its health benefits and wide range of uses. Many grocery stores now boast multiple brands of coconut milk on their shelves to give consumers access to the versatile liquid. Coconut is available in cans, boxes, and sometimes even bottles. But can it go bad?
Coconut milk can, in fact, go bad. Once a container of coconut milk is open, you have around a week to use is it to keep it refrigerated. Look for the telltale signs of your coconut milk going bad- smell, darkening, or chunks all indicate your coconut milk is no longer any good. Keep your coconut milk out of humidity for the longest shelf life.
While you may use coconut milk for baking, cooking, or just enjoy it in a beverage every now and then, it is important to check your coconut milk before use to make sure that it is still good. Here’s how to keep your coconut milk from going bad, and signs that it may be time to toss it in the garbage.
Does Coconut Milk Go Bad? How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
While you may think that coconut milk has the same rules for expiration as cow milk, this is not true. Because coconut milk is from a plant, it goes through a different process over time.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last Outside
Storing your coconut milk outside is definitely not a good idea. The compounds in coconut milk will cause it to go bad by the end of the day, or even sooner if you live in a warm climate.
If your coconut milk is unopened, it will last slightly longer outside, but it is still not ideal. Sealed coconut milk lasts longer than an opened container in general, but outdoors is not a good place for storage of milk of any kind.
Room temperature is alright for storing unopened containers of coconut milk, but the best place for coconut milk will always be the fridge or freezer instead.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last in the Fridge
Your coconut milk will be happiest in the fridge once you open it. Depending on whether it was canned to begin with or in a carton, your milk will last different amounts of time.
Canned coconut milk lasts between 4 and 6 days from when you opened it. Fortunately, Many recipes will call for half or the entire can, so you typically will not have problems using your coconut milk before it expires.
Coconut milk that you purchase in a carton will last longer than its canned counterpart. Cartons of coconut milk will stay good for between 7 and 10 days. After this time, it may not go bad right away, but you will notice a distinct lack of freshness.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last in the Freezer 100+ words
Unopened cans of coconut milk will not go bad for years, so you should not have to worry about their shelf life. But if you have leftover coconut milk from a recipe, you can try freezing it to save the excess.
Coconut will last a long time in the freezer. It can even last years if you freeze it correctly! Make sure that your coconut is sealed properly in the freezer.
If you would like to know more about freezing coconut milk for future use, check out our tips on freezing coconut milk below.
In conclusion, you can find a way to properly store your coconut milk for any kind of need. Rancid coconut milk can put people off of using it ever again, so keep an eye on your coconut milk to make sure it is still good!
How To Tell If Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad
While it may be a little tricky to tell the exact time that your coconut milk will go bad, there are key indicators that you can monitor to ensure the freshness of your product. Color, texture, smell, and taste are all ways to check if your coconut milk is still good.
Color: Your coconut milk is ideally a nice, creamy white color. Any kind of variation of color from this shade is a sign that your milk may be past its prime. Often, coconut milk will actually go pink when it goes bad. This is from a kind of mold that grows on expired coconut milk.
Texture: While coconut milk that has been frozen and then thawed may become grainy, fresh coconut milk should be smooth. If it is no longer a liquid, dispose of your coconut milk immediately.
Smell: Check the smell of your milk to see if it is still good. As coconut milk ages, it releases gases when it goes bad that smell sour or metallic. You may also notice that your cans of expired coconut milk will expand from these gases.
Taste: Taste should only be used as a last resort when checking coconut milk. You will be able to tell if your milk has gone bad if it tastes foul or bitter. Coconut milk should taste a little sweet, but still very fresh.
How to Store Coconut Milk?
Proper storage of coconut milk will extend its shelf life and give you peace of mind that the product is still good. Fortunately, coconut milk does not require special tools to properly store it; you can keep it in the fridge or freezer with no problem.
Seal your container: Make sure whatever you are using to hold the coconut milk has an airtight seal. This will prevent outside material from entering the milk, and keeps the air around it fresh.
Avoid humidity: The main enemy of coconut milk is humidity. Try to store it in a cool, dry place. Outside moisture will make it go bad much quicker.
Can You Freeze Coconut Milk? How?
Freezing packages of coconut milk from the store is not usually necessary. If stored in a cool and dry place, sealed coconut milk can last for years. However, you may end up with an opened container of coconut milk that you would like to preserve instead of dumping the extra down the drain. In this case, freezing is a viable option.
Use an ice cube tray: An ice tray is an easy way to freeze your coconut milk. Simply pour your milk into the tray to begin and place it in the freezer.
Place it in bags: After your coconut milk is in cube form, you can take it out of the tray. Move the cubes into a large, freezer-safe Ziploc bag. This bag can go right back into the freezer, and you will have a steady supply of frozen coconut milk.
Use sealed containers: If you prefer, you can just pour your coconut water into a Tupperware. Then just place the container into the freezer. This method means that you will have to thaw the milk before using it (such as in smoothies), but if that is not a problem, it is a great option.
How to Thaw Coconut Milk?
Thawing coconut milk is easy. However, you should know beforehand that coconut milk will separate when frozen. If you are planning on drinking the coconut milk itself, freezing is probably not the best idea. Thawing coconut milk will cause it to develop a grainy texture.
Use the fridge: You can put your coconut milk in the fridge overnight for an easy thawing process. This can take some time, so make sure you will not need your thawed coconut milk immediately.
Use the microwave: By warming your milk in small bursts with a microwave, you can accelerate the thawing process. Always stir it in between heating sessions.
Once your coconut milk is thawed, you can run it through blender to get rid of the grainy texture that will appear.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Milk’s Shelf Life
Is it safe to consume coconut milk past the sell-by date on the package?
Coconut milk does go bad relatively quickly after being opened, but the sell-by date is not always completely accurate. If your coconut milk has been stored correctly and is still unopened, it is often still okay to consume for months. If you have milk past the sell-by date, always examine it for signs of going bad.
Does homemade coconut milk last longer than store-bought coconut milk?
If you choose to make coconut milk at home, you should know that it will go bad much quicker than the store-bought varieties. This is because homemade coconut milk does not have access to the same kind of packaging equipment that sealed store-bought coconut milk. Homemade coconut milk will only stay good for one or two days in the fridge.
Coconut milk is healthy, creamy, and can be an essential part of your dish. You need to learn how long coconut milk lasts to make sure that you are not serving your friends and family food products that have gone bad. Watch your coconut milk for signs of spoiling, and throw it out when it is time.