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Almond butter has become very popular in recent years, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't tried it at least once. If you are one of the many who enjoy this creamy treat, then you'll be interested to learn how long it will stay fresh when it's in your pantry or refrigerator. Never fear, we understand your concerns about expiration dates, and we have researched this question for you and have come upon all of the answers you need!
Almond butter can in fact go bad because it can become rancid over time. How long it lasts depends on what type of almond butter you are using and if you refrigerate it or keep it in the pantry. Whether or not it is opened will also factor into just how long your almond butter will last.
Almond butter does have quite a long shelf life, but you must follow some basic rules in order to make your almond butter last as long as possible. Keep reading to learn how to tell if your almond butter is rancid and the most up-to-date tips on almond butter storage.
Almond Butter Facts
Just how long almond butter lasts depends on several factors. First, it is helpful to know that not all almond butters are the same. Some of the store-bought brands contain preservatives; however, other natural or organic brands might not. Since preservatives "preserve," that should tell you that the almond butter containing preservatives will most definitely last longer than the products that don't contain them. Homemade almond butter won't last very long either.
Almond butter jars do have a best by date on them, but there are ways to make sure your almond butter lasts beyond that date. Where and how you store the jar will have a lot of impact on how long it stays fresh, and it is recommended that you keep the container in the fridge for optimal results. The freezer is another option for storing, especially if you have a lot of almond butter and you know you won't be able to use it by the expiration date.
One helpful storage tip that experts recommend is to store your jar of almond butter upside down. By doing this, the oil doesn't pool at the top, and instead, the oil is distributed throughout the jar. This will keep your almond butter fresher, and it will prevent it from getting too hard in the jar.
How Long Does Almond Butter Last After Its Expiration Date?
Not surprisingly, almond butter can last longer than what's actually printed on the label, but how long it lasts depends on if it's opened or unopened. Unopened almond butter can last about 6 months past its expiration date in the pantry and about a year if it's kept in the refrigerator.
If you open the container, it should generally last about 3-5 months past its best by date in the pantry and about 6- 9 months if it's refrigerated. Always smell it or give it a small taste before serving or using it in a recipe to ensure that it's still fresh and hasn't gone rancid.
Does Almond Butter Expire If Unopened?
Almond butter will absolutely expire even if it's unopened, so it's important to look carefully at the best by date on the jar before you use it. And as we stated earlier, when in doubt, give it a sniff to make certain it's still good.
In The Pantry
If you haven't used your almond butter and it's still sitting in the pantry unopened, you're in good shape as far as how long it will stay fresh. Eventually, however, you will have to throw it out, typically about 6 months past its expiration date.
In The Refrigerator
If it's unopened and in the fridge, you're in even better shape, but it will also expire after a certain period of time. The experts agree that after it's been in the refrigerator for about a year after the expiration date on the jar, it's probably a good idea to get rid of it.
Homemade Almond Butter
As we previously discussed, almond butter that doesn't have preservatives in it won't last as long. Although it's healthier, you'll have to eat it faster or it will definitely go to waste. Homemade almond butter will probably only last about 2 weeks in the fridge before it goes bad, so make sure you eat it up quickly!
How Can You Tell If Almond Butter Is Rancid?
Nuts are prone to a process called rancification which happens when they are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen because of the unsaturated fat in them. Therefore, keeping your almond butter in the refrigerator can help to avoid it becoming rancid. If you have any doubts about the freshness of your almond butter, there are a few ways to determine if it is rancid:
The best way to tell if your almond butter is rancid is by smelling it. If it doesn't smell right, that's a big clue that it might have gone bad. The smell in the jar might be kind of sour or it could even have a paint-like smell.
Another way to test it out is to taste it. Again, if it tastes bad in any way or like paint, that's a good indication it is rancid and needs to be tossed out.
Look At It
If you open up the jar and see any mold growing in it, that's a sure-fire way to determine that your almond butter is no longer good and needs to be thrown away.
How Long Can You Keep Opened Almond Butter?
Once you open up your jar of almond butter, the shelf life decreases, and because of this, it is absolutely recommended to put opened jars of almond butter in the fridge. This is especially true if you live in a warmer climate because warm, moist environments cause rancidity. It's not absolutely necessary to refrigerate almond butter, but it makes more sense if you don't use it a lot and you want to keep it fresh longer.
As we talked about earlier, no almond butter is the same, and if your almond butter doesn't contain preservatives, it might only last a few weeks in the fridge. If you have a typical store-bought variety that does have preservatives, then it should last about 6 months.
If you choose to keep your opened almond butter in the pantry, then that time is cut in half to about 3 months, and it will be even less for almond butter without preservatives.
Final Words On Almond Butter
So now you know how to tell if your almond butter is rancid or fresh enough to use in your favorite recipe. We also discovered that almond butter not only tastes great but also has a long shelf life that makes it very appealing for consumers. So the next time you're at the supermarket, remember to pick up a jar or two and enjoy this healthy and delicious treat!
For more helpful hints about getting the most out of your almond butter, click the links below: