As more and more people look for a healthy substitute for regular flour, almond flour is becoming a common ingredient in many homes. However, because it is still fairly new, a lot of us know very little about it in terms of its shelf life. That’s why in today’s topic we’ll be exploring almond flour’s lifespan, storage, as well as things that make it spoil prematurely. So, let’s start.
Does Almond Flour Go Bad?
Yes, almond flour can and does go bad. The reason is that the almond seeds from which it is made contain high content of plant-based oils, which are prone to oxidation and rancidification.
If stored properly, almond flour can last for a couple months beyond its best-by date. However, if it stays in storage for too long, the oil in it can rancidify, causing the product to become sour and stale.
Also, it is important to note that the majority of almond flour is made from almonds that have been blanched, and the process itself can reduce the product’s lifespan as well.
How Long Does Almond Flour Last?
When it comes to shelf life, almond flour is just like coconut flour, peanut flour, or any other flour made from nuts – provided it is tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place, almond flour can last a long time.
An unopened packet in the pantry will keep its freshness for about three to five months past the printed date while the same packet stored in the refrigerator will retain its quality for between seven and twelve months beyond the best-by date. When frozen, the shelf life of the packet increases significantly and almond flour can keep for up to two years.
An opened packet of almond flour, on the other hand, will not retain its quality for too long. Stored in the pantry, the packet should be finished before the best-by date. But you can help prolong its life by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Refrigerated opened almond flour will stay fresh for two to four months after the best-by date while its frozen sister will be able to serve you for an extra five to ten months past this date.
The following table breaks down the lifespan of almond flour when stored in different environments.
|Pantry (Past Best-by Date)||Refrigerator (Past Best-by Date)||Freezer (Past Best-by Date)|
|Unopened||3 to 5 months||7 to 12 months||1 to 2 years|
|Opened||Use before best-by date||2 to 4 months||5 to 10 months|
5 Tips to Tell If Almond Flour Has Gone Bad
When almond flour goes bad, it may exhibit several clear signs that show the product belongs to the dustbin. Here are the most common ones.
1. Change in Aroma
Fresh almonds usually have a distinct nutty smell, and that aroma lingers even when the seeds are ground. If you sniff an old packet of almond flour, it should give off this sweet aroma if it is still good to eat. If the flour smells moldy or like old wood, chances are it is already done for and you should not consume it.
2. Altered Color
After blanching, almonds are no longer brown but ivory white in color. This is the color any almond flour comes in. If you have almond meal, the color may be white-brown or faded yellow. Regardless, your flour should be able to maintain its original hue throughout its shelf life. If it has acquired a different color, it means it is no longer safe to consume and should be thrown out.
One of the reasons almond flour should be tightly sealed before it can be put away is to lock out moisture. If water sneaks into the packet, over time, your flour will form clumps and consequently, it will become a breeding ground for mold.
The flour can still be saved if the clumps are spotted soon enough, but if these clumps are left in there for a while, mold will start to grow and spread over the entire packet and you won’t be able to use the product.
Mold loves humid areas, and as stated, if you let your flour absorb moisture from the atmosphere, mold is one of the phenomena that are likely to happen. When you see gray or bluish-green spots in your flour, that packet is long gone.
Some people will tell you to get rid of the affected areas and use the rest of the flour, but that’s not how mold spores work. The spots you see on the surface run deep, and discarding the affected areas will not help. Just throw put the entire packet.
5. Insect Activity
Almond flour can attract worms, insects, and bugs of all kinds if left unsealed. They will feed on the flour and breed inside the package, creating an entire army. If you see insects crawling on your flour or holes in the packaging, it would be safe to assume the whole product is infested and you shouldn’t use it.
3 Tips to Store Almond Flour
Proper storage techniques can mean the difference between almond flour that stays fresh months or even years after the printed date and one that goes stale in just a few months of buying it. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this nutrient-rich ingredient the longest.
1. Select a Cool Dry Place, Away From Light
Heat, moisture, and light are some of the major culprits when it comes to the spoilage of almond flour. Heat and light will cause the product to oxidize and go rancid and moisture will cause it to get moldy. Always ensure your almond flour is stored away from moisture, the stove, or direct sunlight.
2. Keep Leftover Almond Flour Sealed
Unsealed almond flour attracts moisture, bugs, and odors from adjacent foodstuffs, all of which can cause the product to go bad prematurely. That’s why you should ensure your flour is properly sealed before putting it away.
If the original package cannot be resealed, we recommend transferring the flour into a Ziplock bag or airtight container. If you use the former, make sure to squeeze all excess air out to minimize the risk of oxidation.
While almond flour is shelf-stable, its lifespan increases significantly if stored in the refrigerator. The cold temperatures slow down the rancidification process, enabling the product to live months or even years beyond its best-by date. Not just that. Insects cannot survive in the cold refrigerator environment, which ensures your flour stays safe.
If you wish to prolong the life of your almond flour even further or if you have bought the product in bulk, consider freezing. In the freezer, almond flour can last for many, many years, sometimes almost indefinitely.
This video has additional tips on how to store flour correctly. While it covers all types of flour, you can use the insights as a guide to store your almond flour long-term.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Almond Flour
Our recommendation for you is to stop using almond flour as soon as you notice signs of going bad. Sure, consuming a single cookie made from spoiled almond flour may not have any adverse effects, but if you eat an entire bowl, you may experience symptoms of food poisoning such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
If you have a sensitive stomach, ingesting large volumes of expired almond flour may also result in stomach irritation also known as gastritis. Any abdominal pains or food poisoning symptoms that last for more than two days of eating expired almond flour should be checked by a doctor.
Can You Freeze Almond Flour?
Absolutely. Frozen almond flour can last almost indefinitely. If you are buying almond flour in bulk, consider going for the one that is already packaged in sealed plastic. That way, you can just put it in the freezer without any extra prep.
If the package of your almond flour is not freezer-friendly, however, then you need to look for an airtight container or freezer bag. Simply place the entire packet into the bag or container and chuck it in the freezer.
When you are ready to use, let the flour sit at room temperature for a few hours; it will keep it from forming clumps when you start to mix the ingredients.
Almond flour is shelf-stable, and if stored in a cool, dry, and dark pantry, the product can last a long time. Refrigerating or freezing, however, can double or even triple the flour’s shelf life, enabling it to serve you even longer, but if you suspect the product is not safe to eat or see any signs of going bad, discard it.