Coconuts are beautiful fruits. They give us many benefits in the form of edible nutmeat, coconut water, and coconut milk. Coconut is a popular ingredient in bakes and cooking because of its excellent flavor and refreshing aroma.
In addition, it is often used in desserts, curries, and smoothies. Coconut milk gives us a tremendously rich beverage that is a fantastic alternative to dairy.
Coconut milk is such a great ingredient that we all want to have it in our kitchens, but we might wonder whether coconut milk goes bad.
Does Coconut Milk Go Bad?
Although canned coconut milk has an impressively long shelf life, it can go bad. Boxed and fresh coconut milk has a shorter shelf life and will show signs of being spoiled much faster than canned coconut milk.
If you notice that your coconut milk has gone bad, it is best to avoid using it. However, if your coconut milk still seems fine but has gone past its best by date, you must check whether it has maintained its quality before adding it to your bakes or meals.
Since coconut milk that has gone bad can make you sick, it is always important to avoid it if it seems to have gone bad.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
Many people are very impressed by the long shelf life of coconut milk, especially coconut milk that has been canned.
However, coconut milk starts to decline in quality dramatically the minute you open the can or container. If your coconut milk is in a can, you can keep it for up to five years in your pantry without its freshness being affected.
However, once you open the can, you have about seven days before it will start to go bad. Therefore, you must keep it in the fridge during this time. If your coconut milk comes in a carton or a box, it can last up to a year if left unopened.
However, once you have opened it, you have seven days to enjoy it before it goes off. So, similarly to canned coconut milk, you need to keep it in the fridge after opening it.
If you have bought a coconut and made fresh coconut milk at home, you have about four days to use it before it goes bad. Keep it in the fridge during that time to guarantee its freshness.
You can easily freeze your store-bought coconut milk to improve its shelf life. Frozen coconut milk will last up to 3 months. It is a good idea to keep your coconut milk in your freezer if you aren’t in a rush to use it soon, since coconut milk freezes pretty well.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Unopened can||5 years||5 years||5 years|
|Opened can||2 days||7 days||3 months|
|Unopened carton||1 year||1 year||18 months|
|Opened carton||6 months||7 days||3 months|
|Fresh||Not recommended||4 days||1 month|
3 Tips to Tell if Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad
Knowing how to tell if your coconut milk has gone bad will help prevent you from using spoiled coconut milk in your cooking, baking, or smoothies.
It is very beneficial to tell if your coconut milk has gone bad, because if you use rancid coconut milk in your food preparation, you risk spoiling your meals, drinks or bakes.
In addition, consuming coconut milk that has gone bad can have serious health consequences, so therefore it is vital that you know the signs that your coconut milk has passed its best time of consumption. Here are three ways that you can tell if your coconut milk has gone bad:
Your coconut milk looks unusual.
Coconut milk has a light white color. It isn’t unusual for coconut milk to have a light gray color and it is perfectly fine if it does. However, a light pink shade in your coconut milk is a sign that it should be thrown out immediately.
That is because coconut milk turns pink after it has been contaminated with bacteria. If your coconut milk has changed color dramatically, it isn’t fresh anymore.
In addition, if your coconut milk has split completely it is best not to use it anymore. If your coconut milk shows signs of curdling, you shouldn’t use it anymore.
Lastly, if your coconut milk shows any signs of mold or organic growth, it is recommended that you stop using it. It is much better to get fresh coconut milk if yours looks strange.
Your coconut milk smells different.
Coconut has a light aroma that is quite distinctive. If your coconut milk smells sour or rancid, it is best that you don’t use it anymore. Likewise, if your coconut milk has lost its scent completely, it has probably lost its freshness.
Your coconut milk tastes weird.
Coconut milk should have a light and creamy taste. If your coconut milk is tasteless, it has not maintained its quality.
In addition if your coconut milk tastes rancid or foul you definitely shouldn’t use it anymore since it can affect the taste of the food or drinks that you are preparing. It is best to get fresh coconut milk if you doubt whether yours is still suitable for use.
2 Tips to Store Coconut Milk
If you store your coconut milk you will enjoy it for much longer, because it won’t go bad as quickly. The big difference in storing when it comes to coconut milk, is whether it has been opened or not. Here’s how you can store your coconut milk:
Storing unopened coconut milk
If you have a can, carton, or a box of coconut milk it is perfectly fine to keep it in the pantry while it is unopened. However, it is best to keep it away from direct sunlight or heat elements. Your unopened coconut milk will last well in a cool and dry pantry as long as it is unopened.
Storing opened coconut milk
If you have opened your coconut milk, it is very important that you keep it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can keep it in the freezer, too.
If you have canned coconut milk, it is best to transfer your coconut milk to a glass or plastic container instead of placing the can in the fridge or freezer.
By keeping it stored in the fridge or freezer, you extend the shelf life greatly. If you bought a coconut and now have fresh coconut milk, you need to keep it in the fridge, too.
It won’t last much longer than four days, but if left outside the fridge, it won’t even stay fresh for 24 hours. It is recommended that you keep your coconut milk away from strong smelling food or drinks while in your refrigerator.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Coconut Milk
Spoiling your meal, drinks, or bakes isn’t the only risk from using coconut milk that has gone bad. Since coconut milk gets exposed to bacteria once you open it, you risk the chance of getting food poisoning if you drink or use rancid coconut milk in your meals.
You might find that you are suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, a headache, and a fever if you accidently had coconut milk that has gone past its best.
Remember to stay hydrated while you experience the symptoms of food poisoning, and seek medical help if it doesn’t improve after 48 hours.
People who have sensitive stomachs might also find that they are in gastric distress after consuming coconut milk that has gone bad. They might experience severe cramping for up to 24 hours.
Can you Freeze Coconut Milk?
Yes, you can freeze coconut milk. In fact, freezing your coconut milk will make it last much longer.
Once you have opened your coconut milk, place it into the freezer for extended freshness. If you plan to use it for cooking, it is a good idea to place it in an ice tray so that you can easily remove small amounts of it.
Then you won’t have to wait for it to thaw before using it. If your coconut milk comes in a can, place it in a glass or plastic jar or container before freezing it.
If you plan to use your coconut milk in smoothies, you can let it thaw for sometime before throwing it into your blender.
By blending it while still frozen, it will make your smoothie cold and refreshing. If you plan to use your coconut milk in baking, remove it and allow enough time to let it thaw completely.
Coconut milk is a great alternative for people who are lactose-intolerant. It is also a great ingredient because it is creamy, light, and refreshing.
People enjoy its aroma and wonderful flavor and often add it to their Thai, Indian, and African dishes. By knowing how to store your coconut milk properly you will be able to enjoy it for so much longer without your coconut milk going bad.