Do you have a horseradish that has been lying around the house for some time, and you’re wondering whether it is still good? Worry no more. In this article, we’ll help you understand how long horseradish lasts and the risk of consuming it when expired.
For the benefit of extending the shelf life of your horseradish, we will also share some storage tips and tricks. With these, you may have your horseradish staying fresh for longer.
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Does Horseradish Go Bad?
So, does horseradish really go bad? The simple answer to this question is “yes”. Horseradish does go bad after some time. Like all the other plants, horseradish does not stay fresh forever. Over time, it starts developing changes in appearance, smell and taste.
However, how you store your horseradish is what determines how long it will stay fresh. Convenient storage in damp pantries may extend its shelf life awesomely. Further, ensuring the horseradish does not come into contact with water regularly gives you an extended usage period.
How Long Does Horseradish Last?
Do you find yourself wondering how long horseradish will stay fresh in the kitchen? Or are you afraid of making bulk purchases for fear of quick expiry? The shelf life of horseradish is quite long. Depending on where you keep it, it may even stay fresh for up to two months.
However, the shelf life may also be determined by how long you had stored the root before purchase. A recently harvested horseradish will last longer than one that has been in the store for longer.
A typical horseradish root will last between one and two weeks in the pantry. The only provision is that the pantry should be clean and insect-free. Additionally, it should also be dry and far from heat sources that fasten the horseradish rotting process.
When kept in the fridge, the root will stay fresh for a maximum of two months. However, it may start to rot earlier as the two months is not guaranteed. In cases where you are using horseradish sauce instead of the root, the package comes labelled with the dates it will have the best quality.
|Up to 2 weeks||1-2 months|
|Horseradish sauce||Best by date||
Two months after best by date
5 Tips to Tell If Horseradish Has Gone Bad
Observing the proper storage procedures makes your horseradish stay fresh for a more extended period. However, the horseradish does not stay fresh for ages, and after some time, it will expire. Here are some tips to tell whether your root or sauce has gone bad;
Turning mushy and soft
Whenever the horseradish root starts turning soft, withered and mushy, it is high time you got rid of it. A healthy root should be firm and robust even to the touch. You can tell a root has already gone bad if it is not hard enough.
However, the intensity of the softness is what determines whether you can use the horseradish or not. If it is slightly mushy, you can still consume it safely. However, if the root is exceptionally soft to the touch, we advise you not to consume it as it may affect your health.
Notable color change
Horseradish changes its color to dark or brown when it starts expiring. You might notice a slight color change, denoting that the damage is minimal. However, when the color change is deep, you might be required to dispose of the roots.
Once in a while, you might note a bizarre smell emanating from your pantry or fridge where you have kept your horseradish. Change in smell happens mostly when it comes to sauce. We always advise you to get rid of the horseradish sauce whenever it changes its fresh odor to something awful.
When horseradish goes bad, the fresh and sweet taste changes to bitter. It may even be too bitter for consumption. Also, the taste might turn too awful and render it uneatable. Hence, whenever you suspect that your horseradish is stale, you should feel the taste.
Mold growth on a horseradish that is kept in the pantry or fridge is an indication of spoilage. Though some molds are harmless, other types are extremely dangerous to the body. Whenever mold starts developing on your root or sauce, you should get rid of it immediately.
4 Tips to Store Horseradish
Horseradish is best enjoyed with seafood and beef when it is still fresh and good tasting. To boost the shelf life of horseradish and get the best service, you should practice the best storage measures. Consequently, storing the horseradish in unfair conditions hastens its expiry, thus giving you poor service. Below are some of the widely known storage tips that boost the shelf life of horseradish;
All roots generally store well in a moist and cold environment. Horseradish is no exception as it does perfectly well when kept in a fridge. It would be best to use a plastic bag with a damp paper towel in the bottom for maximum moisture supply for ideal storage.
Alternatively, you can store the roots in a cellar, provided there is a sufficient moisture supply. Whether you are storing the roots for re-planting or kitchen use, refrigeration is a suitable method that keeps them fresh to the purpose.
You can also successfully store your horseradish in the garden on the ground. The only provision for this is that the earth does not get too frozen to make it difficult to dig out the roots. Alternatively, if the season is dry, you can dig a small pit in the garden and bury the horseradish in there. However, this storage method is quite traditional and does not guarantee longer periods of freshness.
Storing in the pantry
You can also store your horseradish roots in the kitchen pantry if you intend to use them sooner. However, if the root is already cut, you should consider wrapping it with plastic paper because it quickly regrows. Storing in the pantry only guarantees a few days of freshness.
The best way to store horseradish for a long time is by freezing it. Interestingly, frozen horseradish can last up to six months while still fresh. To save up on space when freezing horseradish, you should cut it into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces also allow convenience as you can thaw each piece individually instead of thawing the whole root when you only need a smaller portion.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Horseradish
Horseradish has quite a good nutritional value on your body. Apart from being an awesome spice, it is best known for triggering a burning sensation in your sinuses, throat and mouth. Consequently, the sensation is good for relieving colds.
Additionally, the roots have powerful antibacterial properties, good for your body. However, consuming expired horseradish may lead to adverse effects on your body. The root loses its potency as it continues aging, thus it could have less nutritional value.
Some of the effects of consuming stale horseradish include:
Possible food poisoning
As earlier mentioned, mold starts growing on horseradish as it continues to age and expire. Mold does not only grow on the upper surface of the horseradish but also grows deeper inside. Hence, scrapping off the visible molds does not completely remove them. Consuming a molded horseradish puts you at the risk of food poisoning.
You could be risking your stomach health, stability and general body health by consuming expired horseradish. As mentioned above, the roots turn bitter and mushy when the horseradish reaches its expiry. Hence, the mushy and awful tasting horseradish could cause your stomach irritations.
We advise you always to get rid of expired horseradish and avoid eating it when you notice expiry signs.
Can You Freeze Horseradish?
Yes, you can freeze horseradish. In fact, it is the best storage method to ensure that the root stays fresh for the longest time possible. However, the horseradish might lose its pungency when frozen for an extended period. Generally, the freezing period should not exceed six months.
To freeze horseradish, you should follow these simple steps;
- Start by peeling out the outer layer of the horseradish roots. Peeling is essential because the root’s outer layer may stick too much to the flesh when frozen. Consequently, this might pose a significant challenge when thawing the root.
- After peeling the root, you should grate it into smaller pieces for the purpose before putting it in the freezer. However, you can decide to freeze the pieces wholly, depending on your preference. Grating the horseradish into smaller pieces makes it easier for you to thaw only the amount you need from time to time.
On the other hand, freezing the pieces wholly might cause inconveniences as each time you want to use a small amount, you end up thawing the entire horseradish.
- Next, put the grated horseradish dabs on a plastic wrap and place them in a pan in the freezer. When stiff enough, peel the dabs off the wrap and keep them in a freezer bag.
Knowing the safety of the spices we use in the kitchen is quite essential. Horseradish is very popular among vegetarians, thanks to its medicinal value.
It is crucial to know how to extend this spice’s shelf life for the best service. Furthermore, you should also have tips for identifying expired horseradish at your fingertips.