Did you buy a can of coconut milk to make a special recipe and forget to use it? Well, this happens to me a lot of times. But before using it in another dish, find out how long it lasts to ensure food safety.
Homemade coconut milk lasts for around 3-5 days when stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. On the other hand, commercially produced coconut milk can last for several months to a year when stored in a cool and moisture-free place.
However, the shelf life of coconut milk can vary depending on several factors. These include the quality of the ingredients used to make it, how it’s scooped out, and most importantly, how it’s stored.
In this article, we will find the answers to all these questions and learn how to store coconut milk in the right way to extend its shelf life. So, let’s take a look at all this information!
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
|Type of Coconut Milk||Shelf life (Room temperature)||Shelf life (Refrigerator, unopened)||Shelf life (Refrigerator, opened)|
|Homemade Coconut Milk||–||–||3 – 5 Days|
|Canned coconut milk||2 – 5 years||2 – 5 years||7 – 10 Days|
|Carton coconut milk||6 – 12 months||6 – 12 months||7 – 10 Days|
The shelf life of coconut milk depends on whether it is homemade or commercially produced. But the shelf life of commercial coconut milk also differs depending on whether it’s canned or carton packed.
While homemade coconut milk can only last for 3-5 days, canned coconut milk can last for 2-5 years if unopened and 7-10 days when refrigerated after opening.
But an unopened carton packed coconut milk has a shorter shelf life of 6-12 months, and opened carton packed coconut milk only lasts for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
By now, you must have figured out whether to use or dispose of that coconut milk in your hand. But let me also tell you that the shelf life of coconut milk depends on the brand and the additives it uses in the product.
While the timelines above tell you the average life of coconut milk, how you store it defines how long it remains safe to use. Improper storage can spoil your coconut milk in time.
So, let’s check out how to store coconut milk to maintain its quality and the signs telling you it has gone bad.
How To Tell If Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad?
Are you planning to make a delicious curry or soup with the help of coconut milk? The idea sounds amazing! But did you check whether your coconut milk is in the right condition to use? Let’s take a look at all the signs that indicate spoilage in coconut milk.
A change in smell is the first indicator that tells whether your coconut milk has gone bad. Take a sniff. If your coconut milk smells sour or rancid, it is a clear sign that it has gone bad, and you should toss it away.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover. But in the case of food, judging it by its looks can tell you a lot about the condition of your food. The presence of mold and the chunky or lumpy texture of coconut milk indicates its gone bad. If you find any of these three signs, it’s time to say goodbye.
If the smell and appearance of your coconut milk seem fine, you should also do a taste test before adding it to your dish.
Take a sip of the coconut milk you have. It has likely gone bad if you find an off-flavor or it tastes sour. Using such coconut milk will spoil the taste of your dish.
How To Store Coconut Milk To Extend Its Shelf Life?
Proper storage of coconut milk is the key to extending its shelf life. Take a look at some tips to store coconut milk the right way.
1. At Room Temperature
Make space in your pantry because canned coconut milk should be stored in a cool, moisture-free place, away from direct sunlight, and at room temperature.
Homemade coconut milk should be refrigerated in an airtight container at all times. But unlike canned coconut milk, carton-packaged coconut milk should always be stored in the refrigerator, whether opened or not.
Moreover, opened canned or carton-packed coconut milk should always be transferred to an airtight container before refrigerating. This will make it last longer.
Coconut milk can be frozen for about six months. However, coconut milk should not be frozen in its original packaging.
You can freeze coconut milk by transferring it to an airtight container or an ice cube tray. To thaw coconut milk, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
If you plan to freeze coconut milk, it should be noted that frozen coconut milk turns grainy in texture and loses some of its flavors when defrosted.
Tips To Extend The Shelf Life Of Coconut Milk
Take note of some additional tips so you can use your coconut milk for a longer time.
- When buying commercial coconut milk, opt for a reputable brand with the least amount of additives or preservatives. The quality of coconut milk and its ingredients directly impact its shelf life.
- Once opened, coconut milk should be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. This will make it last longer and prevent contamination.
- Always use clean spoons to scoop out coconut milk. This helps prevent contamination and the growth of bacteria that can spoil the milk.
- Before using coconut milk, shake the container or can to ensure it is mixed well. Coconut milk can separate if stored for a long time.
- It’s best to use the coconut milk before it expires.
- If you have unused coconut milk, consider freezing it in an airtight container. Frozen coconut milk can last up to six months.
You can make a variety of delicious and healthy food items using coconut milk. However, you should make sure of its freshness and good quality in order to achieve desirable results.
Commercially produced coconut milk has a longer shelf life as compared to homemade coconut milk. But there are always chances that it may go bad if not stored properly. Thus, you must ensure proper storage of coconut milk at all times.
I hope you found all the information mentioned above useful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Till then, enjoy your culinary experiments and stay safe!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you drink coconut milk 7 days after opening?
Coconut milk can be consumed 7 days after opening if stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, it’s always important to check for any signs of spoilage.
What factors indicate that coconut milk has gone bad?
Signs of spoilage include off odor, taste, formation of mold, and change in texture.
What does rancid coconut milk taste like?
Rancid coconut milk tastes sour, spoiled, and unpleasant.
What should coconut milk look like when opened?
Coconut milk, when opened, should be thick and creamy. It should be white in color and have a smooth texture.