Coconut milk is a popular choice for those who want to avoid dairy, or for those who are lactose intolerant. It has a delicious flavor that tastes like coconut meat itself with a little sweet and salty touch.
It is a popular drink to have because it has fewer calories and fat than cow’s milk. This is why people are always talking about how long coconut milk lasts. If you are someone who also wonders about how long coconut milk can last then this article is for you.
Table of Contents
So, How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
Many people confuse coconut water with coconut milk. They are two different things with different shelf lives. Coconut water is naturally produced and has very little fat whereas coconut milk has a high percentage of coconut fat.
It is made by mixing grated coconut meat with water. Coconut milk’s composition contains 50% water. They are two different things so they should be dealt with in different ways. Coconut water usually lasts longer than coconut milk so the same time of storage cannot be used for both liquids.
If you search the internet you will find many different time durations for coconut milk going bad. Some would say it has to be consumed in 10 to 15 minutes after opening the packing, while others would argue that coconut milk can last for 2 hours.
You will also find people who believe that coconut milk can last for days. So which one is true? Well, they can all be true because the answer does not lie in the coconut milk itself, it lies in the way you store the coconut milk. The way you store it has a great effect on the life of coconut milk.
Another important factor that affects the life of coconut milk is ‘temperature’. The temperature at which you store the coconut milk also affects its life. This is why it is important to store coconut milk at an ideal temperature.
What Container Is Ideal To Store Coconut Milk?
When shopping for a container to store coconut milk at home you have many options from glass jars with lids (airtight) to re-sealable baggies made out of plastic or aluminum foil- whatever is handy!
Just make sure whatever you use is airtight. The material of the container does not matter as long as it is food-friendly and air-tight.
Airtight containers keep the moisture out thus keeping the coconut milk fresh for longer. These containers can be easily bought at the mall or even at your local market at very reasonable rates.
If the coconut milk comes in a bottle or carton that cannot be air-sealed after opening, then it is best to place the opened milk in an air-tight container.
What Temperature Should Coconut Milk be Store At?
As already stated, there are two factors that affect the life of coconut milk. The container it is stored in and the temperature it is stored at.
It is recommended not to leave it in a room that gets too warm and/or has direct sunlight like an office space or kitchen countertop because heat can cause spoilage; instead, try storing your coconut milk in another part of the house like on top of a bookshelf near an open window where temperate will be cooler.
The best place to store coconut milk is in a refrigerator. Don’t keep it near the window during summer time as direct sunlight can spoil the coconut milk earlier than you would expect.
If you have an unopened pack of coconut milk that you did not purchase from the refrigerated section then that coconut milk can be stored at room temperature however it will go bad faster at room temperature.
So it is always better to store it in the fridge. Many experts even say that if you store the coconut milk at 0 degrees Fahrenheit then it can stay good for a very long time.
Coconut milk should last for about two weeks unopened; if you refrigerated or froze the coconut milk then they’ll last longer than two weeks. Some manufacturers even state six months but you should keep in mind, there are no guarantees with food safety!
This six months’ time is somewhat achievable if the coconut milk is stored in cool temperatures and away from direct sunlight or heat. However, once opened, this time period will shorten considerably because the enzymes within are exposed to air which causes them to change faster than before when they were still sealed off from outside contact.
If you’re not sure how long coconut milk lasts after opening, be sure to use an expiration date label on containers as well as check for signs like changes in color or taste with each passing day.
Why Would You Want To Save Coconut Milk For Weeks Or Months?
You may have seen people drink coconut milk but in reality, coconut milk isn’t produced to be consumed directly. It is actually used as an ingredient in other recipes. It is used in foods and drinks to enhance their taste and give a better overall experience to the consumer.
This is why you may need to save coconut milk for longer periods of time. For example, if you bought coconut milk at the end of November to be used in a recipe and there was some left after you were done.
So instead of throwing the remaining coconut milk away, you can store it. You can then use the same store coconut milk in your Christmas dinner where you are going to make different dishes and drinks that contain coconut milk. So you would have to save the coconut milk for almost a month.
How to Know If Your Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad?
One of the most basic ways to tell if your coconut milk has gone bad is to check the expiration date. All the packaged coconut milk has an expiration date on them and it is ideally recommended to throw the milk away after the expiration date.
Keep in mind that spoilage may not be apparent until much later than you would expect so always check the expiration date before buying. Bacteria starts to grow in such products after the expiration date which can become toxic and should never be consumed.
The spoiled contents of a coconut milk container should be discarded. This is because the bacteria that cause spoilage can grow and multiply while consuming protein in the milk, which could then become more toxic if consumed by people or animals.
Coconut milk spoils faster than canned varieties of dairy so it should always be stored properly after opening the container. Some signs that coconut milk has gone bad include changes in inconsistency (the texture becomes watery), an off odor (that doesn’t smell fruity anymore), and mold growth on top of the liquid when opened for use.
When considering whether your coconut milk has spoiled, take note if there are shell pieces floating at the top of the container too because these might indicate contamination by foreign objects.
If your coconut milk has been kept at room temperature for an extended period of time without being opened, discard it. The same goes for any unopened containers left out too long during hot days so try refrigerating them when not in use!
If unsure about whether your stored coconut milk has gone bad, open it up and give it a sniff test before using if there’s an off odor (that doesn’t smell fruity anymore), it’s best to discard the milk.
If you don’t want to store the coconut milk then it is always best to purchase smaller packing of coconut milk that you can use all of it for the recipe you are working on so that you don’t have to store or throw away any extra coconut milk.
You can purchase a new carton when you want to use coconut milk again. This will ensure that you always have fresh coconut milk for your recipes. Some people also believe that they can preserve coconut milk for an indefinite amount of time if they keep it frozen. That is not true.
Frozen coconut milk may not give out an odor, you may not see mold growing on it but the slight discoloration will tell you that the milk has gone bad. Sometimes you don’t even see any discoloration on frozen coconut milk but it is always better to discard it after a few weeks even if you don’t see any signs of the coconut milk going bad.