Last Updated on May 12, 2023
As more consumers shift toward plant-based milk alternatives, oat milk has quickly gained popularity as a delicious and sustainable option. But whether you are a long-time fan or a curious newcomer, you may have some confusion about how to store your oat milk.
While refrigeration is the obvious choice for most dairy and non-dairy options, oat milk seems to fall into a gray area. So, does oat milk need to be refrigerated? In short, the answer is, it depends.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of oat milk available, which ones require refrigeration, and why. Whether you opt for homemade or store-bought, shelf-stable or chilled, we’ve got all the information you need to keep your oat milk fresh and delicious.
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What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk – the non-dairy milk alternative that has taken the world by storm. But what is it really?
Well, oat milk is plant-based milk made from oats and water that is often sweetened and enriched with vitamins and minerals. It’s a creamy and nutty beverage that is perfect for adding to your morning coffee, cereal, or smoothies.
Now, let’s talk about how this delicious drink is made. To make oat milk at home, you’ll need rolled oats, water, and a blender. Simply blend the oats with water until smooth, then strain and store in the fridge. It’s that easy! You’ll find a recipe with more instructions below.
But for those who don’t have the time or resources to make their own oat milk, commercial oat milk is made in a similar manner, but on a larger scale. The oats are soaked in water, blended, and strained to create a smooth and delicious milk that is then pasteurized, packaged, and shipped to your local grocery store.
Not only is it lactose-free, but it also has fewer calories and less fat than cow’s milk. Plus, it’s a great option for those who are environmentally conscious as oats require less water and land to produce compared to other milk alternatives.
Whether you make it at home or grab it off the shelf, oat milk is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional dairy milk.
How Long Does Oat Milk Last?
If you’re wondering how long oat milk lasts, the answer largely depends on how fresh it is when you buy it and whether it needs to be refrigerated.
Generally speaking, the shelf-stable oat milk you can find at the grocery store can last for up to a year when unopened and stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, though, the clock starts ticking, and you’ll need to use it up within 7-10 days.
Alternatively, the refrigerated oat milk you see in the dairy section of the store will only last about a week past its sell-by date, whether it’s opened or not.
If you’re making homemade oat milk, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge and use it within 3-5 days.
While purchasing oat milk seems more convenient, making it yourself is both fun and cost-efficient. Not only can you eliminate unnecessary additives, but you also have a better idea of how long to expect it to last. Give it a try!
Does Oat Milk Need to be Refrigerated?
If you’re a fan of oat milk, you may have found yourself asking, “How long can oat milk sit out before needing refrigeration?” The answer depends on whether you’re sipping on homemade oat milk or opting for a store-bought version.
For homemade oat milk, it’s recommended to always keep it refrigerated.
In contrast, shelf-stable oat milk found in the grocery store can last for several months unrefrigerated until opened. Once opened, it should be consumed within seven to ten days and stored in the refrigerator.
On the other hand, oat milk from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, like other dairy products, should be refrigerated at all times to maintain its freshness.
In any case, be sure to check the expiration or “best by” date on the packaging and trust your senses if the milk has an off smell or taste. So, whether you’re whipping up homemade oat milk or grabbing a carton from the store, it’s important to follow proper storage guidelines to ensure a delicious and safe experience.
What if I forgot to put my oat milk in the frig?
If oat milk has been left out of the fridge for more than two hours, the USDA recommends discarding it to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. This is because bacteria can start to grow at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
While it may be tempting to try and salvage the milk, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety. By properly storing your oat milk in the fridge and being mindful of how long it’s been sitting out, you can enjoy this delicious and nutritious beverage with peace of mind.
Examples of Shelf-Stable Oat Milk
If you’re considering the purchase of oat milk that doesn’t require refrigeration until opened, here are some of the popular oat milk brands that are shelf-stable and readily available at most supermarkets in the non refrigerated aisle:
Simple Recipe for Homemade Oat Milk
Are you tired of spending money on store-bought oat milk? Why not try making your own at home? It’s surprisingly simple.
All you’ll need are rolled oats, water, a blender, and a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.
- Start by soaking a cup of rolled oats (instant oats are not recommended) in three cups of water for at least 30 minutes (or overnight). Then, blend the mixture in a high powered blender until it’s smooth.
- Strain it through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, squeezing out all the liquid. For better results, double strain.
- Store in a clean airtight container for up to 5 days.
And that’s it! You can use your homemade oat milk in oatmeal, smoothies, or coffee. Plus, it’s healthier, more cost-effective, and more sustainable than buying the store-bought version. Give it a try and see for yourself!
How to store your homemade oat milk
The best way to store homemade oat milk is to transfer it into a tightly-sealed container, preferably a glass jar or bottle, and refrigerate it immediately.
Oat milk can last for up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator, but this can vary depending on the freshness of the oats used and the cleanliness of the container.
To ensure that your oat milk stays fresh, always use clean utensils and containers when handling it, and avoid leaving it at room temperature for too long.
If you have excess product that you won’t be able to consume within a week, consider freezing oat milk in an ice cube tray to use in smoothies or other recipes in the future.
Overall, storing your homemade oat milk properly will not only keep it fresh, but it will also ensure that it retains its creamy texture and delicious taste.
How to Know if Your Oat Milk Has Gone Bad
Have you ever opened your refrigerator and come across a carton of oat milk that has been sitting there for a while? It can be difficult to know whether it has gone bad or not. Fear not!
There are a few indicators that can help you determine if your oat milk is still good to consume. The first is to give it a good sniff. If it smells sour or off, it’s best to toss it out. Another way to check is to pour a small amount into a cup and give it a quick taste. If it tastes sour or has an off flavor, it’s time to say goodbye.
Finally, check the color and texture. If the oat milk looks thicker or clumpy, this is a clear indication it has gone bad. It’s important to know when to throw out spoiled food so you don’t put your health at risk. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your oat milk is always fresh and good to drink.
Why do you have to refrigerate oat milk?
Oat milk should be refrigerated once it is opened to maintain its freshness and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Depending on the type, shelf-stable oat milk can last around three months unrefrigerated until opened, but should always be stored in the fridge after opening. Homemade oat milk should also always be stored in the refrigerator.
How long does oat milk last in the fridge?
Oat milk will typically last 5-7 days in the refrigerator, but this can vary depending on fresh the oats were when used and the cleanliness of the container. Be sure to check expiry or “best by” dates and follow proper storage guidelines to ensure a delicious and safe experience.
Can I freeze oat milk?
Yes, you can freeze oat milk in an ice cube tray or other freezer-safe container. This is especially useful if you have excess oat milk that won’t be able to consume within a week. Make to label and date the container, so you know when it was stored. Frozen oat milk can last for up 3 months in the freezer.
How long can oat milk stay unrefrigerated?
Shelf-stable oat milk can last around three months unrefrigerated until it is opened, but should always be stored in the fridge after opening. Homemade oat milk should also always refrigerated as soon as possible for maximum freshness and safety. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your product if in doubt.
Conclusion: Does Oat Milk Need to be Refrigerated?
In conclusion, oat milk is a delicious and nutritious alternative to dairy and other plant-based milks. It can be found in both shelf-stable and refrigerated varieties, with the latter lasting up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator after opening.
For a more cost-effective and sustainable option, try making your own oat milk at home. Be sure to store it properly for maximum freshness and safety. Enjoy!