You may be wondering: how long does oat milk last out of the fridge? You’ve probably heard of shelf-stable oat milk, but are you aware of sour oat milk? The USDA advises throwing away any half-opened oat milk that has been out at room temperature for more than two hours. That is the recommended recommendation for perishable foods that are not refrigerated, which open oat milk is. This article will cover the shelf-life of oat milk and the signs of bad oat milk. You can use this information to decide whether to purchase a bottle of oat milk.
How Long does Oat Milk Last Out of the Fridge?
The USDA’s official safety recommendations state that an opened container of oat milk should not be left outside for longer than two hours. Because germs thrive most quickly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, drinking oat milk that has been left out for more than two hours may be hazardous.
Of course, if you leave it out for longer than that, it should be fine, but you never really know.
Be wise if you ever choose to deviate slightly from that rule. If the oat milk is left out on the counter for three hours, it should be fine. If you leave it out overnight, however, it needs to be thrown out.
I’d rather be cautious.
Reference: Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value-added foods – a review
Why is it Necessary to Refrigerate Oat Milk?
Shelf-stable oat milk can be left at room temperature until it is opened. The leftovers need to be refrigerated after being opened. On the other hand, chilled oat milk must always be refrigerated.
In other words, once you open the carton or bottle, put your oat milk in the refrigerator the same way you would store milk from other sources (refrigerate it if it was in the refrigerated section).
Regular milk and various dairy-free milk substitutes including almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and rice milk function in the same way.
What is the Difference Between Shelf-Stable and Refrigerated Oat Milk?
The majority of the time, the packaging is what distinguishes shelf-stable oat milk from refrigerated oat milk. The nutritional value and components of both kinds are typically the same.
Simply said, cold-temperature-required cartons or bottles are not aseptically packaged. You don’t need to worry about any strange preservatives in the shelf-stable variety because the rest is essentially the same.
As a result, you should carefully check the labels to make sure that you’re keeping yours properly.
Some companies, like Califia Farms, make things a little bit simpler for their customers by using bottles for shelf-stable oat milk and cartons for the former.
Additionally, not every brand provides the refrigerated variety; therefore, contact your preferred brand to find out more about their offerings.
To summarise, neither type is superior to the other, but if you want to stock up, the shelf-stable variety is unquestionably a better choice.
How to Spot a Bad Oat Milk?
Here’s how to determine whether your oat milk is fine:
- See how long it has been open. No matter what, throw it away if it’s been more than two weeks.
- Sniff it out by opening the container. Throw it away if it smells musty, off, or moldy.
- Shake it up. Shake it up, then pour some into a glass.
- Verify the color and consistency. There can be a few minor adjustments, but nothing major. It must be disposed of if it is slimy, fully separated, or anything else similar. A similar procedure should be followed if you discover any microbial growth or anything else that shouldn’t be there.
- Try the liquid by tasting it. Now that everything appears to be in order, it’s time to assess the flavor. A touch of oats and a nuttier flavor than cow’s milk are claimed to characterize oat milk. Even when no sugar or artificial sweeteners are present, many brands also have a rather sweet flavor. If something is sour, it should be thrown out.
If your oat milk has passed every test listed above, it probably passes and is safe to use.
As always, don’t drink anything if you’re not positive it’s safe. Instead, start a new one and err on the side of caution.
How to Make Oat Milk Less Slimy?
There is one additional technique, enzymes, that you may use to make your oat milk the least slimy it can be.
I decided to test the same idea using digestive enzymes that I purchased at the supermarket, how to process the milk with enzymes. I did as follows:
- A bowl was filled with oats and one inch of water.
- opened two digestive enzyme capsules, mixed them with the oats and water in a bowl, and then set the mixture alone for 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mixture thoroughly with water from the tap after straining it over the sink.
- Added 4 cups of cold water and the washed oats to the blender.
- The oats were blended for 20–30 seconds.
- Through a nut milk bag, strain the oat milk.
- I chilled the oat milk in a container with a tight seal.
The least disgusting oat milk choice was this one. Why? The amylase is to blame. In general, digestive enzymes have a wide range of functions and can break down a wide range of meals, including sugar (sucrase), fat (lipase), protein (protease), and carbs/starch (amylase).
However, the most crucial enzyme for oat milk is that final one. The amylase breaks down the carbohydrates in the oats and prevents the milk from being sticky.
So I started wondering: Is there a food that has enough enzymes to accomplish the same thing? Several foods naturally contain enzymes, but keep in mind that they would also flavor the milk. Both honey and a banana, which contain natural enzymes, were added to different batches of the mixture. And most crucially, unlike if I added kimchi or sauerkraut, they wouldn’t make the milk taste bad.
Sadly, the banana and honey had no impact on the sliminess aspect other than flavoring the oat milk. However, the impact of the digestive enzymes was very strong. The only downside was that this milk was less creamy and less slim overall. It was more like skim milk in consistency. But some people might choose that.
Try using enzymes if you want to conduct further kitchen research with your oat milk!
Can You Get Food Poisoning from Bad Oat Milk?
What occurs if you consume subpar oat milk? Can you get sick? When oat milk is consumed improperly, it may result in symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Stomach flu symptoms are sometimes confused for cases of food-borne disease, so be aware of them. The health effects could, however, be worse depending on which bacteria have proliferated, how many there are, and other variables.
I do not advocate pushing the envelope with poor oat milk or any other uncooked food. Keep in mind that purchasing a new container only costs a few bucks.
Is it True that Oat Milk Goes Bad 7 Days After Opening?
It may be recommended to consume oat milk within 7 or 10 days of opening on many packaging. However, it frequently still smells and looks good at that time. So what’s going on? Is it safe to have oat milk on days 11 and up? Or not?
Seven to ten days is only a general, conservative estimate for perishable goods, according to various specialists who work for plant-based milk companies. Your oat milk may last longer in the fridge if you’ve been careful to keep it tightly wrapped.
For instance, a representative from Ripple Foods clarified why they only promise the security of their goods for 7–10 days following opening. After that, likely, the product will still be secure, but this depends too much on the surroundings.
Therefore, consuming oat milk more than 10 days after opening may carry some danger. But if there are no signs of spoilage, it will typically still be acceptable (covered above).
Also, keep in mind that homemade oat milk won’t keep as long as store-bought oat milk; it usually lasts only 3-5 days.
How to Make Oat Milk at Home?
Making oat milk at home is simple and may even be less expensive than options available in stores.
Making your own also gives you the freedom to select the ingredients and omit any thickeners or additives that may be present in certain commercial products. Using oats that have been verified to be gluten-free will also make it gluten-free.
Here’s how to quickly prepare homemade oat milk:
- Blend 3 cups (720 mL) of cold water and 1 cup (80 grams) of rolled or steel-cut oats for 30 seconds.
- Cover a wide-mouth jar or container with cheesecloth. To separate the milk from the oats, pour the mixture over the cheesecloth.
- Squeeze any liquid that is left into the jar with a gentle squeeze after lifting the cloth from the ends to form a sac.
- Before mixing, consider adding a bit of salt, some dates, maple syrup, honey, or a dash of vanilla or cinnamon essence to improve the flavor.
- The oat milk can be securely kept in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Use cold water, avoid pressing the cheesecloth too hard when draining the remaining liquid, avoid soaking your oats beforehand, and mix them for no more than 30 seconds to prevent a slimy outcome.
What are the Health Advantages of Oat Milk?
Oats and oat milk may provide several health benefits, according to studies.
Vegetarian and Free of Nuts, Soy, and Lactose
For people who must adhere to particular dietary limitations, oat milk is a logical choice.
It is vegan and devoid of nuts, soy, and lactose because it is made with oats and water.
Despite being natively gluten-free, oats can be processed in the same facilities as cereals that contain gluten, which could contaminate them.
Check the label to confirm that the product you’ve chosen is prepared with gluten-free oats if you prefer oat milk that is guaranteed to be gluten-free. You can also prepare your homemade oat milk with oats that have been verified to be gluten-free.
Outstanding Source of B Vitamins
B vitamins like riboflavin (B2) and vitamin B12 are frequently added to oat milk as fortifiers.
B vitamins are crucial for good health and have several advantages.
For instance, if you are lacking in this group of vitamins, they may aid in reducing stress, preventing oxidative damage, and promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Could Reduce LDL (bad) Cholesterol
The soluble fiber beta-glucan, which is good for the heart, is abundant in oat milk.
Within your stomach, beta-glucan creates a gel-like substance that can bind to cholesterol and stop it from being absorbed. In particular, levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which have been associated with heart disease, may be reduced as a result of this.
For instance, a 1999 study indicated that consuming 3 cups (750 mL) of oat milk per day for 5 weeks lowered total and LDL cholesterol by 3 and 5 percent, respectively. The study involved 66 men with high cholesterol.
A review of 58 trials, most of which involved persons with high cholesterol, also showed that taking an average of 3.5 grams of beta-glucan daily for 5–6 weeks lowered LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B by 4% and 2%, respectively.
The primary protein in LDL cholesterol is apolipoprotein B. It serves as a more accurate risk factor for heart disease than LDL cholesterol alone.
Up to 1.2 grams of beta-glucan can be found in one cup (240 mL) of oat milk.
The Shelf life of oat milk out of a refrigerator is approximately four to 10 days. While mold contamination in this product is rare, it should be consumed within this time frame. However, if it remains unsold for a longer period, it should be discarded. To ensure longer shelf life, store it in a dark, airtight container. To avoid spoilage, consume it within the first four days after opening it.