Oats are great for well-being and when these are mixed with milk, the outcome is super-delicious milk that makes a perfect ingredient for your milk-based coffees. Some people prepare this milk at home and others buy it packaged or canned. The question is, does oat milk need to be refrigerated? In this post, we’ll analyze it in detail because it can be an important question especially when you are cautious about yourself, which everyone should be.
If you need a ready-made answer, then unopened oat milk stays sterilized so doesn’t need to be refrigerated. But this is true for a few months, I’ve mentioned the exact below in this post. However, if you’ve opened the packaging of your oat milk, then it’s best to consume it within a week or at max 10 days. You may even choose to use it after that but it would not be the best choice.
In this post, we’ll see how oat milk is made, and analyze a few ingredients so that you can get a better idea about why refrigerating a particular type of oat milk is necessary and which oat milk has a shelf-stability and doesn’t need refrigeration.
How Is Oat Milk Made?
The ingredients in oat milk include oats (of course), water, vanilla syrup, and milk. If you analyze these, raw oats don’t go bad quickly even if left out in the open. However, milk is an ingredient that requires refrigeration.
So when you mix the above ingredients to prepare oat milk (recipe here), you can get an idea about why it needs refrigeration.
Here’s are a few quick reasons why oat milk needs to be refrigerated:
Why Does Oat Milk Need To Be Refrigerated?
Just like the normal milk you use in your coffee, you cannot put it on your table for days (when opened). It can go bad and would smell bad as well. This is a clear sign that your milk is of no use anymore.
Another reason why oat milk needs to be refrigerated is that it’ll lose its taste. So when you are brewing your favorite cup of Joe, you won’t enjoy its taste very much.
If you have a sensitive stomach, It could cause food poisoning if left in the open for long because it can react with gases in the atmosphere and go bad. So my advice would be to avoid that milk if you have any doubts about it, better to spend a few more bucks than risk your well-being.
Can I Drink Unrefrigerated Oat Milk?
Yes, as long as you can verify it’s safe to drink. This can be tricky especially if you are not a regular coffee drinker or if you don’t consume milk regularly. You need to know how fresh milk tastes to ascertain whether your milk has gone bad.
So how do you verify the freshness of your oat milk? Read the label on the box and you’ll be able to find out. The oat milk you bought from the nearest super-store would have instructions on the packaging like the best-before date and whether you need to refrigerate it or not.
If the milk you bought from the store was chilled, chances are you’ll have to store it in a refrigerator and not take any risk with it.
How Long Can Oat Milk Be Unrefrigerated (Unopened and Opened)?
This is another important query, and the simple answer is, that if the oat milk is unopened, it can go on the shelf and last up to 9 months.
However, once you’ve opened it, it’s best to consume it within one week. Also, once opened, you should store it in the refrigerator to avoid any mishap. It’s not about the oat milk and it’s about personal well-being. Why take any risk when you have the option of storing it in a fridge.
Again, you must read the instructions on the packaging. The ideal temperature for storing the oat milk would be mentioned. You’d also find instructions (in most cases) about the temperature required for storing oat milk once it’s opened.
Is It Possible To Know If Oat Milk Has Gone Bad?
Yes, you should look at its texture and compare it with fresh milk. If you can identify the smell of fresh milk you’d easily be able to tell it apart from the one that has gone bad. Just smell it and you’d know what to do with it.
Look for any signs of color change. If you notice that it looks yellowish or greenish, chances are there’s something wrong with the milk. Even if you have the slightest doubt, just do away with that milk and there’s no need to take any risks.
What To Do With Expired Oat Milk?
If your oat milk has recently expired and you haven’t opened it, you can consume it 10-15 days after the best-by date. But if you are too cautious, you should just do away with it.
A safe usage for expired oat milk would be to use it on your body. It’s nutritious, it has got all the right ingredients, why waste it when you can make something of it. However, you should be aware if you are allergic to oats to avoid any skin rash or other such conditions.
You can make all sorts of products from it ranging from soap to face masks. It hydrates the skin well and is a good add-on to have in your shower. It’s expired anyway, you might as well use it for the cause.
Bottled Oat milk vs Carton
People confuse these two, you should know that refrigeration requirements for these two are different. Bottled oat milk needs to be refrigerated at all times regardless of whether it’s opened or not.
If oat milk is in a carton and you haven’t opened it, you don’t need to refrigerate it. Other aspects would remain the same as explained in the post already.
Oat Milk and Coffee
If you love lattes and milk-based coffees, you must try one prepared using oat milk. It’s not only nutritious but it tastes great too.
When you shopping for oat milk and intend to use it in your coffee, you should specifically ask for a barista-version of oat milk. It blends well and froths better than regular oat milk. This is not available everywhere but wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Enjoyed this? Also, check out: Can You Drink Expired Coffee? Essential Things to Know!
This is all about doesn’t oat milk needs to be refrigerated. I hope you found this information useful. Don’t forget to share this information with others in your community. Also, let me know in the comments below if you want to add something to the article or have any questions.
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Have a great day!