In the ever-growing world of dairy alternatives, cashew milk is quickly coming into its own as a popular choice amongst health-conscious consumers looking for a more plant-based diet.
One question we encounter quite frequently is: Does cashew milk ever go bad? You’re not alone in wondering this, and we’re here to answer that question for you.
In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the shelf life and storage secrets of cashew milk. We’ll also explore other popular questions like: “Does unopened cashew milk need to be refrigerated?” and “How long can cashew milk stay out of the fridge?” Prepare to be enlightened!
Our exploration doesn’t stop with store-bought varieties. For those who might be curious about that DIY life, we’ll even guide you through making your own cashew milk from scratch. It’s easier than you think and packed with health benefits. We’ll also delve into the nutritional aspects, discussing the calorie content and whether cashew milk is a good fit for a low FODMAP diet.
Understanding the proper storage and usage of cashew milk is essential, whether you’re a vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply exploring dairy alternatives. Join us as we navigate the delicious and nutritious world of cashew milk.
Table of Contents
What Is Cashew Milk?
Originating from the tropical cashew fruit, cashew milk is made by blending cashews with water. This process results in a smooth, rich liquid that’s become a staple in vegan and lactose-intolerant communities. It’s a relatively recent addition to the dairy-free market, gaining popularity for its flavor and health benefits.
Nutritional Breakdown of Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. It’s typically lower in calories compared to other nut milks, making it an excellent choice for those of us monitoring our calorie intake.
A cup of unsweetened homemade cashew milk usually contains about 25-50 calories, depending on how many cashews we use. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin B6, iron, and calcium, especially if it’s fortified.
|Quantity per Cup (approx.)
|20-25 mg (if fortified)
Is Cashew Milk Low FODMAP?
When evaluating whether cashew milk is low FODMAP, it’s important to consider its suitability for individuals with dietary sensitivities or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Cashew milk, like almond milk and lactose-free dairy milk, can be regarded as a low FODMAP alternative to regular cow’s milk. This is primarily because it is made by blending cashews with water.
This results in a beverage that doesn’t contain significant amounts of Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs), which are the carbohydrates known to trigger digestive discomfort in some people. And unlike cow’s milk, cashew milk is naturally free of lactose, one of the most common FODMAPs in dairy.
That said, it’s important to exercise caution when selecting store-bought cashew milk products, as some may contain additives, sweeteners or thickeners that introduce high FODMAP ingredients. To ensure you’re following a low FODMAP diet, we recommend opting for unsweetened and unflavored versions of cashew milk. Always check product labels meticulously and prioritize products with minimal additives.
For those following a strict low FODMAP regimen, making homemade cashew milk may be the safest and most tailored option. Making it yourself offers far greater control over ingredients. This allows for a purer, FODMAP-friendly beverage.
If making cashew milk from scratch is something that interests you, you’re in luck. We’ve got you covered later on in this article.
Shelf Life Of Cashew Milk
When unopened, commercial cashew milk has a surprisingly long shelf life. Thanks to the pasteurization and packaging process, it can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months when stored properly.
The key is to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Always check the expiration date on the package for the best guidance.
Does Unopened Cashew Milk Need To Be Refrigerated?
A common question we encounter is whether unopened cashew milk needs refrigeration. The answer depends on the type of cashew milk we’re talking about. Shelf-stable varieties, found in the non-refrigerated aisles, don’t require refrigeration until after they’re opened. However, refrigerated types of cashew milk must always be kept cold.
How Long Can Cashew Milk Stay Out Of The Fridge?
Once opened, cashew milk’s shelf life reduces significantly. We should consume refrigerated cashew milk within 7-10 days of opening. But how long can it stay out of the fridge? Generally, we shouldn’t leave opened cashew milk at room temperature for more than two hours, as bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
Storing Cashew Milk
Proper storage of cashew milk is crucial for maintaining its quality and extending its shelf life. Whether we’ve picked it off a store shelf or made it at home, knowing the best ways to store cashew milk ensures we always have a fresh and healthy product. Let’s dive into the specifics.
Unopened Cashew Milk
|How to Store
|Keep unopened, shelf-stable cashew milk in a cool, dry place like a pantry. It doesn’t need refrigeration until we open it.
|Always store unopened refrigerated cashew milk in the fridge.
Opened Cashew Milk
|How to Store
|– Once opened, cashew milk, regardless of type, must be refrigerated.
– Use an airtight container to store it.
– Consume within 7-10 days for the best quality and taste.
Can You Freeze Cashew Milk?
Yes, you can freeze cashew milk! Freezing cashew milk is a convenient way to extend its shelf life significantly. It also prevents wastage, especially if you have excess or need to use it at a later date.
When freezing cashew milk, it’s crucial to do so in an airtight container or an ice cube tray to prevent the milk from absorbing any unwanted odors from the freezer and to minimize freezer burn. Remember that liquid expands when frozen, so the same rule that applies to freezing smoothies applies here: leave some space in the container to accommodate this expansion.
Thaw frozen cashew milk by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost function on your microwave if you need it quickly. However, it’s worth noting that the texture of cashew milk may change slightly after freezing, but it can still be used in cooking, baking, or smoothies without a significant impact on the final result.
Shake or stir the thawed cashew milk to recombine any separated components, and it should be ready for use. Another really effective way to restore consistency in your thawed cashew milk is to throw it in a blender for a quick blitz.
DIY Homemade Cashew Milk
Making cashew milk at home is a simple and rewarding process. Not only does homemade cashew milk taste fresher, but it also allows us to control the ingredients, ensuring a natural and healthy beverage.
Let’s look at how we can make this nutritious drink from scratch and how to store it properly.
How To Make Homemade Cashew Milk From Scratch
Creating our own cashew milk is straightforward. Here’s a quick guide:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 cups water (plus more for soaking)
- Optional: Sweeteners or flavourings (e.g. vanilla or cinnamon)
- Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Blend cashews with 4 cups of fresh water until smooth.
- Strain the mixture using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to remove solids.
- Add optional sweeteners or flavorings.
- Store in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator.
Homemade vs Store-Bought
Homemade cashew milk typically has fewer additives and preservatives than store-bought versions. It’s a healthier option, as we can avoid added sugars and thickeners often found in commercial products. The calorie content can be adjusted by varying the number of cashews used.
How Long Does Homemade Cashew Milk Last?
In the fridge, homemade cashew milk stays fresh for about 4-5 days. Remember, since it lacks preservatives, it doesn’t last as long as store-bought varieties. If you notice any off-smell, taste, or mold, it’s time to discard it.
Also keep in mind that natural separation tends to occur with cashew milk made from scratch, so always shake well before drinking.
How To Tell If Cashew Milk Is Bad
It’s crucial for us to recognize the signs of spoilage in cashew milk to ensure we consume a safe and healthy product. Whether store-bought or homemade, cashew milk can go bad, and knowing what to look out for is essential. Here’s how we can tell if our cashew milk has spoiled.
Understanding the Risks of Consuming Spoiled Cashew Milk
Consuming spoiled cashew milk can lead to foodborne illnesses, resulting in stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and discard any cashew milk that shows signs of spoilage.
- Shelf Life Variances: We’ve learned that the shelf life of cashew milk varies significantly between unopened store-bought varieties and homemade versions. While commercially produced cashew milk can last several months unopened, homemade cashew milk typically stays fresh for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
- Storage is Crucial: Proper storage is key. Unopened, shelf-stable cashew milk can be stored in a cool, dry place, whereas opened and homemade cashew milk require refrigeration. Freezing is an option but might alter the texture.
- Spoilage Indicators: Cashew milk can spoil. Recognize the signs of spoilage, such as changes in color, texture, or odor, and the presence of mold.
- Health Considerations: Cashew milk is a nutritious choice, rich in vitamins and minerals, and is a great addition to vegan, gluten-free, and low FODMAP diets. However, it’s not suitable for those with nut allergies.