You decided to try almond butter, but after a couple of uses, you went back to your favorite soy butter. Now you’re ready to go back and finish that half-opened jar, but you’re not sure if it’s still edible. Does almond butter go bad?
Or maybe it’s your first time buying almond butter, and you’re wondering if it needs refrigeration after opening or not. You’ve read conflicting information on this topic, and you don’t know who to trust.
That is where this article comes in. In it, we discuss the preservation, shelf life, and spoilage (and rancidity) of this nut butter.
If that is what you are looking for, you are in the right place. Keep reading.
How long does almond butter last?
Unopened almond butter will keep for at least a few months after the printed date. Once the jar is opened, almond butter will last 3-5 months if left out at room temperature, or 6-9 months if stored in the fridge. Homemade almond butter keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge.
As with peanut butter, it’s hard to tell what the shelf life of almond butter is.
In general, this popular sandwich spread should maintain its highest quality for at least nine months from canning, and three months from opening.
Of course, these periods are what the manufacturers give us, so it is understandable that, in most cases, almond butter easily exceeds them.
How long exactly will it last, you ask? As usual, it’s impossible to say, but a couple of months is a pretty safe bet.
Finally, the homemade almond butter. Since you don’t pasteurize it, storing it at room temperature is not a good idea. You should store it in the refrigerator, where it keeps for about two weeks. If you need more time, consider freezing it.
|Almond butter (unopened)
|Expiration date + 6 months
|Expiration date + 12 months
|Almond butter (opened)
|3 – 5 months
|6 – 9 months
|homemade almond butter
Please note that the periods indicated are only estimates and vary by manufacturer.
How do you know if almond butter is bad?
For starters, just to reiterate what I’ve written before, oil separation is perfectly natural and harmless. Almond butter with a layer of oil on top is not spoiled at all.
With that said, let’s talk about almond butter spoilage.
As with most nuts and seeds, this vegan butter’s worst enemy is rancidity from the fat. Oil slowly goes rancid on exposure to air, light, moisture, or bacteria. And the hot temperature speeds up that process. That is why it is essential to store it away from sunlight, in a closed container, and that is why refrigeration helps it preserve its maximum flavor for longer.
How do I know if my almond butter is rancid?
First, smell it good. If it smells sour, or something chemical like oil paint, instead of the usual nutty scent, that’s a sure sign that it’s finished. Second, try it, and if you don’t like it, throw it away.
Aside from the oil going rancid, look for the usual signs of spoilage, such as black or brown spots on the surface or inside of the jar, any signs of mold, an odd odor, or a bad taste. If either is present, discard the vegan butter.
How to preserve almond butter?
Main article: Does almond butter need to be refrigerated?
You should store almond butter in a cool or cold place, away from any heat source, and always sealed when not in use.
Refrigeration is not mandatory, but doing so is not a bad idea either. Keeping nut butter in the fridge helps it retain its quality for longer, but it does so at the cost of hardening.
In other words, whether or not to refrigerate it is up to you and your situation.
If you look at what the different manufacturers say on the subject, you will also not find a clear recommendation on which is better. Some suggest keeping their product in the fridge, others say you can store it in a kitchen cabinet, or they just say both are fine.
The thing to remember is that if you leave the almond butter at room temperature, and it’s one without palm oil or other stabilizers, the oil will separate. But that’s not a problem, because you can fix the texture by stirring it well for spreading.