Although almond flour doesn’t last nearly as long as other flours, you can still safely store a moderate amount for emergency and critical situations. The key is making sure you don’t store more than you can consume within a two-year window.
While you won’t be able to stockpile almond flour indefinitely, when stored properly, you can extend its shelf life up to two years by following the correct procedures.
Almond Flour vs. Almond Meal
To clarify any misconceptions, almond flour and almond meal are very similar but with one distinct difference. Almond flour is made using blanched almonds that have had their skins removed. They are finely ground into a flour-like consistency that’s great for fluffy cakes, quick breads, and cookies.
Almond meal is made from almonds with the skin on, so it’s a bit more coarse. Almond meal is useful for cookies and quick bread, but it’s also a great substitute for bread crumbs and can be used to coat meats or sprinkled on top of casseroles.
The good news is storage is the same for both.
Does Almond Flour Go Bad?
Yes, almond flour goes bad. While the date on your almond flour indicates when it’s at its best, your almond flour can still last well beyond that date. However, unlike other types of flour, almond flour has a relatively short lifespan overall.
An opened bag of almond flour may last one to two months beyond its best by date, or up to one year after that if you place it in the refrigerator or freezer.
However, you won’t be able to extend the shelf life of your almond flour beyond a couple of years. Moreover, almond flour can go bad faster when exposed to light, moisture, or heat.
Since almonds are high in fat, over time, the oils oxidize, causing your flour to become unpalatable. When oxygen and fat molecules collide, several chemical reactions occur, causing an unpleasant smell, which will be the telltale sign your flour has gone rancid.
Similarly, exposure to pests, direct sunlight, moisture, and heat all contribute to the longevity of your flour.
How to Tell Almond Flour Has Gone Bad
Good almond flour smells fresh and nutty. Once the fats in your almond flour turn rancid, a few things can happen. Watch out for these signs your almond flour is no longer fresh:
- Odd smell
- Not dissolving in liquid
- Musty, sour taste
Best Ways to Store Almond Flour
Simply keeping your almond flour in its original packaging at room temperature and away from direct sunlight can help it last 2–4 months beyond the date stamped on its package. Placing that same original packaging in the refrigerator can extend the shelf life up to 6–12 months.
However, with some proper storage techniques, you can prolong the lifespan of your almond flour. Many people advocate storing almond flour in the refrigerator or freezer. And while it does help prevent the nuts from going rancid, over time the moisture can cause clumping and possible mold growth. So be sure to inspect your almond flour thoroughly before using it.
Regardless of where you store your almond flour, you should keep it in an air-tight container. Whether you use mason jars or food-grade plastics, air-tight containers keep out pests, air, and moisture.
If you store your almond flour in the refrigerator, air-tight containers also prevent your flour from absorbing the smells of other foods. These are the best air-tight containers for storing your flour.
1. Mylar Bags
Shelf life: 1 year
A one-gallon mylar bag can hold roughly five pounds of almond flour. Simply add your oxygen absorber and seal. Then store your bags in a dark and cool area.
Mylar bags are extremely durable, and in some ways, they’re better than mason jars because they won’t break during natural disasters.
On the other hand, they’re no match for mice that can chew right through the mylar. That’s why most people place mylar bags inside food-grade buckets. But you can also place your mylar bags in the refrigerator or freezer.
Mylar bags are also an excellent option for your bug-out bags because of their light weight.
Mylar bags have a small learning curve, so you should get comfortable with the process before you attempt storing food in one. Additionally, make sure you know the right amount of oxygen absorbers to use.
2. Food-Grade Buckets
Shelf life: 2 years
One of the best ways to store your almond flour is with mylar bags and food-grade buckets with gamma lids. One five-gallon bucket can hold up to 25 pounds of almond flour. Even with food-grade buckets, you can only extend the shelf-life of your almond flour to two years.
Fill your mylar bag(s) with the almond flour, add oxygen absorbers, and then seal the bag. Add your bag(s) to your food-grade bucket and attach the gamma lid. Store your buckets in a cool, dry place.
3. Mason Jars
Shelf life: 10 months to 1 year
Mason jars are a great air-tight alternative for smaller quantities. Like mylar bags, a one-gallon mason jar can hold approximately five pounds of almond flour. Add a 500 cc oxygen absorber, seal the lid, and place it in a cool area between 40°–70° F.
You can store mason jars in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. In the pantry, your almond flour lasts up to ten months, but in the refrigerator or freezer, you can extend this time to one year.
Can You Eat Expired Almond Flour?
Eating rancid flours might hurt your taste buds, but it won’t kill you. It’s slightly sour and somewhat bitter to taste. Eating rancid nuts won’t cause any serious illness like botulism or trichinosis, but it can certainly cause some gastric distress.
Some say it can cause food poisoning, but there are no scientific studies that support this claim. If it did, you’d likely have to eat a substantial amount. I’ve been unfortunate enough to consume rancid food here and there, and I’ve never experienced any significant problems other than a horrible aftertaste.
Almond flour doesn’t have the longest shelf life, but its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant content make it worth having in your food storage.