How to Tell if Coconut Milk is Bad?

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Wondering how to tell if coconut milk is bad? Many people have a problem with coconut milk spoiling because it is not as stable as cow’s milk. I will try to take the mystery out of determining freshness.


Coconut milk is an incredibly versatile ingredient for your cooking and baking needs. It is a good substitute for dairy milk that adds creaminess and sweetness to your dish. Have you ever known that coconut oil happens to be soy and nut-free?

It can help improve your blood pressure, lower the levels of cholesterol, and reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke.

If you place sealed coconut milk in your pantry, it can last for a long time. However, just like its dairy counterparts, it is perishable.

Coconut milk can curdle and spoil, just like other kinds of milk, but if you use it in small amounts in your cooking, it is usually fine for a couple of days in the fridge. The taste or smell of spoiled coconut milk isn’t any different from spoiled cow’s milk or goat’s milk, and it doesn’t cause food poisoning.

Can Coconut Milk go Bad?

Can coconut milk go bad? Yes, it can. This depends on several factors like; the type of milk (is it thick or thin?), the packaging, whether it’s stored at room temperature, refrigerator, or freezer. Whether the container is sealed or opened is also a key factor.

Canned coconut milk has a shelf-life of 2-5 years while that with aseptic packaging can last between 6-12 months. Once you open the can or aseptic packaging, it will begin to spoil. Once opened, thin coconut milk will last up to seven days before while thicker coconut milk will last between seven to ten days before they spoil. If you store the milk properly, it can last up to a month from the expiration date.

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Be keen to check coconut milk for freshness before use.

Coconut milk in a glass

How do you Know Your Coconut Milk is Bad

When your coconut milk goes bad, there are several signs that confirm the condition. A mold film on the surface of your coconut milk is a clear sign that it has gone bad. Discard it.

The appearance of chunks is another sign of spoilt coconut milk. This, however, should not be confused with the separation of fat solids in thick coconut milk that float on the surface with the liquid below.

Darkening in color and curdling are other signs that your coconut milk has gone bad and it’s time to discard it.

You should also check the container for bulging or it’s swollen. Any signs of such should lead you to discard the product.

Storing Your Coconut Milk

Unopen coconut milk should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place that is free from humidity and heat. Your pantry should meet these expectations.

Freezing sealed coconut milk does not extend its shelf life and is therefore not recommended.

If you buy coconut milk from the refrigeration section at your grocery store be sure to store it in your refrigerator once at home.

If your coconut milk is open, make sure you store it in an airtight container and place it in a refrigerator. Freezing it will extend its life for up to six months. You should let your frozen coconut milk thaw overnight if you want to use it.

You can freeze your coconut milk in ice cube trays to give it extra creaminess.

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In conclusion, be sure to check and smell your coconut milk for any signs of spoilage. Whenever you notice the above signs, discard your milk. Your health is not worth taking the risk of consuming it.

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