Almond flour isn’t as commonplace as wheat flour so, when you get your hands on some, you want to be sure you use it all and nothing goes to waste.
Does almond flour go bad? Almond flour will eventually go bad. Because it is made from a nut, rather than wheat, almond flour may go rancid if not stored properly and a range of problems can occur if almond flour is exposed to humidity or bugs. Opened flour is best used within 3 months unless kept in the fridge or freezer.
To help make sure you get the most out of every ounce of flour in your pantry, this article explains exactly how long almond flour lasts in different situations, how to tell if your flour has gone bad, and how to best store your flour properly to keep it fresh as long as possible.
What is Almond Flour?
Almond flour is a powdered form of almonds. The almonds are first blanched, making it easy for their skins to be removed. Once they’re dry again, they are ground into a fine powder, very similar in texture and consistency to wheat flour.
You may also find almond meal, which is different, although it is similar to almond flour. Almond meal is made by grinding almonds into a powder with the skins still on. This makes the powder, or flour, coarser than true almond flour.
How to Make Almond Flour
If you want to try almond flour without committing to a full package or simply to prefer to make your own flour whenever able, it’s a relatively simple process if you have almonds and a food processor.
The best almond flour is made using whole raw almonds. You can use roasted almonds, but the flavor and texture will be different from what you would expect from storebought flour, and it may not be quite right in all recipes.
The biggest thing to watch out for, however, is salt. Salted almond flour will not act appropriately in any recipe, so avoid salted almonds when making almond flour.
- To blanch your almonds, simply prepare a pot of boiling water and a bowl of iced water.
- When they’re both ready, place your almonds in the boiling water for no longer than 2 minutes. Drain them and transfer your nuts immediately to the ice water for another 2 minutes.
- After this, you can pull them out of the water and the skins should slide off easily.
- Lay them out on a kitchen towel or paper towel until they’re dry again. Try to leave them at least overnight to make sure they’re completely dry.
- Once your almonds are blanched and dry, simply add them to your food processor or blender and blitz them until they’re powdered.
It’s best to grind a maximum of 1 cup of almonds at a time, though this may vary depending on your processor. When you grind more at a time it tends to clump together and not grind evenly. If your nuts aren’t completely dry, they also may clump up.
Of course, to make this process even easier, you can also buy pre-blanched almonds, like these slivered almonds from Nature’s Eats.
Best Almond Flour: Blue Diamond
The price difference between making your own almond flour and buying pre-made flour isn’t considerable enough to entice everyone to make their own, so Blue Diamond has you covered. They not only offer the most impressive selection of nuts to snack on, but they also have almond flour. It even comes in club size.
Blue Diamond almond flour is made from blanched almonds and is finely ground and well sifted. It’s also certified Kosher and gluten-free.
You can use almond flour as a substitute for wheat or whole wheat flour in nearly every recipe, but there does need to be some slight adjustments. Blue Diamond is incredibly helpful in sharing recipes developed especially for its flour, which is another reason to appreciate this brand.
How Long Does Almond Flour Last?
How long is almond flour good for, before you have to worry about it going bad? It depends on how it’s stored, as previously discussed.
Some other factors that can impact how long your flour will last include:
- Is it homemade or storebought?
- How long has the package been opened?
- How often has it been exposed to fluctuating temperatures?
Shelf-Life of Almond Flour
Store-bought almond flour will have an expiration date or best-before date stamped on the package. It is always best to stay within the parameters set by the manufacturer.
The best-before date, however, is usually a general recommendation. Manufacturers won’t guarantee the product will be of its highest quality after this date, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suddenly be no good.
More accurately, it means the quality will start to degrade more quickly or more noticeably after this date.
Is Almond Flour Good Past Its Best-By Date?
If your package has never been opened, it will likely stay fresh well beyond the best-before date. Even with no exposure to air or moisture, however, it will eventually go rancid because of the oils from the almonds.
In most situations, an unopened package of almond flour stored in a cool, dry pantry will stay relatively fresh up to 3 months beyond the best before date.
If kept in the fridge, it could last a year or more longer and, in the freezer, up to 2 years or more.
Once the almond flour has been opened, however, it should be used within 3 months of the best before date expiring if it’s kept carefully stored in a pantry. In the fridge, you may get an additional 6 months and in the freezer, it will probably stay fresh for up to a year.
How Long Does Homemade Almond Flour Last
Homemade almond flour doesn’t last as long because home kitchens simply can’t be as sterile or high tech as commercial preparation centers.
You should use any homemade almond flour within 3 months if you’re storing it in your pantry. If you prefer to keep it in your fridge, it should last up to 6 months and you’ll get a safe year out of your almond flour if it’s stored in the freezer.
Almond Flour Shelf-Life [Chart]
Here is a chart summarizing the shelf-life of almond flour based on different storage factors and techniques:
|Unopened Package||Opened Package||Homemade Flour|
|Cool, Dry Pantry||Up to 3 months||Up to 3 months beyond best before date||Up to 3 months|
|Fridge||Up to 1 year||Up to 6 months beyond best before date||Up to 6 months|
|Freezer||Up to 2 years+||Up to 1 year+ beyond best before date||Up to 1 year+|
How to Tell if Almond Flour is Bad
If your almond flour has gone bad, the first thing you’ll notice is an off-putting smell.
Fresh, healthy almond flour has a slightly sweet, nutty aroma, as you would expect almonds to smell. If it’s gone rancid or moldy, the odor will become musty or even sour-smelling if it’s quite far gone.
The color of the flour is also a good indicator of quality. Almond flour is a very pale tan color, just off white and quite uniform, unless it’s almond meal rather than almond flour.
If it has gone bad, there may be darker areas, specks, or streaks through the flour. This is a bad sign.
Almond flour can also go moldy if it has been exposed to moisture. If ever you notice sticky clumps in your flour, discard them with any surrounding, affected flour. It may just be moist and not bad, but you don’t want to take a chance.
If it has gone moldy, you’ll likely see hints of blue or green in your flour. At this point, it’s safest to discard the entire batch.
Finally, if there is any access, bugs can infest your flour – whether it’s almond, coconut, or regular wheat flour, pantry bugs love flour. If you see any black or dark brown bugs, discard the batch of flour. Where there is one, there are probably many.
What if You Eat Rancid Flour?
If you accidentally, or on purpose, eat almond flour that has gone rancid, it’s not likely to make you seriously ill. It will probably taste terrible, however.
If you’ve ever been snacking on nuts or seeds and bitten into one that tasted sour, tangy, or just unappetizing, that was probably a rancid nut or seed. If your flour goes rancid, it won’t just be one bite that tastes terrible, but the whole batch of any food you have made with the flour.
Moldy almond flour, on the other hand, may be more serious.
A variety of different types of mold can grow on any type of food. Some are relatively harmless, whereas others can cause food poisoning. If there are any signs of mold, discard the entire batch of flour for safety’s sake.
How to Store Almond Flour
Almonds have considerably more oil and fat than wheat does, which can turn rancid if it’s exposed to heat or sunlight for too long. With that in mind, to keep your almond flour fresh, you must keep it in a cool location out of direct light.
Flour of any kind is highly susceptible to moisture as well. If any humidity can reach your almond flour, it will get clumpy, at best, and quickly go moldy as well. Keeping your flour well-sealed against all the elements is important.
Storing Almond Flour
The most common way of storing flour is in the pantry, which is an option for almond flour as well. If your flour hasn’t been opened yet, it will be absolutely fine in a cool, dark pantry.
As soon as your package is opened, you will want to transfer the contents either to an airtight plastic bag which is carefully sealed every time you use your flour or, even better, a canister with an airtight seal.
You can use a storage container made out of glass, stainless steel, or even wood, but it should have a silicone or other secure seal around the lid to protect against air and moisture.
It’s always a good idea to label the container your almond flour is stored in. This way, it won’t be confused for another type of flour or powder, but you can also include a date on the label so you know when it was opened.
Should You Keep Almond Flour In The Fridge?
The cooler you keep your almond flour, the longer it will be protected against going rancid. It will still be at risk for moisture, but it will stay fresh longer.
Keeping almond flour in your fridge is not mandatory, but if you have space, it will certainly extend the lifespan.
In the cold, your flour won’t go moldy as easily as in your pantry, but over time exposure to any moisture will lead to clumps and decay.
As with storing flour in your pantry, you need to make sure that the container is always sealed tight against moisture. Various odors and flavors also roam free in the fridge and may contaminate your flour if it’s not kept tightly sealed.
The best containers for storing almond flour in your fridge are made of glass, which is very protective against outside smells and tastes from other foods.
Can You Freeze Almond Flour?
You can freeze almond flour. Freezing is the best way to protect your flour for the longest, especially if it is sealed well.
The freezing temperatures prevent the oils and fats from the nuts from going rancid and there is very little moisture in a freezer to threaten the flour.
You will still have to make sure your flour is well sealed so that no air enters into the airtight bag or container, but beyond a good seal, there is very little you have to worry about.
A sturdy container is best, as there is always a chance plastic bags can be punctured or ripped and the tiniest hole can lead to ice crystals developing on your flour.
If this happens, simply remove any bits of flour that seem to be damaged or wet once it’s removed from your freezer.
Do Ground Almonds Expire?
Yes, ground almonds, as well as whole almonds, slivered, sliced, or shaved almonds, and almond meal all expire.
Anything made with or from any type of nut has an expiration date.
To extend the life of your ground almonds or other almond product, follow the recommendations listed above for storing almond flour. Keeping your products cool, out of direct sunlight, and protected well against moisture will ensure the longest lifespan.
Does Coconut Flour Go Bad?
As with all processed products, coconut flour will come stamped with a best-before or use-by date. This is the manufacturer’s best prediction about the highest quality of the coconut flour. Beyond that, the taste may start to deteriorate or go stale.
If your coconut flour is stored in a cool, dry location, it will stay fresh beyond the best-before date, but because of the high levels of oil in coconuts, it will eventually go rancid. It can also go moldy if exposed to moisture.
Does Gluten-Free Flour Go Bad?
Yes, gluten-free flour will go bad. There are many different types of gluten-free flour, however, and they will each have slightly different lifespans. The higher the fat content of any flour, the quicker it is likely to start to spoil.
Flours made from nuts and seeds are typically gluten-free, but they also have high-fat content and can go rancid or moldy, depending on storage conditions. It’s best to follow the recommended storage conditions set by the manufacturer on the package, and adhere to the suggested best before date.