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Does Almond Extract Go Bad? (And How Long Does It Last)

Almond extract is an intensely flavored liquid made by combining almond oil from bitter almonds with ethyl alcohol. Almond extract is used in the same manner as vanilla extract, to add flavor usually for baked goods and desserts. But if you only need a tiny bit for one recipe, will the remaining almond extract go bad?

Almond extract will last indefinitely until it evaporates. If you can still smell an extract, it will work in a recipe. Properly stored almond extract can stay at its best quality for up to 3 to 4 years, even after opening. It is important to keep the container tightly closed after you have opened it.

In this article, we will discuss whether almond extract goes bad over time, as well as how to properly store almond extract. We will also highlight alternatives to almond extract. Let’s dig in!

Does Almond Extract Go Bad Over Time

The shelf life of almond extract relies significantly on how well it’s stored. Manufacturers use alcohol to make almond extract, so an unopened bottle can retain its quality for quite some time. The use-by-date will typically be about a year after purchase. However, if you take proper care of the storage conditions, you can make it last longer without it losing its flavor.

However, over time, the flavor of an opened bottle of almond extract will start to fade and eventually the liquid may disappear altogether, especially if the bottle was not closed properly.

Does Homemade Almond Extract Go Bad

When making homemade almond extract it is very important to store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, such as a pantry or cabinet. The extracts are typically ready for use about 6 weeks after conception. If you’d like you can strain the raw ingredients from the extract bottles. Extracts– even homemade– stay good for at least several years. As long as it still has its flavor it is still good.

How To Make Your Own Homemade Almond Extract

Though you can buy almond extract at grocery stores, you can also easily make your own.

To make your own homemade almond extract, you will need vodka and unsalted almonds. Simply slice half a cup of raw unsalted almonds into thin slivers. Add the slivered almonds into a small jar or glass with a tight lid, preferably amber in color and then add 8 ounces vodka.

Amber bottles are ideal as they prevent any light from penetrating the bottle. However, you can also use clear bottles as well. Both plastic and glass bottles are acceptable to use for your extract.

Allow the mixture to sit at least five to six weeks before using. It needs to sit for at least five or six weeks in order for the rich flavor to develop. Store it in your pantry in a cool, dark area away from sunlight.

Before every use, make sure to shake your homemade almond extract before every use. The contents will settle over time. If desired, you can also strain your extract to ensure that is fine.

How To Properly Store Almond Extract

Although, manufacturers recommend consuming almond extract before the “best by” date you can extend its shelf life quite a bit by storing it properly. Here are a few steps that will help you do so!

Be sure to store the almond extract in a cool dark place such as a dark cabinet, cupboard, or pantry.

Keep the almond extract away from direct sunlight. Humidity can ruin the composition of the almond extract and dim the flavor.

Make sure to keep the almond extract in an airtight container to preserve the quality, especially if you are creating your own.

If purchasing a commercial almond extract, close the container tightly when you are not using the extract.

How Can You Tell If Almond Extract Has Gone Bad

If you are purchasing a commercial almond extract it will have a “best by” date on the label. It is safe to assume that after that date the extract will begin to lose some of its qualities. Although you can extend almond extract’s shelf life, it will eventually lose peak quality such as taste and smell.

If there is a strong alcohol smell coming from the bottle, it has likely gone bad. Manufacturers use water, bitter almond oil, and alcohol to create their extracts. However, as time passes the almond aroma will diminish and you will begin to smell a strong alcohol odor. If your extract is giving off this smell it would be better to discard it.

If you don’t store your extract properly it will also lose its flavor. If you can no longer taste the almond it is a sign you should replace it. Airtight containers are a crucial part of preserving the flavor of your extract.

You can also tell if the almond extract is bad by its appearance. If you notice any color changes accompanied by a foul odor it would be safer to replace it with a new one.

Does Almond Extract Go Bad After Opening

If you leave your almond extract open, it can lose its flavor and smell pretty quickly. It can also be ruined if kept in the refrigerator. Be sure to avoid sunlight or heat too. Some people have even mentioned seeing mold on their almond extract if they did not store it properly. It is very important to make sure you store your almond extract properly to avoid it going bad quickly. If stored properly, you can save your extract for over a year.

Can You Get Sick From Bad Almond Extract

No, it’s highly unlikely that you will get sick from expired almond extract. Many people believe because alcohol is used, expired extract could give you an upset stomach. However, you would have to consume large amounts of it for it to cause adverse health effects. Many recipes do not call for much, but it will certainly ruin your baked goods if the flavor is no longer at its peak.

Does Almond Extract Have Dairy

No, pure almond extract is made from almond oil, alcohol, and water. Therefore, almond extract and many other extracts are vegan and gluten-free.

Alternatives To Almond Extract

Some almond extracts can come packed with additives and preservatives to make them last longer. Some manufacturers even use imitation almond oil rather than pure, which can be higher in sugar content. We’ve gathered some of the best alternative brands of almond extract to help you enjoy the almond flavor without all the extra fluff.

Can expired extract make you sick?

Almond extract can be considered a staple in every kitchen. We use this when baking and cooking to give these treats that extra taste we crave. It’s safe to assume that there are probably many people out there who may not know how long to store almond extract for before it goes bad. Here are some tips on how to store and extend the shelf life of your almond extract.

How To Store Almond Extract?

There are many ways you can store almond extract in order to keep it fresh and at its peak quality. The key is identifying your storage method based on the number of times you use almond extract per week.

If you aren’t using almond extract regularly you may want to store it in your pantry, cupboard or kitchen cabinet away from direct sunlight and heat.

If you use it on a more frequent basis, you can store the bottle in your refrigerator. This is especially important if you are creating your own almond extract at home. The cool temperatures will help preserve all of the essential oils and flavors. However, make sure that your bottle is not exposed to light either, as this can cause the liquid to turn cloudy and even brown. Also, be sure it is stored away from items like pickles or vinegar as they may have a strong scent that will permeate through the air.

Is it Ok to use expired extract?

Yes, as long as you are using a natural extract such as almond extract and not an unnatural flavored version that contains artificial ingredients such as alcohol or burnt substances. The purest extract available is the way to go, but sometimes not all brands are made with organic products. We have compiled some of the best quality almond extracts for your convenience.

Can You Eat Almond Extract?

It’s safe to say that we use almond extract on pretty much every meal of the day. However, if you do have a reaction or allergic issue you should avoid eating it. It’s always best to do a small patch test to see if you have a reaction.

However, if you are using pure, natural extract there shouldn’t be any issues with eating the extract itself. It would still be important not to consume large amounts of this extract at once, on the off chance your stomach really doesn’t do well with it.

Can You Drink Almond Extract?

Almond extract is often used in drinks such as cocktails and smoothies for its sweet and nutty taste. The best thing about almond extract is that it won’t make you gain weight when drinking it in your smoothie or cocktail because it contains absolutely no calories.

Does almond extract need to be refrigerated after opening?

Just like any other bottle of almond extract, once you open the bottle you should keep it refrigerated to preserve its potency. If you want to save money, this also means that you should store your extract in the refrigerator. Most people love to use almond extract in their coffee or tea, but it’s important to understand that using almond extract in coffee and tea will draw out the essential oils from the extract and make it go bad faster.

How Long Does Extract Last?

The shelf life of your almond extract depends on how often you are using it and how well it has been stored. Basically, if you are baking with extract regularly then there is a good chance that your almond will last for quite a while. You can also make your own extract so it will last even longer.

Is Almond Extract Safe For Sprinkles?

If you do want to use almond extract in your pretty, glazed baked goods then it’s safe to use the extract on its own. You can even sprinkle it on top of your glaze before you put them in the oven. Just don’t put too much or you run the risk of subtracting from your product and possibly ruining the taste and texture altogether. If you aren’t using pure extract, then hold off on adding any extra flavoring such as sugar, as it will draw out the essence of the almond extract.

Is Almond Extract Gluten Free?

Yes, pure almond extract is gluten free because all it contains is water, alcohol and natural flavoring. It will not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives that could potentially cause an allergic reaction inside your body. However if you have an allergy or aren’t sure if almond extract is safe for your body it would be a good idea to speak with a doctor before deciding to consume it in large amounts.

Almond extract will quickly become a staple in many kitchens and baking projects. It adds a special flavor that is mild but can be altered to your taste. There are many reasons why we love almond extract, and we hope that by reading this article you will decide to enjoy its sweet taste on your next meal.

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