Does Almond Butter Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Here’s all about the shelf life and storage of almond butter. Learn how long almond butter lasts and when it goes bad.

You decided to give almond butter a try, but after a couple of uses, you went back to your favorite PB. Now you’re ready to finish that half-open jar, but you’re not sure if it’s still okay to eat. Does almond butter go bad?

Or maybe you’re a first-time almond butter buyer, and you’re wondering how long the nut butter lasts after opening.

Sounds familiar?

If so, you’re in the right place. Read on.

Almond butter jar in hand
Almond butter jar in hand

How Long Does Almond Butter Last?

Unopened almond butter keeps for at least a few months past the printed date. After opening, almond butter lasts about 3 to 5 months if you leave it at room temperature, or between 6 and 9 months if you store it in the fridge. Homemade almond butter keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Just like with peanut butter, it’s difficult to tell what’s the shelf life of almond butter.

Generally, this popular sandwich spread should keep peak quality for at least nine months from jarring, and three months from opening.

Of course, these periods are what the manufacturers give us, so it’s understandable that, in most cases, almond butter will easily last past those.

How long will it last exactly, you ask? As usual, it’s impossible to say, but a couple of months is a pretty safe bet.

Related: Do Almonds Expire?

Last, homemade almond butter. Since you don’t pasteurize it, storing it at room temperature isn’t a good idea. You should store it in the fridge, where it keeps for about two weeks. If you need more time, consider freezing your almond butter.

Almond butter (unopened)Best-by date + 3 monthsBest-by + 6- 12 months
Almond butter (opened)3 – 5 months6 – 9 months
Homemade almond butter2 weeks

Please note that the periods above are only estimates, and vary between manufacturers.

Almond butter date on jar
Almond butter date on the jar

Does Almond Butter Go Bad?

Almond butter lasts quite a while but goes rancid if stored for long enough or in poor conditions. So if your old almond butter has started to smell off or has developed a sharp, acrid flavor, it’s bad and you should toss it.

That flavor change is caused by the rancidification process, the same that makes old oils smell off and have an acrid taste.

The oil slowly goes rancid by exposure to air, light, moisture, or bacteria, and warm temperatures speed up that process. That’s why it’s essential to store it away from sunlight, in a closed container, and why refrigeration helps almond butter retain peak flavor for longer.

One more thing to remember is that almond butter separates over time. The oil slowly moves to the surface while the dry paste stays near the bottom.

That separation is perfectly natural and harmless. And as long as the bottom isn’t completely dry, you can fix the texture by giving it a good stir or using a hand blender.

With that in mind, let’s discuss all possible spoilage signs.

How to Tell if Almond Butter Is Bad?

Discard your almond butter if:

  • There’s mold or any discolored spots on the surface. Mold isn’t particularly common for almond butter, but if it gets contaminated, anything can happen. If there’s anything suspicious on the surface or sides of the jar, err on the side of caution.
  • It smells off. If the paste smells sour or somewhat chemical, like putty or old paint, instead of the usual nutty aroma, that’s a sure sign it’s done for.
  • The paste tastes sharp. A sharp, acrid taste is a hallmark of rancid oil, so if that’s how your almond butter tastes, it’s no good.
  • It’s stored for too long. If your almond butter has been open for like 15 months or more, it’s probably better to toss what’s left. It’s most likely rancid anyway.
Raw almonds on a table
(credit: Sara Cervera)

How to Store Almond Butter?

You should store almond butter in a cool or cold place, away from any heat sources, and always sealed when not in use.

When it comes to refrigeration, it’s not required, but doing so isn’t a bad idea either. Keeping the nut butter in the fridge helps it retain quality for longer, but it does so at a cost of hardening.

In other words, whether you refrigerate it or not is up to you and your situation.

Almond butter: oil separated
Almond butter: oil separated

If you look at what various manufacturers say about the issue, you won’t find a clear recommendation on what’s better either. Some suggest keeping their product in the fridge, others say you can store it in a kitchen cupboard, or simply say both options are fine.

The thing that you should remember is that if you leave almond butter at room temperature, and it’s one without palm oil or other stabilizers, the oil will separate. That’s not an issue though, because you can fix the texture by giving it spread a good stir.

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