Does Almond Flour Go Bad? The Ultimate Guide

Almond flour is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for those on a low-carbohydrate or keto diet.

Does Almond Extract Go Bad?
Does Almond Extract Go Bad?

Made from ground almonds that are then blanched, this gluten free flour is a great keto alternative to all purpose flour. It can be used in any recipe that would typically call for traditional flour.

You can use it when making sweet treats such as pancakes, macarons, cookies, brownies, and more. It can also be used in savory dishes such as meatballs, curries, and even pizzas.

Given its versatility, it makes sense to stock up on plenty of it in your pantry!

But, how long should you keep it? Does almond flour go bad? Unfortunately yes, it eventually does. In fact, it will go rancid quite quickly if it’s not stored properly. 

The good news is that you’re in the right place to learn how to do just that.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how long almond flour lasts and how to properly store it and prolong its shelf life.

Does Almond Flour Go Bad?

Yes, sadly, almond flour does indeed go bad over time.

But, if you take care of it, then hopefully you won’t have to throw out any spoiled flour. 

Can You Use Expired Almond Flour?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to use flour that has passed the expiry date on its packaging, as long as the product is properly stored. While the “best by” or “use by” date on the packaging can be a good guide, they are generally just rough estimates.

The best test is by looking and smelling for differences in the flour.

In some cases, if it’s been stored properly in the pantry (or even preferably in the fridge), it can last for months after the “best by” date. And if it’s frozen, it can last even longer. 

However, if the package is damaged or shows signs of spoilage, it’s best to discard it to be on the safe side. 

What Happens if You Eat Expired Almond Flour?

If you accidentally (or purposefully) eat expired almond flour, it’s most likely that you’ll be completely fine and it won’t cause any adverse reactions.

It’s not a problem to use expired flour that doesn’t show any tell-tale signs of spoilage or having gone rancid. And if it has, you’ll likely be able to tell before you use it (click here to jump to the signs you should look for). 

But, if you do happen to accidentally eat rancid flour, there is a chance that you can get sick.

Sometimes rancid almond flour may contain mycotoxins which can cause food poisoning, particularly if you’ve eaten a lot of it.

But, most of the time spoiled flour will smell and taste bad without causing any harm. The same goes for expired almonds as well.

If something does happen it’s most likely that the worst you’ll get is an upset stomach. That said, if you do start to feel unwell after eating bad flour, get in touch with your doctor.

How Long Does Almond Flour Last?

How long your flour lasts depends on if it’s been opened and/or if it’s being kept in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. 

The shortest possible time it will last is if it’s been opened (or just made) and stored in the cupboard or pantry. Stored in the pantry, almond flour can last up to three months past the sell-by date.

The next longest storage time is if it’s stored in the fridge. Unopened almond flour stored in the fridge can last for around one year. If it’s opened, then it can last for about six months.

Lastly, for the longest storage, you should store it in the freezer. If it’s been opened then you can store it in the freezer and expect the best quality for up to one year. If it’s unopened then you can expect it to last for up to two years.

Almond flour stored in the freezer it will be technically safe to eat nearly indefinitely, but the quality will suffer after the optimal times above. 

Type of Almond FlourIn the PantryIn the FridgeIn the Freezer
Unopened Store-bought“Best-by” dateUp to 1 yearUp to 2 years
Opened Store-boughtUp to 3 monthsUp to 6 monthsUp to 1 year
HomemadeUp to a monthUp to 3 monthsUp to 1 year

How to Properly Store Almond Flour

Almond flour is extremely sensitive to moisture by nature, to the point where if even only a few drops of liquid get in there, the entire bag may be undesirable to use.

When it’s unopened, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to storage. Most people’s natural instinct in this situation would be to place it on a shelf in the pantry as they would with regular flour, which is totally fine. Your flour will be okay as long as the area where an unopened bag is kept cool, dry, and dark.

But, once almond flour has been opened, or you finished making some yourself, it becomes more challenging to store it. It’s also all the more important that you store it properly. Otherwise, it can quickly go bad.

Because flour dislikes being exposed to the elements, it will show negative signs pretty quickly. Normally, if we were dealing with wheat flour, we would reseal the package and return it to the pantry.

This isn’t what I would recommend for almond flour.

That’s because insects are notoriously attracted to it and will quickly flock to it if it’s not properly sealed. The second reason is that, due to its high oil content, it actually keeps much better in the fridge.

To properly store almond flour in the fridge, and for the best results and longest storage time, simply place it into an airtight container and label it, before placing it in the fridge.

It’s also fine to store the same airtight container in the pantry too. However, it doesn’t last as long – only a few months past its “best by” date. 

Can You Freeze Almond Flour?

Yes, you can certainly freeze almond flour. As previously stated, almond flour can be kept in the freezer almost indefinitely. This is technically correct, but after a certain period of time, the quality and flavor will begin to deteriorate. At this point, while it is safe to consume, it is not particularly enjoyable and can negatively impact your baking or cooking. 

You can expect an unopened bag of frozen almond flour to be usable for up to two years after its printed sell-by date.

An opened and resealed bag of flour can be kept in the freezer for up to after its expiry date.

To learn more about freezing and defrosting almond flour, check out our guide here!

How To Tell if Almond Flour Has Gone Bad

There are a number of ways that you can tell if your almond flour has gone bad. 

The first sign that it has gone bad is an unpleasant odor. When fresh, it has a slightly sweet, nutty aroma, just like almonds. If it’s gone rancid or moldy, the odor will turn musty or even sour if it’s gone too far.

The color of the flour can also be used to determine its quality. Almond flour is a very pale tan color, just off-white, and very uniform.  There may be darker areas, specks, or streaks through the flour if it has gone bad.

If exposed to moisture, almond flour can also become moldy. Should mold be present, you’ll probably notice hints of blue or green in your flour. If you see any sign of this, throw it all out.

Mold isn’t always obvious though. If you notice sticky clumps in your flour, you should also throw it out. The presence of enough moisture to form these clumps could also be indicative of mold. It’s not worth taking the risk that it might just be excess moisture.

Finally, if there is any access, pantry pests such as bugs and insects can infest your flour. They’ll go after anything but seem especially drawn to almond flour.

If you find any black or dark brown bugs in the flour, throw it out. Where there is one, there are most likely many more.