Learn how to store wheat flour long term so you can benefit from this key ingredient now, in 2 years, or in 30 years.
Extending the Shelf life of Sweet Almond Oil for Long-Term Storage
Sweet almond oil is a popular oil used for both culinary and cosmetic purposes, and for this reason, it is important to learn how to store it for long-term usage. Like other nuts, almonds are filled with high-quality fats that can complement your cooking. However, what makes almond oil unique, is that it can also be used as a moisturizer for dry skin and applied to hair. In fact, it’s been used for cosmetic purposes for thousands of years in ancient cultures. So if you’re looking for a healthy, versatile cooking oil that can be used for more than just cooking, consider storing almond oil.
When used for cooking, a sealed bottle of sweet almond oil has a maximum shelf life of 1 year. Once opened, sweet almond oil has a shelf life of about 6 months. Fortunately, if you intend to use it for hair and skin, it can be used past its expiration date for up to 2 years; however, it will not be as effective as a fresh bottle of almond oil.
Almond oil should be avoided if someone in your family has a severe nut allergy.
What is Almond Oil?
Almond oil is an oil extracted from almonds. Almonds naturally contain high-quality fats and are packed with essential nutrients, making them a healthy oil used for cooking dishes. However, not all almond oils are alike. The varieties of almond oils are based on the type of almond tree it’s sourced from, as well as how the oil is extracted, which can influence flavor, uses, and shelf life.
Almond oil has been used for cosmetic purposes for thousands of years in Ancient China and India (source). Sweet almond oil, specifically, has been used to treat dry skin and eczema. It is also known to strengthen and repair hair and is strongly suggested to increase hair growth as well (source).
Refined Almond Oil vs. Cold Pressed Almond Oil
When it comes to cooking with sweet almond oils, there are two main types, refined and cold pressed almond oils.
- Refined Almond Oil: Refined sweet almond oil undergoes a mechanized process to extract the oil from the almond. This results in much of the nutty flavor and nutrients being removed in the processes. However, if you intend to fry food or cook at high temperatures, you will want to use refined almond oil. This oil has a smoke point of 420°F, or 215°C, making it a great option for sauteeing vegetables, frying, and baking.
- Cold Pressed Almond Oil: When making cold pressed oils, the lack of heating in the process allows the oil to retain the majority of its nutrients and minerals. This results in a healthier cooking oil, albeit with a much low smoke point of 158°F, or 70°C. When cooking past this temperature, the almond oil will begin to lose its benefits. Cold pressed almond oil is not recommended for cooking at high temperatures. But to benefit from the oil, consider mixing almond oil with another healthy oil, which can give dishes a nuttier flavor and provide some of the nutritional benefits unique to almond oil. Cold Pressed Almond oil is often used as a finishing oil, and it’s used as a topping for fish and salads.
What is the Shelf life of Sweet Almond Oil?
Remember that almond oil can be used for both cooking and cosmetic purposes, so the shelf life of sweet almond oil depends on how you use it. If you are using it for cooking purposes, the maximum shelf life of sweet almond oil is 1 year when stored properly and sealed. Once opened, almond oil has a shelf life of 6 months. However, if you intend to use sweet almond oil for cosmetic purposes, it can be used past its expiration date, up to 2 years. Still, the benefits from almond oil are not as effective the older the contents of the bottle are.
Once the oil is past its usefulness, it’s best to dispose of it. Consuming expired oils can release free radicals into the body, causing cells to destabilize and leading to long-term negative health consequences (source).
How to Store Almond Oil?
To properly store almond oil, you should aim to avoid rancid causing factors such as heat, direct sunlight, and oxygen. Exposure to any of these elements will cause rancidity. The best place to store almond oil is a cool, dark place such as a pantry or refrigerator. Both these locations hit all the checkmarks for limiting exposure to rancid causing factors. If you live in a hot climate, it is better to store it in the fridge. Once the room temperature exceeds 75°F or 24°C, cooking oils are at risk of going rancid due to heat exposure.
Additionally, we suggest using a tin or glass airtight container for storing almond oil. Tin and glass are better preservation material than plastic containers, and it prevents dangerous plastic chemicals from leaking into your oil.
Can Almond Oil be Frozen?
Yes, sweet almond oil can be stored in a freezer and frozen for longer preservation. Fortunately, freezing almond oil has no effect on the quality and nutrients of the oil, so it is safe to store in a freezer until you need it. Freezers are a good place to store them because it protects oils from the rancid causing factors we mentioned previously, heat, sunlight, and oxygen exposure.
Still, you should know the shelf life of sweet almond oil will only be extended for several more months. The shelf life varies on the type of oil, but once the oil is unfrozen, you should run a rancidity test to determine if it’s still safe to consume.
Also, if you intend to store the almond oil in the freezer, you should consider moving the oil into a freezer-safe container. Plastic bottles are not effective storage containers in the freezer.
How to tell if Sweet Almond Oil has Expired?
Determining if almond oil has expired is simple. Simply run a rancidity test relying on your sense of sight, smell, and taste.
- Discoloration: The first and most obvious sign to look for is discoloration. Sweet almond oil is naturally yellow in color. If the color has changed, better dispose of it, as there is no need to perform a smell test.
- Soapy Aroma: The second step to check for rancidity is by smelling the oil. Rancid oils lose their natural aromas and have a soapy odor to them. You will know immediately if the oil has gone rancid.
- Off Taste: The third and final step to check for rancidity is by tasting a small amount of the sweet almond oil. Expired oils do not taste as intended and will be a clear and obvious sign to dispose of the oil.
If the oil passes the taste test, it is likely safe to consume and use in a dish.
Is it Safe to use Expired Sweet Almond Oil?
No, sweet almond oil, like other cooking oils, should NOT be consumed once it’s expired. Cooking with expired oils can ruin a dish, but worse, it can lead to serious health complications later on. Frequent consumption of expired oils releases free radicals into your body, which destabilize cells, and can lead to heart disease, inflammation, and other serious health concerns (source).
If you have any indication the oil has expired, it’s better to dispose of it immediately. Exposing your family to rancid oils can lead to unintended consequences.
How to Dispose of Sweet Almond Oil?
A common misconception about disposing of cooking oils is that it is safe to pour them down the drain. However, this is far from the truth, and doing so, can lead the drains to clog up. This will result in a bad odor in your kitchen. And an expensive call to a plumber. Fortunately, this can be prevented as there are safe ways to dispose of used or expired almond oil. Some ideas for properly disposing of almond oil are:
- Turn it to animal feed
- Convert it into a herbicide
- Add it to compost
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Soap
- DIY Candles
- Wrap it in tin foil and place it in a freezer bag, then throw it in a trash can.
Related Article: How to Dispose of Cooking Oil – Environmentally
Benefits of Almond Oil
The nutritional benefits of almond oil are many, making it great for cooking, hair, and skin. Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus, and Omega-9 fatty acids. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for health and skin.
Benefits of Almond Oil for Hair
Almond oil has been prized by many cultures for its healing properties. Sweet almond oil is ideal for hair. It has been used to (source):
- Soften hair
- Strengthen and repair hair
- Treat a dry scalp
- Increase hair growth
Where coconut oil is recommended for curly and coarse hair types, almond oil can be applied to all types of hair. To use it properly, simply place a small amount of oil throughout your hair, paying extra attention to the ends. Afterward, massage the oil into your hair.
Benefits of Almond Oil for Skin
Almonds are packed with essential minerals for healthy skin and have been used to treat wounds and alleviate inflammation. Some common uses of almond oil for skin are (source):
- Reduces active acne
- Reverse skin discoloration
- Limit signs of scarring
- Removes signs of stretch marks
- Alleviates dry skin
- Reduces eye circles
Is Sweet Almond Oil Good for Cooking?
Yes, however, it depends on the type of sweet almond oil being used and the purpose of your meal. If you intend to cook foods at high temperatures, it is better to use refined almond oil since it has a smoke point of 420°F. Unrefined or cold pressed sweet almond oil can be used at higher temperatures, but only when mixed with other oils with high smoke points.
Generally speaking, cold-pressed almond oil is used as a finishing oil for salads, fish, and other foods in order to give them a rich, nutty flavor.
Substitutes for Sweet Almond Oil
Almond oil is one of the healthier cooking oils. If you are looking for a healthy substitute, consider coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil.
Oils Similarities Differences
Coconut Oil 1) Similar nutrients and health benefits
2) Used for beauty purposes
1) Unrefined coconut Oil has much longer shelf life of 5 years
2) Aroma emitting from coconut oil is stronger than almond oil
Avocado Oil 1) Similar shelf life of 1 year
2) Used for beauty purposes
1) Avocado is a fruit based oil, whereas almond oil is a nut based oil
2) Avocado is a deep penetrating oil, whereas Almond oil is best used for those with sensitive skin
Grapeseed Oil 1) Similar shelf life of 1 year
2) Used for beauty purposes
1) Grapeseed oil is bitter in flavor, where as Almond oil is rich and nutty
2) Grapeseed oil absorbs quickly into the skin, whereas Almond oil is absorbed slowly
Related Article: Extending the Shelf Life of Avocado Oil
Cooking Oils to Avoid
Almond oil is healthy cooking oil, but you should avoid consuming highly processed seed oils. Seed oils have gone through an extensive oxidation process in which many of the important nutrients and health benefits are removed. Additionally, they are often made with genetically modified ingredients, making the contents of the oil unnatural. Cooking oils such as the following should be avoided:
- Canola Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Corn Oil
Related Article: Shelf Life of Canola Oil for Long-Term Storage
Non-Cooking uses for Almond Oil
Cooking oils are versatile tools for preppers as they can be used for so much more than just cooking. We touched on how almond oils can be used for beauty purposes, but some other uses for almond oil are:
- DIY Toothpaste
- Lubricating metal pieces
- Shining household items
- Dust suppressant
Nutrition Facts of Almond Oil
Almonds, like other nuts, are primarily composed of natural fats. Below are the nutrition facts for sweet almond oil:
Nutrients 1 tbsp
Sweet Almond Oil vs. Bitter Almond Oil?
There are two main types of almond oils, sweet almond oil, and bitter almond oil. The type of oil depends on the type of almond tree it is extracted from. Both oils are often used for hair and skin treatment, but they vary in how and why they are applied:
- Cooking: Bitter almond oil should NOT be used in cooking because it contains toxins that are extremely harmful if consumed. ONLY sweet almond oil can be consumed.
- Hair: Bitter almond oil is used to combat a dry scalp and help strengthen hair follicles. Sweet almond oil has similar abilities, but it is more often used to moisturize hair.
- Skin: Bitter almond oil has antibacterial properties which help combat acne and has a strong nutty aroma which is often used for therapeutic purposes. Sweet almond oil is a slow absorbing oil, making it great for massages. It can also be a great skin moisturizer for those with dry skin.
Sweet almond oil is used for cooking, as well as for cosmetic purposes. Bitter almond oil is a type of essential oil often used for aromas because of its therapeutic value.
Almond oil lasts about one year when stored properly, but if used for cosmetic and beauty purposes, it can be used for up to two years. Limiting exposure to air, heat, and sunlight can extend the shelf life sweet of almond oil. Simply storing the oil in a dark, cool place such as a fridge or pantry will protect the oil from the majority of rancidity threats.
Almond oil is an excellent oil to store in your pantry since it is versatile and can be applied for more than just cooking. In a scenario where cooking oils are far and few between, cooking oils such as almond oil will be a popular item for trade and barter.
Related Article: Best Cooking Oils for Long-Term Storage
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