You may have come across a yummy baking recipe that calls for coconut flour.
Or maybe you have decided to follow a keto or paleo diet. So you bought coconut flour to use as a replacement for ordinary flour.
You are using it for the first time, and your mind is filled with questions like:
Does coconut flour go bad? How long does it last? How to store it optimally?
If so, you are at the right place. You can get answers to all your questions here.
In short: Coconut flour is different from ordinary flour and has to be stored differently. There are nut oils in it, so it can undergo oxidation and become rancid after a certain point.
How To Know If Coconut Flour Has Gone Off
You may have noticed that good-quality coconut flour has a light cream color and a sweet and nutty aroma. If there is a change in its aroma, color, texture, or taste, it may be spoiled.
Signs of spoilage include:
- very clumpy flour (don’t get misled by small clumps that are completely normal)
- odd smell
- slightly bitter taste
Besides this, your coconut flour can be an easy target for insects. If you find them in your flour, discard the flour.
Here’s some good news: If there are no signs of spoilage, you can continue to use it even past the best-before date on the label.
How To Store Coconut Flour
Here’s the bad news. You can’t just store your coconut flour how you would your regular flour. Your coconut flour must be kept in a cold, dry, dark place. It should be away from heat sources and direct sunlight. After opening it, you should keep your coconut flour at low temperatures.
After opening a bag of coconut flour, you should not leave it at room temperature as it will become stale more quickly. The changes may not be drastic, but you will notice a slight difference in taste.
Once you open it, do not forget to close your package tightly or transfer the contents to an airtight jar or container.
You have a few storage options to choose from.
Pantry: You can keep your flour in your pantry until you open the package. But after opening it, make it a point to put it in your fridge.
Refrigerator: It is the best place to keep your opened or unopened package of coconut flour. The cold temperature decreases the chances of oxidation. It also prevents the flour from becoming stale. So, it increases your flour’s shelf life.
Before you put your opened coconut flour in the fridge, transfer it to an airtight container. It will prevent the flour from absorbing the odors of other items. Moreover, your coconut flour may get spoiled quickly, even in your fridge, if it is not suitably packed, as air will cause the fats to oxidize.
- Freezer: If you have plenty of flour and do not intend to use it soon, put it in your freezer. It will retain the flour’s quality for a longer time.
In case your store-bought coconut flour is in plastic packs or cardboard containers, you can put them directly into your freezer. But for the leftover flour, you will have to provide some extra protection. Seal the original package of your coconut flour. Put the packet in a freezer bag and place it in the freezer.
How Long Coconut Flour Lasts
There will be a best-before date on the coconut flour that tells you when your flour will be at its best quality. Although with good storage methods, you can get your coconut flour to last well beyond that point, its quality may deteriorate gradually.
Temperature is the most significant factor that plays a role in the process of deterioration. If the temperature of the surroundings is low, the process of aging is slow.
Therefore, if you store your coconut flour under optimal conditions, you can enjoy it for 12-18 months past the date of production.
The approximate shelf life of coconut flour at a glance:
- An unopened package can last for 3-6 months in your pantry past the best-before date on the label.
- An unopened pack can retain its quality for 6-12 months past the date if you keep it in your fridge.
- Unopened coconut flour may be used for 12-24 months past the date if you keep it in your freezer.
- After opening, a pack lasts until the best-before date in your pantry.
- An opened packet is usable until 3-6 months after the best-before date if kept in the fridge.
- An opened pack retains its quality for 6-12 months past the best-before date if it is in the freezer.
The Bottom Line On Coconut Flour
This flour is a healthy substitute for ordinary flour. It can last long under optimal conditions. Temperature is a significant factor that determines its rate of deterioration. Make it a point to store it at low temperatures to prolong its shelf life.