Does Granola Go Bad?

Does granola go bad or not? How should you store granola and can you tell if granola has gone bad? Here's a super simple guide.

If you’re a lover of some good granola for breakfast, you may buy too many packets of it for one month. This may leave you wondering as you look at your extra packets for the month: Has my granola gone bad? How long does it last?

Here’s the deal with granola’s shelf-life. Unopened granola lasts 6 months past the best-by date. Once opened, the granola lasts 4-6 months at room temperature.

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Signs Granola Has Gone Bad

homemade granola with nuts

If your granola has mold, any organic growth, or an off odor, you will want to get rid of your granola. Granola will generally remain safe to eat but the quality will degrade over time. The oils in the nuts might go rancid and the granola might become stale. So be sure to taste the granola and decide if it still tastes good to you. If so, hold onto it. If not, it’s best to get rid of it.

How To Store Granola

Store your granola in the pantry or kitchen cabinet, away from sources of heat and moisture. A cool, dry area is ideal. Once you open your granola package, make sure to seal it tightly. For a longer storage option, transfer your granola to an airtight container or resealable bag.

The fridge isn’t the best place to store granola. The oats may absorb moisture and soften the granola. Or the granola may absorb odors in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Granola?

granola brands

Granola can be frozen to keep it fresh for longer, provided that it’s sealed tightly. Transfer your granola to a freezer-safe container or bag and place it in the freezer.

How Long Does Granola Last?

Thanks to the rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits, and sweeteners in granola, they tend to last a long time. The nuts may go rancid over time and the granola may grow stale. This doesn’t mean your granola has gone bad, but rather that it has degraded in quality.

Use the best-by date to determine how long granola will last. Unopened granola can stay fresh for 6 months past the best-by date. As soon as you open the package, your granola will last 4-6 months in the pantry. In the freezer, granola can last another 3 months. Granola bars can last up to 6-8 months if stored correctly in a cool, dry area and sealed tightly when not in use.

Health Benefits And Downside Of Granola

granola bars

Granola’s health benefits include that it is rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. However, if granola has more dried fruits and sweeteners, it is higher in sugar than the nut-based or grain-based granola.

Granola is often filling, due to the protein and fiber present. It can also improve blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar levels, improve gut health, and provide antioxidants.

Beware of the fact that granolas can be high in calories and packed with added fats and sugars. Carefully read nutrition labels if you’re looking for healthier granola. The first 3 ingredients should be whole foods such as oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, instead of sugar or sweeteners.       

The Verdict

Granola dates back to 1863 when the first granola was invented in New York by Dr. James Caleb Jackson. This mixture of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sweeteners has been a hit ever since. 

Granola, thankfully, lasts a long time. So you won’t have to worry about it going bad soon. However, to avoid it going stale and losing flavor, chucking it in the freezer in an airtight container is a great way to lengthen its shelf-life.

Look out for any signs such as mold, an off smell, or an off taste if you suspect that your granola has gone bad.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.