Oatmeal is one of the breakfast staples for many of us. I love how convenient it is since there is no more need for you to cook and to have complicated preparation. It is perfect for people on the go, and most importantly, can provide a filling treat that will help you to power up for the day ahead.
If you are like me who keep more oatmeal that what I can realistically consume, you have to read this post. If you are asking can oatmeal go bad, this guide is for you. If you are curious about the best things that you can do to make your oatmeal last longer, consider yourself lucky! This post has valuable insights on some of the things that you have to know about oatmeal.
Can Oatmeal Go Bad?
There are different variables that will have an impact on the answer to this question. Generally speaking, however, yes, oatmeal will most likely expire and go bad at one point. When will such happen? This will depend on what kind of oatmeal you have.
If you have a packaged oatmeal at home, all that you have to do is to look at the expiration date that is stated in the box. Usually, this is one year from the date of production. This means that you can keep the oatmeal at such duration, but provided that the packaging is unopened.
Once it has been opened, on the other hand, it will be a different story. This means that it will be prone to air and penetration of external elements that will make it go bad quicker. It can spoil within a few months, unless you keep it in a container that comes with an airtight seal.
Proper Way of Storing Oatmeal
Like in the case of any other perishable items, you need to pay attention to proper storage. This will be instrumental in retaining the flavor and freshness of the oatmeal. However, even if it is stored the right way, this does not mean that it will automatically have an indefinite shelf life.
If you are not yet ready to eat the oatmeal, avoid opening the box. Instead, keep it in a place that is cool and dry. It should be away from direct heat. Also, make sure that you keep it away from rodents and insects. Too much moisture and humidity can lead to condensation, which will weaken the packaging.
For prepared oatmeal, on the other hand, you should not leave it at room temperature. The best thing to do is to put it in the fridge, making sure that the temperature does not go above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should also be placed in an airtight container to retain its freshness.
If you are transferring the oatmeal in a separate container with a tight seal, it is best to put a label on the outside indicating the date when you had it transferred. This will make it easier to know if it is still good to eat it or if you should just throw it away.
How to Tell if Oatmeal has Gone Bad
The easiest way is to look at the box. If it is past its expiration date, this is a sign that the oatmeal has already gone bad. While some opt to still eat it after this date, this should not be done as its taste will surely be different. The same thing is true with its texture.
There will be visible changes in the physical appearance of oatmeal once it has reached it spoilage. The color will be darker or lighter than the original. It is also possible that there will be mold and yeast. In some case, there will even be insects.
You should also try smelling oatmeal to easily tell if it has already gone bad. If there is a foul odor, this is a sure sign that you have to discard it and get yourself a new box!
Benefits of Eating Oatmeal
There is probably a reason why oatmeal is a popular choice for a breakfast meal. More than being convenient, it is a favorite amongst many people because of its nutritional value. It is a hearty and healthy way to start your day!
It is known to be a filling meal, which makes it the perfect choice for weight watchers. It will make you feel full throughout the day, and hence, will lessen the tendency to crave.
Oats are also directly related to improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol. This is why it can prove to be the perfect meal for people who have hypertension and diabetes. This can be possibly because of the presence of beta glucan, which is one form of soluble fiber.
Aside from those that have been mentioned above, eating oatmeal is also a good idea because it contains manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, folate, iron, copper, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B5, among many other nutrients.
How to Prepare Oatmeal
Now that you know how nutritious oatmeal is, you are probably wondering how it can be prepared. There are different ways to do this. Those that are already available as instant oatmeal will only need hot water or warm milk.
On the other hand, for those that are in the form of steel cut oats, you need to cook them first in boiling water. This will make them softer and easier to eat. You can also add raisins and fruits, depending on the flavor that you want.
Below is a short video that shows how you can prepare oatmeal:
So, can oatmeal go bad? Based on the above discussions, I believe that this question has already been answered. In case you have already forgotten, here is a rundown of the things that we have earlier tackled:
- If the oatmeal is packaged, look at the expiration or best-by date stated by the manufacturer. Generally, it can last up to one year following production. Once opened, on the other hand, it will spoil quicker, unless you keep it in a container with airtight seal.
- Pay attention to proper storage. Avoid opening the box if you are not yet ready to eat it. Keep the box in a cool and dry place. For prepared oatmeal, keep it in the fridge and inside a clean container with airtight seal.
- To easily tell if oatmeal has gone bad, pay attention to the changes in its color or possible appearance of mold. Also, if there is a foul smell, just throw it away.