Love cooking with coconut cream or using it in your skin and hair care products?
Whether you buy it canned from the store or make it fresh in your kitchen, sooner or later you’re going to want to know how to store coconut cream for the best shelf life possible for your cream.
Storing coconut cream the correct way can make a big difference to how long your coconut cream will last and it’s possible to extend this time from a few hours to six months.
Below, I describe exactly what coconut cream is and discuss whether it can go bad before walking you through how to store coconut cream after opening as well as answering the top question, can I freeze coconut cream?
What Is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream in its purest form is simply coconut meat and water. That’s it! Some store bought coconut creams can add other ingredients such as guar gum to thicken and stabilize it.
It’s actually quite straightforward to make your own coconut cream. There are multiple ways to do this which end up with the same result.
An easy way to make coconut cream is to place coconut flesh and water in a blender. Blend it as much as possible. Once this is done, strain out the liquid.
The liquid should be placed in some type of jar or container where it can sit and separate. The thicker, creamier and higher fat content coconut cream will float to the top. Coconut milk will sink to the bottom.
In this way, you can make both coconut milk and coconut cream with the main difference being the higher fat content of the coconut cream.
If you don’t want to make your own coconut cream, it’s very easy to buy it here.
Coconut cream is a great cooking ingredient which is used in many Asian dishes. It can also be a yummy additive to smoothies. You can also use it in beauty products like on your skin.
Does Coconut Cream Go Bad?
Yes, coconut cream can go bad. It can go bad quickly too if you don’t store it in the correct way (coming up!). Once coconut cream is opened or made fresh, it should be used relatively quickly to help prevent this.
You can tell if coconut cream is bad as it’ll look, smell or taste not right. If you notice any sour or rancid aromas, discoloring or bad tastes, toss out your coconut cream.
How To Store Coconut Cream
It’s easy to learn how to preserve coconut cream. It does differ depending on whether you are wanting to store fresh, homemade coconut cream or canned coconut cream and whether the can has been opened or not.
Don’t ever store your coconut cream on a bench. It won’t last long.
How To Store Homemade Coconut Cream
Fresh coconut cream should be place in an airtight container and placed in the fridge when you are not using it. This can help extend its lifespan from hours to up to five days.
In the fridge, avoid storing it near strong smelling items as the smell can leak into the coconut cream.
How To Store Canned Coconut Cream
Unopened cans of coconut cream can be stored in a cool, dark, dry pantry. This can allow them to not just keep in great condition until their best before date but also to be ok after this.
The main thing is to avoid heat and humidity, both of which can damage your coconut cream.
How To Store Coconut Cream After Opening
After you open your coconut cream, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I recommend you move it into a plastic or glass container rather than keeping it in the can as the metal taste of the can is able to seep into the coconut cream.
In the fridge, I also recommend you don’t keep it next to strong smelling items as the smell from them can also seep in.
Can You Freeze Coconut Cream?
There’s also an alternative to the fridge for fresh and opened coconut cream. You can freeze it. This can extend its lifespan by up to six months and is recommended if you won’t use the coconut cream in the fridge quickly.
So the answer to can you freeze coconut cream? Is a big YES!
Once you have frozen it, you can melt some whenever you want to use it either by placing it in the fridge or in the microwave. If you are cooking with heat, you could simply add the frozen coconut cream to the dish.
You can also use cubes of it in smoothies instead of ice.
Note that manufacturers of coconut cream often do not recommend freezing. This is because they want their coconut cream to be at its best when you use it. Freezing and then defrosting it can make changes to your coconut cream, but these are subtle and I don’t notice it at all in cooking.
How To Freeze Coconut Cream
Have some coconut cream about to expire? Freeze it! It’s straightforward to do and then you’ll always have some coconut cream ready for you to use it.
Step 1: Pour the coconut cream into an ice cube tray
The easiest way to freeze it is to pour the coconut cream into an ice cube tray. This way, you can easily defrost exactly what you need later.
Step 2: Freeze the coconut cream
Put the ice cube tray into the freezer and leave it until it freezes which will be at least a few hours.
Step 3: Put the coconut cream ice cubes into a freezer bag
Place the cubes into a freezer bag or a freezer-proof container.
How Long Does Coconut Cream Last?
How long coconut cream lasts depends on where you store it and whether it is fresh, an unopened can or an opened can of coconut cream.
The following table gives you all the details.
|The Coconut Cream Is…||It Is Stored In The…||It Will Last For…|
|Unopened Can||Pantry||A few weeks past the expiry date|
|Opened Can||Pantry||Less than a day|
|Refrigerator||Up to a week (ideally use in a few days)|
|Freezer||Up to 6 months|
|Freshly Made||Pantry||Less than a day|
|Freezer||Up to 6 months|
Note that the best before date on a can of coconut cream is exactly that – the date that the coconut cream is best before. Manufacturers want you to use their product when it’s at its best and that’s what using the cream before this date will give you.
However, it won’t suddenly go bad the next day. If you are storing your coconut cream in a cool, dark, dry pantry, it’ll likely be good for weeks after this date.
Once your coconut cream is opened or for fresh homemade coconut cream, storing it in the fridge will help it last longer with freezing it a great option when you won’t consume it quickly.
I hope you have found this guide to how to store coconut cream including how to freeze coconut cream useful. Keeping unopened cans of coconut cream in a cool pantry and opened and fresh coconut cream in the fridge will help ensure your coconut cream is good for as long as possible.
Freezing coconut cream is a great choice when your coconut cream will go bad before you have a chance to use it. This will extend its lifespan again.
You can also find our guide to storing coconut milk here, storing coconut flour here or read about using coconut cream on your skin here. Want to know the differences between coconut cream and butter? Find them here. Find all our useful coconut product guides here.