Granola bars can be an incredibly versatile and healthy snack, providing a good source of protein and fiber that are an ideal way to keep hunger at bay in between meals.
It is fair to say that some varieties have as much sugar and calories as chocolate and sweets, so they will be nowhere near as healthy. But they are still often kept in cupboards as a good back up snack, due to how long they last compared to many other snack products.
That does beg the question, do granola bars expire or go bad? Yes, granola bars do expire and they will eventually go bad, but it’s normally a lot longer after the expiry date than most people realize. A well stored and sealed granola bar can expect to last 6-8 months after the manufacturers’ expiry date, which is more of an indication of when is the peak time to eat your granola bar.
In this article, you can read about granola bars and the more common questions associated with their expiry. You will learn how long a granola bar is still safe to eat after its expiry date, the tell tale signs to spot if your granola bar has gone bad and some of the best ways to store your granola bar, to maintain it’s freshness for the longest possible time.
Can Granola Bars Expire?
All packaged goods come with some form of expiry date on them, sometimes stated as a ‘best before’ or ‘best by’ date on the packet. So, technically granola bars will expire at a specified date.
However, these are normally a guide from the manufacturer and as long as you have kept the granola bar in the right environment and not opened the packaging, then it will continue to be fine to eat for some time after the actual expiry date.
These dates are generally the manufacturers’ way of indicating the best time to eat your granola bar by, they are not an indication of whether the bar will cause you to be sick or ill because the bar has gone bad.
Will Granola Bars Eventually Go Bad?
The ingredients in a granola bar, like dried nuts and rolled oats, mean it will last for a very long time, but eventually, a granola bar will go bad and you should not eat it after this point. Depending on how the granola bar was stored, it could become inedible and ultimately harmful to eat within 3-4 months but normally much longer.
If you plan to eat the granola bar after the manufacturers’ expiry date, then it is important to check the granola bar carefully for the signs below.
How Do You Know If Your Granola Bar is Spoiled?
As a well-stored granola bar can remain healthy to eat for over 6 months, it then begs the question of how to tell if a granola bar is still safe to eat. The best way to judge the condition of the granola bar is through looking at it, smelling it and taste.
The clearest way to know if the granola bar is spoiled and should not be consumed is if mold builds up and it is giving off a bad odor. As a type of fungus, mold is very harmful and indicates that your granola bar is rotten and needs to be thrown away immediately.
Another key way of telling if your granola bar has gone bad is to taste it. Take a small bite and if the granola bar has a stale taste, this could be an indicator that the oils from the nuts, that are a key ingredient of the granola bar, have gone rancid, which can happen after a long time.
Can You Eat a Soggy Granola Bar?
Eventually, a granola bar will go soggy, but despite what it might look like, this doesn’t mean that the granola bar cannot be consumed, just that it has too much moisture and needs to be re-dried. So, yes you can eat a soggy granola bar but in order to revive it, it is important to put it back in an oven and bake it at a high temperature.
It is important to catch the sogginess early, the longer the granola bar remains soggy, the greater the chance that this will lead to mold, which is caused by the dampness. Inspect the granola bar carefully before deciding to put it in the oven, to ensure it is just soggy and that mold has not taken hold.
How Do You Best Store Granola Bars to Make them Last Longer?
Earlier we mentioned that a granola bar can last up to 8 months past its expiry date and still be absolutely fine to eat, retaining its taste and nutritional benefits, but how long it lasts, depends on how it has been stored. The best way to store a granola bar is ensuring it is kept sealed and stored in a cool and dry place.
Keep it sealed – An unsealed granola bar will not last as well, potentially 4 months less than a sealed one, so it is important to keep it safely sealed, keeping in all the goodness and preserving it for longer.
Cool and Dry Storage – By keeping the granola bar in a cool and dry place, you are preventing moisture getting to the granola bar, which will at first cause it to go soggy but eventually could lead to mould.
If you open a packet of granola bars, it’s sensible to leave any individually wrapped ones sealed if you don’t plan to eat them soon, but if you have opened the granola bar, you do have a couple of options to preserve it for longer use.
You might think about freezing the bar until you are ready to finish eating it, which will maintain its flavor and freshness.
If you do still plan to eat it relatively soon, the best thing to do is place the granola bar in an airtight container, like Tupperware.