Chia seeds are high in antioxidants and a great source of various essential nutrients, vitamins, and micronutients. These tiny seeds are extremely beneficial for human health when added in diet. Let's see more details about the shelf life of chia seeds (do chia seeds go bad?), how to store for long life, and many more.
What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black or white (or mixed) seeds of plant Salvania Hispanica. The plant is believed to be native to Central America and Mexico. These seeds are edible and stores numerous nutrients in it.
This is rich in antioxidants. It's rich in protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acid. It also contains high amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and B3 (niacin).
These are extremely useful and helps in many ways for health benefits of human life. These are easy to incorporate into diet. They taste bland and so you can easily add to any dish you like to. Or consume them as they are, i.e. raw (preferably soaked in water).
They absorb water and swells up in size. So it's best to soak them before using to avoid any side effects. Or drink a lot of water after consuming these seeds. These are often used as egg substitutes too.
Shelf Life - How long do chia seeds last?
Chia seeds last longer when stored properly. If you don't store properly, they last for a short period. They can be stored in the freezer as well for a longer life. The expiry date is normally set for 2 years to manufacturing date. But with proper storage, it may stay good for 2 - 4 years or even more.
Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?
Chia seeds have a longer shelf value. They normally don't go bad even if stored for years. Only condition is the storage should be proper.
However with years, the quality of the seeds may reduce with rancidification. That means they will lose the nutrient value also along with taste and smell.
This fact is only for fresh raw seeds. When used in any pudding or dish or even normally soaked in water, their shelf life decreases to less than a week.
Do Chia Seeds Expire?
When sealed, the packet normally has a best before 2 years tag. Or say they mention the expiry date as 2 years to the manufacturing date.
But in fact, chia seeds don't even expire when stored for a few more years. And their storage should be proper like in an airtight jar and in a moisture-free environment. You can also store them in the freezer or freeze them for a longer shelf life. These tiny seeds last longer than other edible seeds.
However, the quality of fresh ones may be higher than the ones when stored long. With time they lose their taste, smell, and nutrients.
How to know if chia seeds have gone bad?
When stored for many years, rancidification occurs in chia seeds. As a result of oxidization, there may be unpleasant and strange smell from the seeds. These seeds have now lost their viable nutrients. So they are not beneficial to consume.
When gone bad the seeds will start to make lumps within. If you notice they are sticking to the wall of the jar or base of the jar, and there are lumps in the seeds, throw them as they are not in good state to use.
These seeds are normally tasteless or bland in taste. If it starts to taste bitter, that means the seeds have gone bad and not usable.
How to store chia seeds?
To store, transfer the seeds to a glass container or mason jar. Store them in a dry moisture-free area. Seal the jar tight. Excess air may speed up the rancidification process.
To avoid contamination avoid using spoon to scooping the portion. Pour it directly to the dish.
When storing in the freezer, store them in batch size for weekwise or monthwise. Use in a resealable zip bag to avoid contamination. Once remove a batch from the freezer, store in an air tight jar in the pantry.
Also read, how long does quinoa last?
Is it okay to eat expired chia seeds?
It is absolutely not unhealthy to consume chia seeds after the mentioned expiry date or even after many years. Only difference if it's in the state of consuming without any unpleasant strange smell, taste, and texture.
Do chia seeds need refrigeration after opening?
No, Not at all. You can store them at room temperature after opening the seeds. However, storing them in the freezer increases their shelf life.
Chia seeds are incredibly healthy with a long shelf life. You can store them in pantry, refrigerator, or freezer for many years. Storing in the freezer increases the shelf life of the seeds. Over time, they lose quality and nutrients. Their shelf life depends on the way they are stored. When you notice any contamination, molds or any other unpleasant state, it is better to throw them away.
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