Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?
From smoothies to juices, a good drink is almost incomplete without the addition of chia seeds. Despite their small size, these edible seeds are the full package – with a mild, nutty flavor and impressive health benefits that extend from weight loss to improved digestion.
If you’re a fan of chia seeds as well, there’s a good chance you’ve been tempted to buy a huge pack of these remarkable seeds for future recipes. But, have you ever thought about how long these edibles last? Do chia seeds have a shelf life? Do they even go bad?
Here, we have rounded up everything you need to know about chia seeds. Find out more about their features, storage life, and more by reading our comprehensive guide below.
Chia Seeds – What Are They?
Chia seeds are edible seeds that come from the desert plant called Salvia hispanica, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. History has it that the seeds served as a staple in the ancient Aztec diet, specifically, as energy boosters (thus, the name “chia” which means “strength” in Mayan). Aztec warriors, at the time, accounted for their stamina and endurance to the seed. It also became a common practice to have chia seeds prior to battle and before running long distances.
Soon, the use of the seeds for culinary purposes further broadened. Specifically, from being mere additions to beverages, people began using them to make biscuits, cakes, and even tortillas and tamales.
To date, chia seeds now come in different forms. While most are consumed as unprocessed, whole-grain food, others are also ground (flour), or even adapted into oil.
Since they offer a mild, nutty flavor, they are often sprinkled on sauces, yogurt, cereals, baked goods, and different beverages.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
As mentioned earlier, chia seeds are known for their impressive health benefits. Specifically, the seeds serve as a good source of fiber. In fact, an ounce of these edibles equates to about 10 grams of fiber, making them an ideal food choice for people who want to shed some weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve digestion.
Aside from that, the seeds are also rich in calcium, iron, antioxidants, and even omega-3 fatty acids.
Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?
Good news, these seeds boast of their long shelf life far exceeding the shelf life of most seeds on the market. Specifically, thanks to their rich antioxidants, you can expect them to last for years, so long as they are stored properly.
Storing them doesn’t require extra effort either. In fact, you can simply put them in a bag and store them somewhere dry and away from sunlight.
Typically a cabinet or even a small box will do so long as you’ll keep them from direct or nearby sources of heat.
To ensure that they last even longer, it’s best to pack them closely using a resealable bag. If you don’t have bags, you can always turn to an airtight container or even a freezer bag. The goal is to keep them tightly sealed to prevent any moisture buildup that can contribute for faster spoilage.
However, if we’re dealing with processed products, such as chia gels or puddings, the best method is to keep them in the fridge and expect the treats to last from 5 to 7 days.
Are Your Chia Seeds Already Bad? The Tell-Tale Signs
Although they have a longer shelf life, they can still go bad, especially when stored improperly. To tell whether your favored chia seeds are already bad, here are the tell-tale signs you must be mindful of:
- Appearance: In terms of appearance, spoiled chia seeds might have visible mold buildup. If you spot mold around them, the best response is to throw them out instead of merely cutting off the moldy portion of the seeds.
- Smell: Normally, they give off a nut-like aroma. If they start giving off a distinct, rancid smell, it’s best to throw them away.
- Taste: When it comes to taste, they are known for their mild, nutty flavor. If they offer a somewhat bitter taste, this could be an indication that your seeds have gone bad already.
The Bottom Line
Happy to know that your favorite chia seeds are blessed with a longer shelf life? Enjoy most of these healthy edibles by storing them properly.
Sprinkle them into your drinks and baked treats to take advantage of their distinct taste and impressive health promises.