I’ve always heard that chia seeds are among the healthiest food on the planet. These tiny black seeds have several nutritional benefits.
There are two main types of chia seeds, black chia seeds, and white chia seeds.
The two are pretty much the same when it comes to their nutritional value, so you do not need to worry too much about which ones to choose. Just pick the ones that best suit your recipe, or whatever is available.
A friend of mine was going on and on about them so I decided to give them a try. I bought two bags just to give them a try and see if I would like them.
So far I have only used a small amount since most recipes just call for a teaspoon of chia seeds.
Do chia seeds go bad?
Yes, when stored for too long, chia seeds start showing signs of rancidity. How long do chia seeds last? When stored properly in the pantry, unopened chia seeds can last for up to 2 years. If refrigerated, they can last for up to 4 years.
Since I had never used them before, I started wondering if chia seeds go bad, and if they do, exactly how long do they last? I started doing a little bit of research and gathered so much knowledge that I am happy to share it with you.
In this article, we will go into detail about the shelf life of chia seeds, storage, and signs of spoilage. We will even explain how to use them.
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The shelf life of chia seeds
Unlike other seeds, chia seeds actually last for a very long time. Chia seeds contain a significant amount of antioxidants.
The antioxidants make sure that the oil in the chia seeds does not go rancid quickly. This way, chia seeds retain their good quality for a long time.
Most chia seeds come with a best by date on the packaging. Most of the time, the best by date is a year or two past the packaging date. The best by date is not an expiry date.
Chia seeds can last for months or even years past the best by date. All you need to do is check for signs of spoilage every few weeks. If there are no signs of spoilage, they are definitely still safe to use.
When stored in the pantry whether opened or unopened, chia seeds can last for up to two years past the best by date. When stored in the fridge or freezer, they can last for four years. Such a long time, right?
There is probably no need for you to worry about whether or not your chia seeds have gone bad because, by the time they do, chances are you would already have used them.
How to store chia seeds
It is important that you store your chia seeds properly if you want them to last for a long time. Chia seeds are not complicated when it comes to storage. You can either store them in the fridge, freezer, kitchen cabinet, or pantry.
Chia seeds should be stored in a cool and dry place at a constant temperature away from sunlight and heat.
This makes the pantry and fridges your best bet. I recommend storing them in the kitchen cabinet because that way, you will use them more.
Most chia seeds are packaged in resealable bags. If they aren’t, you will have to transfer them to an airtight container. Make sure that you seal the bag or container tightly after every use. This way, the chia seeds will retain their good quality for much longer.
Products made from chia seeds should be stored the same way. For instance, chia flour should be stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight and heat.
If you want your chia seeds to last for much longer, store them in the fridge or freezer. This way they will retain their good quality for up to four years.
Signs that your chia seeds have gone bad
If your chia seeds have stayed for too long, or you do not store them properly, they will start going bad.
Here are a few signs that your chia seeds have gone bad and are no longer safe to use.
- Weird smell
Generally, chia seeds do not have a distinct smell. If you notice that they have a weird smell, chances are that the oil in the seeds has gone rancid. They are no longer safe to use.
Molds growing inside your bag or container of chia seeds is never a good sign.
You probably did not store them properly and moisture got into them in one way or another. Just count your loses and discard them because there is no way you can use them.
- Off taste
If you use chia seeds in your recipes, it may be a bit difficult to tell if the taste is no longer the same because you only use a small amount.
Luckily for you, there is a way you can easily detect any change in taste if you are doubting whether the chia seeds are still of good quality. Simply soak a few of the seeds in water and then taste them. If the taste is off, discard them.
How to eat chia Seeds
Since chia seeds are very nutritious, it is important that you find ways of incorporating them into your diet. Here are a few suggestions on how to eat chia seeds.
- Make chia pudding
You can easily make chia pudding by adding a quarter cup of chia seeds to fruit juice or almond milk. I specifically love adding them to almond milk. You can add a few toppings of your choice for flavor
- Add them to your smoothie
You can add chia seeds to your smoothie as they are or grind them to form a powder that you can just stir into your smoothie.
- Use them as a salad topping
Chia seeds can make an awesome salad topping. They are filled with essential nutrients that will make your salad healthier.
- Add them to your yogurt or oatmeal
Add chia seeds to your yogurt or oatmeal and enjoy it.
What to do with old chia seeds
As long as your chia seeds are not spoilt, there are many different ways you can use them. Here are a few.
- Make chia water. Simply soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes, add a little bit of lime juice for flavor, and drink it.
- Add them to your stir-fries. Chia seeds taste amazing when mixed with savory dishes.
- Bake them in your bread. Looking for a way to enjoy chia seeds? Add them as an ingredient when baking.
- Add them to your pancake mix. Chia seeds can be a healthy addition to your pancakes.
- Add them to your soups. You can use chia seeds to thicken your soups.
Can chia seeds be cooked?
Although most people eat chia seeds raw, you can actually cook them. Do this by boiling them for a short time or adding them as an ingredient to your baked goods.
Do not fry chia seeds because that way you will expose them to very high temperatures and they may lose their nutritive value.
Chia seeds benefits
Chia seeds have a lot of benefits to both your body and your brain. They are arguably among the healthiest foods in the world.
Here are a few health benefits of chia seeds.
- Contain a significant amount of antioxidants
Scientific research shows that antioxidants help prevent aging as well as the development of cancer cells. Since chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, they can lower the chances of a person getting cancer. They will also slow down the process of aging.
- They are packed with proteins
Chia seeds have a significant amount of proteins. Consuming food items that are rich in protein helps lower appetite. Consider incorporating chia seeds to your diet if you have a problem controlling your appetite.
- Low-calorie content
Chia seeds are packed with nutrients, and they also have very low-calorie content.
They only have 101 calories per ounce despite containing proteins, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber, and healthy fats which are all essential nutrients.
- They help in weight loss
The fiber and protein in chia seeds play a great role when it comes to weight loss.
The protein ensures that you stay full for longer, thus reducing your appetite for food, and the fiber absorbs water and expands in your stomach which also makes you feel full. Fiber also slows down the absorption of food.
- They lower the risk of heart disease
Since chia seeds are high in omega-3, proteins, and fibers, they can lower the risk of heart disease. Research shows that chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure for people with high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease. Want to stay healthy? Incorporate chia seeds into your diet.