In recent years, chia seeds have become more popular because of the many health benefits they may provide. They contain Omega-3 acids which are believed to help brain health. They are also high in calcium which aids bone health, and chia seeds seem to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Companies are now including them in cereals, granola bars, yogurts, smoothies and many other health foods. Noticing that they can save money, many people buy chia seeds separately and add them to whatever foods they eat.
There is a drawback to buying chia seeds though: it can take forever to go through the whole bag, as they are sold in large quantities. As you may be trying to figure out what to do with all those chia seeds, you are left to wonder, “do chia seeds go bad?”
How To Store Chia Seeds
Unlike many food products, chia seeds are very easy to preserve, and it is difficult to let them spoil. They can be kept anywhere in the kitchen, as long as they are kept away from direct sunlight. You can safely put them in a kitchen cabinet. Make sure that they are not exposed to excess heat or moisture.
When you purchase chia seeds, it is always helpful to purchase the ones that come in resealable bags. This will help tremendously in storing them properly. If you happen to buy them in a non-resealable bag, simply transfer them to a resealable bag once you open them. This is especially recommended in more humid climates, where moisture can be difficult to manage.
If you purchase powdered chia seeds, or chia flour, the same guidelines apply.
How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants. Because of this, they last longer than most nuts and seeds.
By law, the chia seeds’ packaging must be labeled with a “best if used by” indicator. This is primarily for legal reasons, as chia seeds can last up to 2 years after the “best if used by” label, as long as they are stored properly.
Chia flour would also follow the same guidelines and can last up to 1 year after the “best if used by” label.
As with anything, all of these time periods are estimates, as the climate in which you live can be a factor. Use your judgment and some common sense when choosing to use older chia seeds.
Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?
It is very hard to have chia seeds that go bad, unless they are not stored properly.
If moisture somehow gets into the packaging, mold can quickly form within 2 or 3 days. If you see anything that resembles mold, it is best to throw the seeds out. Don’t try to separate molded seeds from what you think the good ones are. Don’t take the chance — just throw them out!
Because of the natural oils present in chia seeds, there is a chance that they can taste rancid. If you notice the seeds giving off a strange smell or see them sticking together, just throw the seeds out.
Eating rancid chia seeds will not hurt you, but eating them won’t be a pleasant experience because of the taste. Chia seeds don’t have a strong taste, so if they start to taste funny, just discard them. Chances are, any health benefits the seeds had are probably gone once they have become rancid.
Outside of all of that, chia seeds should last you a very long time. Just pay attention to how your chia seeds are stored, keep a watchful eye on them, and you will enjoy topping your favorite foods with them for a good while.