Chia seeds have recently become a trend in the field of healthy eating. Different dietary programs use this product as an irreplaceable ingredient in various dishes and desserts, from ice cream to chocolate and cookies.
No wonder that more and more people start wondering how to keep these seeds at home correctly.
Below, you will find the answer to this question along with several handy tips.
Why Did Chia Become So Popular? Health Benefits and Usefulness
You may think that the wide popularity of chia is simply a marketing trick. However, it is not so.
Chia is indeed healthy and nutritious. These tiny seeds are a great source of omega-3 which makes them perfect for vegetarians who can’t get these elements from fish.
Chia also provides us with calcium, iron, antioxidants, and fiber which makes these seeds a great help when preventing different heart diseases and making our teeth and bones stronger.
They can protect us from diabetes, obesity and even overall mortality!
However, remember that chia seeds can be eaten both cooked or raw, only when consuming them raw, previously soak them in water.
How Can Chia Be Used?
There are plenty of ways of how chia can be used. The simplest one is to decorate your ice cream or smoothie with them. However, chia seeds can be added to porridge, salads, bakery, juices, and yogurts.
When being mixed with the “wet” food like oatmeal or yogurt, they will swell up a bit but that’s completely fine.
Shelf Life of Chia Seeds
No wonder that after these extremely useful seeds have come into our lives, people started wondering what the peculiarities of chia shelf life are. How to keep them properly? Indeed, a good point of concern as chia is not that cheap!
So how long do chia seeds last? Now you may become extremely surprised (and happy) because chia when being stored correctly, of course, can remain edible for more than two years in a pantry! And if you decide to refrigerate or – which is even better – freeze them, you will surely be able to use them within four years and more after they were bought.
As for the chia meals, it will be useful to remind you that their lifespan is much shorter and includes only four weeks in a pantry. However, when frozen, chia meals will stay consumable for one or two years which is not so bad!
Of course, after all this information you may probably wonder: do chia seeds expire at all? Unfortunately, they do if you store them under improper conditions.
How to Store Chia Seeds
And now we have reached the most important issue. Let’s find out what we can do to keep chia so that it will remain edible and keep all its useful qualities to its longest.
For storing chia seeds properly, you can choose between the following methods.
- Pantry storing
This approach is good when chia is used daily. To keep them in a pantry, simply find a proper-size tank made of glass or plastic with the tightly-closed lid (that’s important!). Pour the seeds into the jar or box and store them in a cool and dark place away from heat. A cupboard will be just fine!
Do chia seeds need to be refrigerated?
Normally, don’t. But this method works for preserving the gel made of them. To prepare such gel, add the seeds to the water, not vise versa, stir and let wait for fifteen minutes. Stir one more time and refrigerate in a tank with a lid being firmly closed.
How long do chia seeds last in the fridge?
Pay attention that, when you refrigerate chia seeds as a gel, they will be edible for two weeks only!
- Storing chia for years
The best way to make chia last for several years without any damage is to pour them into the plastic zip-lock bags previously squeezing out the air and then place all the bags into the gallon bucket. Now chia can be kept in a pantry for years!
- Can you freeze chia seeds?
In fact, you can. Moreover, freezing chia will enable it to last for more than five years!
What is required to be done is to take plastic bags, remove the maximum of air, fill up with chia and then freeze.
What you must remember is that any seeds can be frozen well when the moisture level is no more than eight percent and the air around is less than forty degrees.
If you don’t follow these recommendations, the ice will crystallize inside the bags and you will get chia gel instead of dry and crumbly seeds.
One more tip to note is this one: use a Food Saver to remove the air, otherwise, you won’t be able to simply squeeze out the required amount of it.
Can Chia Seeds Go Bad?
Of course, when you store chia correctly, the chances that they get spoiled are insignificantly low. However, it can still happen and you’d better be aware of how to define the expired chia seeds from the good ones.
So, to understand that chia seeds have gone bad, simply taste them.
Fresh chia has a slightly nutty taste whilst when being spoiled, it acquires a recognizable bitter taste.
If your seeds taste bitter, you’d better discard them instantly as consuming the off food may end up badly to your stomach.
As you have probably noticed, there is nothing complicated at all about storing chia. It doesn’t require any specific skills or special equipment from you the same as much effort or time.
Several simple actions will allow us to preserve this healthy product correctly and avoid its spoilage for a long time, sometimes even for many years, and enjoy their useful qualities and gentle taste in many delicious dishes.
We hope that everything we told you will be useful and helpful for you!