How To Tell If Chia Seeds Have Gone Bad

chia seeds in a bowl
chia seeds in a bowl - New Africa/Shutterstock

There is no doubt that chia seeds are a very popular ingredient, having become an over $200 million market in the United States this past year. The fanfare over these little seeds doesn't come without reason — they are packed with tons of fiber, protein, and other nutrients to keep you full and energized. Odds are you probably have a bag of chia seeds in your pantry right now. A few chia seeds go a long way, though, and if you are someone who goes through your stock somewhat slowly, it is important to be aware that these seeds do spoil eventually. Here's how to discern if your chia seeds are safe to eat.

Chia seeds can expire due to their high amounts of fatty oil. Over time, the oil in the seeds will begin to oxidize, chemically altering the quality of the seeds until they are completely rancid. You can tell if your chia seeds have spoiled in several ways. The first is to check for signs of moisture or mold. Mold grows very quickly in chia seeds that have gotten moist, so if you see any dampness at all, you can conclude that the seeds are no longer edible. Next, look for seeds that have clumped together, as this is a sign that the oil inside the seeds is rancid. Finally, any unpleasant smell or taste, or any indication that bugs have gotten into the container, are sure signs that the seeds need to be tossed.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Store Chia Seeds Properly In Order To Prevent Spoilage

chia pudding in jars
chia pudding in jars - Trending Now/Shutterstock

Chia seeds have a fairly long shelf life, lasting anywhere from two to five years depending on their method of storage. At the bare minimum, be sure to keep the seeds in an airtight container that is stored in a cool, dry place like a pantry. If you would like to maximize the lifespan of your chia seeds, you can place them in the fridge just as you would refrigerate nuts. This will lengthen the time they are fresh by a couple of years.

The easiest way to keep your chia seeds fresh is to simply use them more often. There are so many delicious ways to cook with chia seeds and incorporate them into your daily diet, from main courses to drinks and desserts. We recommend throwing them into a smoothie for an extra boost of satisfying nutrition or using them to make a classic chia pudding.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.