How to store seeds: Tips and tricks to increase the shelf life of edible seeds
Edible seeds are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals
They act as a healthy alternative to various nuts
These seeds are immensely versatile in nature
Most Indian household kitchens are stocked with edible seeds. Be it sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, there is no denying the fact that edible seeds are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals. The seeds extracted from flowers, fruits and vegetables are not only easily digestible, but also act as a healthy alternative to various nuts. They are immensely versatile in nature and can be savoured in various forms. Whether you toss them in salads or fold them into brownie batter, seeds can increase the nutritional value of any dish to considerable extent. They are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. They can be sun-dried and eaten as a snack or can also be powdered. However, when it comes to seed storage, a lot of care must be taken as they have the tendency to go stale and rancid. It is of utmost importance to store these seeds in an efficient manner as they can provide us with numerous health benefits because of their high nutritional profile. Before we move on to how they should be stored in order to increase their shelf life, let's get an overview of the nutritional value of seeds that are best for long-term storage:
Seed Storage: Edible seeds are immensely versatile in nature and can be savoured in various forms
Nutritional Guide To Edible Seeds And Their Shelf Life
1. Chia Seeds: These tiny and crunchy seeds are packed with the goodness of calcium, protein, omega-3s and antioxidants. They are perfect in salads and smoothies.
Shelf Life: 2+ years at room temperature; up to 4 years if refrigerated.
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of omega-3s
2. Flaxseeds:Flaxseeds are high in omega-3s and can be savoured as whole and ground. They are nutty in flavour and can be paired with various fruits as a pre-workout meal. You can also add these seeds in yogurt to increase its nutritional value
Shelf Life: 6-12 months at room temperature; up to 1 year if refrigerated.
Flaxseeds can be savoured as whole and ground
3. Pumpkin Seeds: These sweet and nutty seeds can be eaten raw and/or toasted. They are a rich source of valuable nutrients like zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamin K.
Shelf Life: 2-3 months at room temperature; up to 1 year if refrigerated.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc in magnesium
4. Raw Sunflower Seeds: These creamy-flavoured seeds are increasingly gaining popularity as snacks, since they are quite filling and nutritious at the same time. Their high content of dietary fibre can help keep indigestion at bay.
Shelf Life: 2-3 months (at room temperature); up to 1 year (refrigerated)
Sunflower seeds are nutritious and filling at the same time
5. Sesame Seeds: These tiny seeds are perfect for garnishing and topping. Apart from this, they are loaded with antioxidants and healthy oils.
Shelf Life: 6-8 months at room temperature; up to 1 year if refrigerated.
These tiny seeds are perfect for garnishing and topping
Seed Storage: The shelf life of various edible seeds is influenced by a variety of factors
Factors That Can Influence The Shelf Life Of Edible Seeds
If all this while, you were storing edible seeds in your kitchen pantry, then you might want to reconsider the same. The shelf life of various edible seeds is influenced by a variety of factors such as their date of manufacturing, whether they are roasted or salted, how they should be stored and in what temperature. So, for saving seeds, one must be aware of these factors and act accordingly.
How To Store Seeds For Long-Term Use?
In order to prevent your seeds from spoiling, it is important to store them under right conditions. Here's how you can store seeds for long-term use:
1. Buy Whole, Raw Seeds
Whole, raw seeds will stay fresh the longest. Chopped or toasted seeds tend to release oils, which can get exposed to more oxygen. This, in turn, can make them go rancid more quickly.
Seed Storage: Whole, raw seeds will stay fresh the longest
2. Use Air-Tight Containers
Air-tight containers can keep the seeds fresh for a longer period of time. This hack is perfect for seed storage. This is primarily because they don't allow the air to seep in and hence, the seeds don't get exposed to air. Edible seeds have a tendency to absorb outside odours; transferring them in an air-tight container can possibly prevent outside odours from getting in. For instance, sesame seeds must be stored in air-tight containers in a cool and dry place. This way, they will stay fresh for many months.
There is no denying the fact that storing seeds in air-tight containers can keep the seeds fresh for quite some time. However, keeping the containers in the fridge will keep the seeds fresh for much longer. So, if you have been storing edible seeds in your kitchen cabinets that are just above the stove, you might want to shift them soon. It is important to keep them away from the fluctuating kitchen temperatures.
Keeping the containers in the fridge will keep the seeds fresh for much longer
4. Store In Glass Jars
It is always a good idea to store the seeds in glass jars, instead of plastic and steel ones. This is primarily because seeds have a higher chance of getting exposed to air in plastic containers in comparison to glass ones.
5. Buy Them Fresh
The next time you visit the grocery store, try and buy the freshest seeds that you can find. Do check the manufacturing date on package before adding it into your shopping cart. To ensure freshness, taste before you buy, if possible. Also, instead of buying in bulk, try and pick only what need.
Seed Storage: You can incorporate different seeds in your diet by creating your own trail mix
How To Make DIY Seed Jar?
You can incorporate different seeds in your diet by creating your own trail mix. Just combine together various dried edible seeds and you're done! This will save on a lot of your time and effort. Apart from this, if you happen to be allergic to nuts, then this nut-free trail mix is just apt for you. Bring it to your rescue and get going. Here's how you can make a DIY seed jar:
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1/2 tsp sesame seeds 1/2 tbsp chia seeds 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds 1/2 tbsp whole flaxseeds 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. In case, of microwave, preheat it for 2 minutes.
2. Take a small bowl and add all the seeds in it. Drizzle maple syrup and stir with a spoon until well-combined.
3. Once all the ingredients are mixed properly, pour them over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake the mix for about 10-12 minutes in oven/2-3 minutes in microwave However, don't forget to mix around with a spoon once it is halfway through.
5. Remove from the oven/microwave and transfer the mix in an air-tight glass jar. Allow it to cool and use as and when required.
CommentsSo, with the above mentioned tips and kitchen hacks, you can easily keep the seeds fresh for longer without losing on their nutritional value.
About Deeksha SarinAn eccentric foodie and a die-hard falooda lover, Deeksha loves riding scooty in search of good street food! A piping hot cup of adrak wali chai can make her day bright and shiny!