As food prices continue to soar, it is important to save money in new ways. One way I enjoy stretching my hard earned dollar is by avoiding waste and keeping my ingredients fresh. A great way to accomplish this is by learning how to extend poppy seeds shelf life. I’ve written this post as a condensed “how to” guide to share what I have learned.
Another great way to save money is by learning about bulk poppy seeds.
Extend Poppy Seeds Shelf Life | Top 5 Tips
I’ve sorted through all the info our Lone Goose Bakery team has gathered on how to extend poppy seeds shelf life, and we’ve selected the Top 5 Tips that are the most important. Follow these tips to extend shelf life to over a year or more!
Tip 1 | Start with Quality Poppy Seeds
This first tip is often overlooked but is very important. This is the foundation that makes it possible to extend poppy seeds shelf life. You will need to make sure that you have purchased quality poppy seeds. Quality seeds are fresh and start with a stronger flavor profile. If you already purchased cheap grocery store seeds they are likely chemically treated and stripped of their natural flavor. It’s always best to buy online or from smaller natural grocery stores. If you are looking for quality poppy seeds, I have included the link to our famous Blue Bird Seeds above.
The next tips will help ensure the flavor lasts for months if not 1+ year into the future.
Tip 2 | Properly Seal Container
Poppy seeds should come in proper packaging that can be resealed. I am still shocked at how many brands (including well known large seed retailers) that ship their products in glorified garbage sacks. Many other vendors think they are going the extra mile by using gallon size zip lock bags; however, these often get damaged during shipping and are not air tight. We take pride in our packaging, and any companies you purchase from should do the same.
If you have already purchased seeds in compromised packaging, you can use your own resealable bag or jar at home. Once the seeds have arrived at your house, they shouldn’t suffer the same abuse that occurs during shipping. Just take your time transferring to avoid a huge mess, use a funnel if necessary.
Tip 3 | Maintain Constant Temperature
Poppy seeds are fairly resilient when it comes to temperature fluctuations, as long as they aren’t drastic. Store indoors to extend poppy seeds shelf life. Maintaining a temperature of below 75 degrees will ensure that the seeds maintain freshness as long as possible. This may require you placing the package in a cool cabinet or storage space in your kitchen. Avoid placing near hotter areas like the oven or cooktop.
Tip 4 | Keep Low Humidity
I have written this list of tips in chronological order, but if I rearranged in order of importance, this tip would be up towards the top after choosing quality seeds. The enemy of poppy seeds is… moisture. Moisture initially affects the taste of the seeds. If the situation is not fixed, the seeds will become rancid, moldy, and completely ruined.
I suggest maintaining a relative humidity of below 40%. In more humid environments (ex. basements in Florida) a dehumidifier may be required to attain air that is dry enough to extend the shelf life of poppy seeds. The average indoor humidity in most buildings varies between 30-50% depending on the time of year, with the winter months being the driest.
You should always make sure to check your seeds and avoid consuming rancid poppy seeds.
Tip 5 | A Note About Freezing to Extend Poppy Seeds Shelf Life
I am always nervous to bring up the F word… freezing! There is significant disagreement on this subject. We all know people obsessed with freezing foods (I’m looking at you Aunt Stephie!). I personally do not freeze my poppy seeds. I have found that I risk freezer burn which ruins the taste of the seeds. The risk negates any possible extension of shelf life for me. We’ve had members of our team even suggest freezing the seeds, so perhaps I need to be more opened minded…
“I recommend using a vacuum sealer”
If you are like Aunt Stephie and are a freezer addict, I recommend using a vacuum sealer. Freezer burn occurs when cold dry air creeps into the packaging and sucks the moisture out of the seeds. The vacuum sealer removes all the air from the packaging before freezing. This will greatly reduce any possibility of losing flavor to the evil ice crystals.
Extend Poppy Seeds Shelf Life | Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed these Top 5 Tips to Extend Poppy Seeds Shelf Life. As a general rule, poppy seeds begin losing optimal flavor after 12 months. I’ve used these tips to extend shelf life to over 18 months. These same methods can be used with other seeds and ingredients as well, although some products we sell are different (including how to store vanilla extract or age vanilla extract).
Do you have any tips to keep poppy seeds fresh? Please leave a comment below!