Storing Chia Seeds – Everything You Need To Know
We prepared an easy guide about storing Chia Seeds so you can make the most out of this superfood!
Chia seeds are tiny little seeds that grow inside chia flowers. They’re great for adding nutrients to smoothies, salads, and baked goods.
With the health crisis happening worldwide, many of us have been making a conscious effort to eat healthier.
Because of that, even people who weren’t health-conscious before have discovered and are trying the superfood Chia Seeds.
And knowing how to store them properly is crucial so you can get the most out of them for longer.
Introduction To Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that grow inside a Chia flower. They’re packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, including omega-3 fatty acids, quality protein, fibre, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, C, E, K, and Mg.
They’re great for weight loss because they absorb water and swell up when mixed with liquid. This makes them easier to digest and helps you feel fuller longer.
In terms of fibre, they’re loaded with fibre. Fibre intake keeps you feeling satisfied and prevents overeating.
Chia seeds are also used in beauty treatments because they help keep skin soft and smooth. In fact, some people use them to treat acne. They’re also used to prevent wrinkles and hair loss.
Chia seeds contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids are essential fats that our bodies need to function properly. They’re found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and walnuts.
Omega-3s are important for brain development, vision, heart health, and immune system function. They’re also beneficial for reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation, and preventing cancer.
You can buy chia seeds at most grocery stores, natural food stores, and online retailers. You can even find them in bulk at wholesale clubs.
How To Store Chia Seeds?
The best way to store Chia seeds is in a clear glass lidded jar or clear airtight container.
Transfer them into one as soon as you open the package.
Getting a clear container is important so that you can see how much you have left and also see if there are any signs of it spoiling or going bad.
Getting an airtight container is also essential so that no moisture and oxidation can get to your Chia seeds, that’ll lead to them going bad.
The container doesn’t need to be a lidded glass jar; it can even be a Ziplock bag as long as it’s airtight and clear.
Glass jars are just more budget and environmentally friendly in the long run since they’re reusable.
They’re also non-reactive, so you can be at ease even if you store your food in them for a long time (some plastic chemicals can leech into food products!)
How To Make Chia Seeds Last Longer?
Chia seeds will last longer in the fridge or freezer than at room temperature.
Chia seeds generally are a long-lasting food, so they will not go bad for a while, even at room temperature.
As long as you put them in an airtight container and place them in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and heat sources, Chia seeds, meal, powder, and flour, can even last years.
However, the constant temperature in the fridge and freezer will give your Chia seeds a shelf life boost.
The changing humidity and temperature in your pantry can affect the longevity of your chia seeds.
It’s also crucial that no moisture gets to your Chia seeds as that will cause them to go bad.
Store fresh seeds and dry seeds to ensure that they last longer.
How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?
Most manufacturers set the Best By Date of the Chia Seeds at two years after their processing.
Take note that this is the Best By Date and not the Expiration Date.
If stored properly, you can use the Chia seeds for up to 2 more years after their Best By Date.
Just make sure to check if it’s gone bad before using it.
Chia Seeds Shelf Life:
Seed Form or Intact seeds
In the Pantry: 2+ Years
In the Fridge or Freezer: 4+ years
Ground Seeds or Chia Meal, Powder, And Flour
In the Pantry: 2 to 4 Weeks
In the Fridge or Freezer: 1 to 2 years
This is for uncooked opened and unopened Chia seeds.
When cooked in a recipe, Chia Seeds can only last as long as the recipe lasts.
Chia gel can only last 2 hours at room temperature and 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge or freezer.
Checking on the seeds from time to time is a good practice for seed storing.
How To Tell If Chia Has Gone Bad Or Spoiled?
If moisture gets into your chia seeds, meal, powder, or flour, they will quickly go bad.
The seeds and meal may turn into a gel and spoil in just hours.
Mould will also develop in a few days’ time.
If you see any condensation, signs of mould, or difference in texture, it’s best to cut losses and just throw the Chia seeds away.
Like any moldy food, do not attempt to scoop out the mouldy part and use the ones “not affected” because, even though it’s not visible to us, mould has most probably spread all throughout that batch.
Another thing that can cause your Chia seeds to go bad is pantry bugs.
If you see any signs of pantry bugs in your chia seeds, it’s best to assume that they have infected the whole bunch and just toss it away to avoid possible consequences.
The last thing is oil. Like any other common seeds, chia seeds naturally contain a certain amount of oil.
That oil can cause the chia to spoil and become rancid if not stored properly.
To check, smell the chia seeds. Chia seeds have a mild nutty aroma; if they smell rancid, you should toss them away.
Another way to tell is if they’re clumping together. Clumping means that some moisture was present.
If they are some clumping, discard the chia seeds.
If you forgot to check the smell and texture or didn’t notice the rancid seeds, you will know via the taste because they will taste bitter and/or sour.
Change in taste means the chia seeds weren’t stored properly; if they taste different, discard them.
Chia seeds can last up to 2 years after the Best By Date indicated in the packaging.
As long as you put them in an airtight container and place them in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and heat sources, Chia seeds can last a while.
You can store chia seeds in your pantry, but it’s best to store them in the fridge or freezer so they last longer.
You should always check the Chia seeds before consuming them.
Check them by:
Visually inspecting – Look for any signs of moisture, mould, pantry bugs, change in colour and texture.
Smelling – Chia seeds should smell mild and nutty. If they smell bad or rancid, discard them.
Checking the texture: If you notice any clumping, moisture, or any change in texture, discard the Chia seeds.
Checking the taste: This should be the last resort, or if you just accidentally ate the chia seeds without checking, you will know that they have gone bad if they have a sour or bitter taste or anything other than their usual nutty taste.
We hope this article helps you make the most out of these amazingly nutritious seeds and ultimately become healthier.
See you in another article!