Chia seeds have many health benefits and for that reason, it’s one of the most popular superfoods in the world. They can be added to a salad, used in cooking, and even in drinks. Therefore, you bought a package of chia seeds and it’s been sitting in the pantry for a while. Before using chia seeds in your favorite food, the first thing you do is look at the expiration date. It’s a few months after the “Best by”date and wondering if it’s still safe to eat and how long do chia seeds last.
How long do chia seeds last? If it’s stored properly, it can last to 2 years in the pantry. In the fridge, it can last up to 4 years. It can be stored up to 10 years in the freezer.
Of course, chia seeds last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly.
If the package was stored properly, the seeds will most likely be safe to eat. In this short guide, we’ll talk about shelf life, storing, and signs of spoilage of chia seeds.
Chia Seeds Shelf Life
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How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?
When you bought chia seeds, there should be a “Best by”date on each package. That date is not an expiration date but a date that tells how long the chai seeds will be at the best quality.
The “Best by” date will usually be about 1-2 years from the time it’s sealed in the package from the manufacturer. After those 2 years, if it’s been stored properly like in a pantry, it should still be good to use.
Chia seeds, in general, can last forever. The only thing that doesn’t last is quality. The quality of the chia seeds will slowly degrade over time.
If you got a package of chia seeds setting in the pantry for about 4 years that hasn’t been opened, the seeds will still be edible. If that’s the case, before eating it or using it for cooking, examine the seeds first.
Storage Tips For Chia Seeds
The original packaging will be fine to store chia seeds for freshness. You can buy them from the grocery store and store them in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. However, what you use to store chia seeds will determine how long chia seeds will last. Below is more in-depth for each type of storage.
Storing Chia Seeds In the Pantry
If you’re planning to store chia seeds in the pantry, make sure you didn’t buy them frozen. If so, they’ll go back quickly even if it’s properly sealed.
For other chia seeds packaging, storing them in the pantry with their original packaging is fine.
Also, avoid bags and containers that are clear. Clear object can speed the degradation process due to lights. It’s recommended to purchase an airtight container that’s opaque in color. This airtight container which is found on Amazon is built for storing food in the pantry. This will help ensure that no lights get to the chia seeds and will make them last in the pantry longer.
When storing them in the pantry, make sure chia seeds are not exposed to direct sunlight, heat or moisture, as they can go bad quickly.
Storing Chia Seeds In the Fridge
Storing chia seeds in the fridge is a great way to preserve the freshness for a long time. This is the best option if you use chia seeds from the same packaging often.
Depending on how you’ll be using chia seeds, you can store them in their original packaging or an airtight container. If you’re planning to use chia seeds from the same packaging often, it’s best to put them in an airtight container. This will allow easier access and keep them fresh longer.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to store chia seeds longer than a month, storing them in their original packaging is fine.
When placing them in the fridge, place it somewhere where it will not get touched by other food products a lot. If so, the packaging could tear and allow moisture to get into the packaging.
Storing Chia Seeds In the Freezer
For the longest-lasting chia seeds, the freezer is the best option. Storing them in the freezer, you could keep chia seeds for as long as 10 years! However, even by that year, it will still be fine to eat, but the quality will not be the same as when you’ve bought it.
When storing chia seeds in the freezer, always use a freezer bag or put them in an airtight container. Avoid using their original packaging as it could get damaged by other foods being put in the freezer.
How to Store Chia To Extend Its Shelf Life?
Since chia seeds are seeds, moisture and heat is their main enemy. By storing or keeping them away from those two elements, chia seeds can practically last forever.
If you’re storing them in the pantry, it’s best to transfer the chia seeds to an airtight container, instead of their original packaging. Their original packaging can sometimes rip or get brittle over time. Also, there could be pests in your home that love chia seeds as well and can chew the packaging.
An airtight container is sturdy and won’t allow any moistures to get to the chia seeds. Because of this, the seeds will last longer than it’s “Best By” date.
Another way to extend the shelf life of chia seeds is to store them in the fridge. In the fridge, you’ll want to use an airtight container. It’s original packaging or a freezer bag won’t keep it fresh for a very long time. The original packaging and freezer bag is made of plastic. Due to condensation in the fridge and the softness of the plastic, water can get to the chia seeds.
How To Tell If Chia Seeds Are Bad?
Chia seeds can easily go bad if water gets to it. The usual sign will be mold on it. Don’t think about throwing the moldy ones out and keeping the rest. With mold, it can spread fast and you won’t be able to see some of the seeds that have mold on it. It’s best to toss the entire package away.
If there’s no mold, the next thing you can do is smell it. Since the smell of the seeds is barely noticeable, it’s best to grind them to smell it. If the smell is off, it’s best to throw out the entire thing.
Chia seeds smell fine and there is no mold, then you can try tasting it. Chia seeds have a mild or neutral taste. If it tastes bitter, it means the seeds have gone bad and you should discard all of it.
Why chia seeds are bad for you?
They are bad because it’s a choking risk. Chia seeds are able to absorb 10-12 times their weight in water. If it’s not soaked first before consuming, it may expand and cause blockage when you eat it.
How long to soak chia seeds?
For chia seeds, you should soak it in milk or water (1/4 cup seeds to 1 cup liquid) for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, it should have a chewy texture that resembles oatmeal.
As you can see, chia seeds will last for a very long time with proper storage. It’s a good idea to store a lot of them because chia seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals. You can use them in a lot of food and make it even more nutritious and healthier.