Chia seeds have recently gained much attention for their exceptional health benefits. Recent health trends have pushed people to include chia seeds in their diets- be it smoothies or salads.
But not everybody would follow the trends to completion. This might leave packets of chia seeds unused at the back of the pantry. Such situations might make you wonder about its shelf life? You might think about tossing it out as well.
But before you do that, know that you can store chia seeds for months and years with the correct storage techniques. Go ahead and read more about it so that you can store those chia seeds and save money in the future.
Can Chia Seeds Go Bad?
Well, yes, they do go bad, but the best part is that they have an exceptionally long shelf life. So they will definitely be safer to eat for quite a longer duration.
However, how long they will last largely depends on how you have stored them. Yes, keeping your chia seeds right is important to increase their shelf life. Otherwise, they tend to start showing minor signs of spoilage quicker than you can think.
So let’s first know how long will chia seeds last!!!!
How long do chia seeds last (shelf-life)
When it comes to chia seeds, they have a pretty long shelf life—no wonder why an ages-old packet of chia seeds looks well and fine to eat.
This is usually due to the higher amount of antioxidants than the rest of the seeds. So these antioxidants make them last several years when stored properly.
You will usually have a best by the date mentioned on its packaging, but that does not mean you can’t consume them after it.
Chia seeds are safe to consume unless and until you see visible signs of spoilage on them.
If you own a packet of powdered chia seeds, also called chia meal, considering its best by date is a good choice.
But with chia gel, things are a bit different. Chia gel or pudding, as they call it, will remain best for 5 to 7 days.
You should know that many other ingredients in the pudding may degrade its quality sooner.
Do chia seeds go bad in water?
If you have chia seeds soaked in water, they will last up to 5 to 7 days in a refrigerator. Make sure you have stored them in an airtight container away from ready-to-eat foods.
All of this depends on how you have stored them, so you must keep chia seeds properly, as mentioned.
How to Store Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are pretty easy to store. The only thing you should be extra careful about is you keep it away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry, and dark place.
So you can store chia seeds in a kitchen cabinet or a pantry. Also, keeping it away from any heat source would help its storage life. Please keep it in an easily resealable bag.
Keeping your chia seeds in a tightly sealed bag away from moisture is mandatory. If you have chia flour or powdered chia seeds, keep them at a stable temperature in a cool, dry, and dark place.
If you have chia pudding or other chia seeds, keep them in a refrigerator. This will keep the recipes intact for almost 5 to 7 days.
Do you need to refrigerate chia seeds after opening?
No, it is not mandatory to refrigerate chia seeds after opening the packaging. However, refrigerating them will surely increase their shelf life. But it would be best if you made sure seeds were kept in an airtight container.
The goal should be to keep them away from moisture and other odors from the rest of the edibles in the refrigerator. Store them in clean containers to prevent oxidation of oils and eventually spoilage.
Can You Freeze Chia Seeds?
If you want your chia seeds to last for years and years to come, freezing them is the most appropriate storing option.
Transfer your chia seeds to an airtight container or bag. Seal it properly and pop it in the freezer. This will help you use them sparingly for up to 10 years.
How do you know when Chia Seeds goes bad?
Chia seeds don’t usually go bad, but it’s typically due to inadequate storage conditions when they do. So it is mandatory that you store them right.
Your senses will definitely help you to tell if chia seeds have gone bad or are still safe to consume. When chia seeds come in contact with water, you will notice mold within a few days.
So yes, moisture and water can accelerate its spoilage, and that is precisely what you should avoid.
So make sure there is no white fuzzy-looking covering around the chia seeds. These could be mold or any fungus that is highly harmful to humans.
Also, when chia seeds go bad, they can also start clumping together or sticking to each other. Even if your chia seeds stick to the container, know that they have definitely gone bad.
When chia seeds have been sitting on your kitchen shelf for years that you can’t even recall, you will notice a powdery texture or, in fact, tiny bugs if they have gone bad. In either case, it is mandatory that you discard them, and they have definitely gone bad.
To check if your chia seeds are fine, give them a try. If your chai seeds look all fine, try to smell them. If they smell rancid or off, make sure you discard them. This is generally due to the oil content in the seeds.
The last thing you should do to make sure it’s OK to consume is to give it a try. Chia seeds are perfectly fine if they taste as fine as they did when you first bought them. So give it a try and eat them up.
What happens if you eat expired chia seeds? Risk of consuming expired chia seeds
Until now, there is not enough evidence that can prove eating chia seeds would make you sick. But eating spoiled or expired products definitely can make you sick, especially if you are a sensitive person.
So it can lead to upset stomach, indigestion, and even food poisoning. Thus, it is mandatory that you do not consume spoiled or expired chia seeds.
Check best by date before consuming chia seeds. If you notice any off smell, bad texture, or change in taste, avoid consuming it.
There might not be any severe health issues immediately, but it can lead to some when you are not careful enough with its consumption.
To enjoy its numerous health benefits, make sure you do not consume it if they have gone bad. And here are the few amazing health benefits of chia seeds you should know.
Chia seeds benefits
Chia seeds have excellent health benefits, making us want to add them to everything we eat. Chia seeds provide the insoluble fiber that keeps you fuller longer and bulks up a stool to prevent constipation.
Chia seeds have healthy fats, an ample amount of protein, and cell-protecting antioxidants that make them a healthy salad addition. Chia seeds have a tremendous amount of nutrients but minimal calories.
Chia seeds also have a higher quality protein that makes them perfect for adding to a low-fat diet. The high fiber and protein content in chia seeds help you lose weight.
Chia seeds have higher omega-3 fatty acids making them a healthy choice for your skin as well. It can also lower the risk of heart disease. We are sure you want to make the most out of chia seeds with these health benefits.
What to do with old Chia Seeds?
Since Chia seeds provide innumerable health benefits, it can be difficult to throw them out. If your old chia seeds aren’t showing any spoilage signs, you can use them in the following manner:
- Chia water
- Chia pudding
- Add it to the salad
- Chia truffles
- Egg substitute
- Ice cream pops
..and many more.
What are the Alternatives to Chia Seeds if it has gone bad?
If your chia seeds have lost their quality, smell, and taste, toss them out and use the following substitutes:
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Pumpkin seeds
Why do chia seeds smell like fish?
The fishy smell of chia seeds is due to the presence of omega-3 oils. It gives out a foul smell when these oils go bad. In such scenarios, it is best to toss out your chia seeds.
Why do I feel weird after eating chia seeds?
If you feel like vomiting after eating chia seeds, chances are you are allergic to them. You can also look out for additional signs like diarrhea, nausea, irritation, etc.
Do you have to refrigerate chia seeds after opening?
Chia seeds must be refrigerated to prevent their oils from going rancid. As soon as you open it, transfer them to an airtight container and pop it in your refrigerator.
Why are my chia seeds not swelling?
Chia seeds do not swell in the absence of water. If you want them to swell properly, you must use more quantity of water.
Can expired Chia Seeds make you sick?
Expired chia seeds wouldn’t make you sick, not unless you notice any drastic spoilage signs. But it will reduce the overall nutritional content of the seeds.
Final Notes on Chia Seeds
So that was all you should know about chia seeds for the best usage. So when you want to make your favorite chia pudding or a smoothie, you know what to look for when chia seeds have been sitting in your kitchen for a longer duration.
Also, keeping them in a kitchen cabinet, pantry or refrigerator is completely your choice. What you should be extra careful about is keeping it away from moisture and direct sunlight.
These will definitely keep chia seeds in the best of their actual form. Hope this helped you get a better idea.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.