Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

Chia seeds are such a versatile superfood.  Chia seeds are packed full of omega 3’s, amino acids, magnesium, minerals, fiber, digestible protein, and as an added bonus chia seeds are also gluten-free.  There’s so much nutrition packed into such a tiny seed!  Chia seeds are easy to add to throw into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurts, baked goods and so much more. They’re always great to have on hand.  Having these versatile shelf-stable seeds is always great to have on hand, but also might leave you wondering, do chia seeds go bad?

In this post, I’m going to look at some of the most common questions when it comes to how long chia seeds last.  

Chia Seeds Shelf Life

Storing chia seeds

Storage of any shelf-stable food is always important to keep it from going bad.  Storing your chia seeds in an airtight bag or container is always the best option.  You want airtight to prevent moisture from getting inside which could result in them going bad or even worse mold developing.  Often times chia seeds are packaged in resealable bags, which could work in storing them long term, just make sure you are securely fastening the bag each time.  I like to use mason jars to store them so they are readily available and I’m not taking a big bag out each and every time I use them. You also want to keep chia seeds out of direct sunlight and heat as well, a pantry cabinet is always a great option.

storage of chia seeds in mason jar
Mason jars are great for storing chia seeds

How long are chia seeds good for?

Chia seed companies typically give an expiration date of about 18 months. However many consumers have found that chia seeds last well beyond the printed expiration date and that in general chia seeds are shelf-stable for 2+ years. As with any food item, it really becomes a personal choice on how long to keep them beyond the expiration date. As with any food, if they taste, smell, or look different in any way, it would be better to play it safe and toss them regardless of the expiration date. Chia seeds typically have a very neural to mildly nutty taste, so any strong or bitter taste may mean they’ve become rancid.

How to store items made from chia seed recipes? 

It depends on what other ingredients are used in the item.  As a rule of thumb though most home-made baked goods last no longer than 3-4 days if that, which really is dependent on the other ingredients in those baked goods.  You may also consider storing baked goods such as chia seed bread in the fridge or freezer to maintain better quality and a longer life span. 

Refrigerating Chia Seeds

How long do chia seeds last in the fridge?

Chia seeds do not need to be stored in the fridge, but they could be if you choose to. Storing them in the fridge can also help them last another year or two longer and could help maintain better nutritional qualities of the seeds. Chia seeds can also be stored in the freezer if you really need to extend their life for a few more years.

How long do Chia Seed Gel and Chia Seed Pudding last?

If you’ve made a chia seed gel or chia seed pudding, the rule of thumb tends to be 4-5 days when stored in the fridge. You also want to take into account the other ingredients in the chia pudding such as the expiration of the almond or coconut milk. If you choose to leave your chia gel out at room temperature, it’s best to consume it within an hour or two.

Chia seeds are a great superfood not only because of their great nutritional content of omega 3’s, amino acids, magnesium, minerals, fiber, digestible protein, but also because they have a great shelf-life.

Sharing is caring!