How Long Do Chia Seeds Last? [Shelf Life + Storage Tips]

 Most of us are motivated to consume chia seeds after watching their health benefit videos. It may end up purchasing a big bag of these energy booster seeds as if we will become superman by storing all the energy at once.

 This motivation soon fades storing the remaining seeds in the cabinet. Instead of becoming superman, you will worry about if the seeds ever go bad, or how long will they last.

If you want to know about the shelf life and storage of chia seeds, this article is for you. Stop searching right here and read till the end.

How long do Chia seeds last? Normally, chia seeds either opened or unopened, can retain their best quality for more than two years if stored properly. Frozen chia seeds will last for more than 4 years. The shelf life of chia meals is 2-4 weeks, if kept frozen, they can go up to 1-2 years. However, chia gel in the pantry lasts for only 2 hours, if refrigerated or frozen, it will remain fresh for 2-3 weeks.

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of a flowering plant named Salvia hispanica. These are tiny oval-shaped grey and black seeds with white spots. The word Chia comes from an ancient Mayan word that means “strength”. Regardless of size, these tiny seeds have an amazing ability to provide sustainable energy.

Shelf Life of Chia Seeds in Pantry/Cupboard/Kitchen Cabinet

You may wonder about how long chia seeds can be stored? In other words, what is the shelf life of chia seeds? The short answer is, chia seeds can go fresh for years if stored properly. Normally, the recommended shelf life of chia seeds is more than 2 years if kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. This rule can apply for both opened and unopened packages.

After two years, if you want to keep these seeds for more time, it’s better to keep the opened pack in an airtight jar in a dark place so that light may not damage its quality. You can check the quality by sniffing every 2 to 3 weeks. Any unusual smell will indicate that seeds are going bad and throwing them out is a good option.

If an unopened bag of chia seeds is in your pantry for more than 2 years, you should open it and check before use. For checking, you just need to grind some of the seeds with mortar and pestle and taste them. If you feel the bitter taste, it means that the seeds have gone stale and discard them.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last Once Open?

Chia seeds are unlike other seeds that rancid soon. Due to antioxidant property, these energy boosters can last for several years if you take care while storing. Normally, the shelf life of opened chia seeds is more than 2 years from the manufacturing date.

 Once the seal of the package is opened, transfer it to an airtight jar without contacting moisture. However, if you don’t store them properly, or they are exposed to moisture, and the mold is more likely to grow to make them unsuitable for use. Chia seeds have oil that may rancid upon contacting moisture, any unusual aroma may indicate the spoilage.

Table of Chia Seed life at Room Temperature and in the Fridge

Opened/unopenedAt room temperatureFridgeFreezer
Chia seeds2+years4+ years sealed properly5+ years
Chia meals2-3 hours5 days if Stored in an airtight jarBest before 4 months
Soaked chia seeds2 hours2 weeks1 month
Chia floor1 year2+ years2+ years
Chia pudding2-3 hours1 weekBest before 1 month

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last in Water?

Is there anyone who dislikes chia seeds in the water? I think no one, it really feels chilling to have a glass of refreshing juice with chia gel. Do you know what chia gel is? A small number of chia seeds soaked in water for 20 minutes will become gelatinous, it is chia gel. The seeds will absorb water and form a gel-like consistency.

It happens mostly when we unintentionally prepare a large quantity of chia gel. Now you will think about storing it, but do you know how long chia seeds last in water? The brief answer is the shelf life of chia seeds soaked in water/chia gel is only two hours. The reason is moisture provides a good medium for bacteria to grow. However, it can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks, still, it is recommended to use it within one week. If you feel any change in the taste, throwing out is better instead of consuming it. 

Do Chia Seeds Need to Be Refrigerated After Opening?

There is no need to store chia seeds in the refrigerator because it will not make a difference in quality either you store it in or out. However, if you want to store them, make sure to lock the moisture from entering the package. If they don’t pick up moisture from the fridge, they will stay fresh for a longer time.

If you have opened the packet, you can use a ziplock bag to place it in the freezer. If the package is not removed, it can be placed as it is. Make sure to examine the seeds before using either by tasting or sniffing it. Eating spoiled or moldy food can be risky for your health.

How to Tell If Chia Seeds Gone Bad

Well, it is the most important query for how to identify if chia seeds have gone bad/stale/rancid?

Do you have any idea what is rancid? Any seed that contains oil or fat, if it smells unusual, it means it is rancid. A process called rancidification in which partial or complete oxidation of fats and oils occurs when exposed to air, moisture, and light. Bacteria can grow very well in a humid environment; it spoils the seeds and gives them an unpleasant smell.

Under proper storage, chia seeds won’t get rancid, or go bad. If they have caught moisture, or placed in the light they can go bad. Again, the detection of spoiled chia seeds is quite difficult because we normally use only a small amount in preparing foodstuff.

We have mentioned a few ways that will make you identify if chia seeds are gone bad, So, have a look to know more:

  • If the seeds are clumped together, it means they have dampness that will surely spoil them.
  • Sometimes you can clearly observe the mold growing on these seeds that is a clear sign of spoilage.
  • Grind some chia seeds in mortar and pestle and sniff them, if you feel a strange odor than usual, it is an indication that the seeds have rancid.
  • Chia meals if they taste bitter, you should toss them out, it means these are moldy.

What Will happen If you Eat Bad/Expired Chia Seeds

If you eat bad chia seeds, it will not harm you. The reason is, normally these seeds are used in small amounts that cannot cause serious health issues. But consuming larger amounts of spoiled chia seeds for a longer period may be harmful to your health. So, avoid doing this. It’s fine to feel ashamed by throwing rancid seeds out instead of visiting health practitioners after consuming spoiled food.

Generally, “the best before date” is mentioned on the packages, it is 2 years from the manufacturing day, it doesn’t mean that the chia seeds are expired after this date. The only thing is quality, that will start degrading. Most probably, these may not provide nutritional benefits as the fresh one will do upon consuming.

how long do chia seeds last in water

Tips to Store Chia Seeds

If you want to be a perfect homemaker, you will surely keep on searching for the tips for storing things properly and to save them from going waste.

You are at the right place as we have mentioned excellent tips below to store chia seeds. So that you can enjoy its nutritional benefits for longer periods.

  • If you have a large quantity to store, dust a small amount of food-grade diatomaceous earth on the top of chia seeds in the container, it will help in saving them from bugs along with absorbing moisture.
  • Another tip is, if you have bulk quantities and you have to store it for a longer time, you should divide them into small packets than seal the packets with this food saver machine.
  • Store the seeds in airtight containers, away from sunlight and heat source in a cool and dry place.
  • Transfer the remaining seeds if any in the airtight jar once you have opened the seal.
  • If you have purchased a chia meal from the frozen section, keeping it in the freezer at your home will extend its life.
  • Once you open the jar for using seeds, make sure that your spoon is dry. Close the lid tightly after using it.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Due to rich nutritious content, chia seeds have a lot of health benefits if added to the diet.

Are you curious to know the benefits? So, dive in to figure out what these tiny seeds can do for us:

  • Chia seeds are rich in fiber that feeds healthy bacteria in your gut, overall maintaining your digestive health.
  • Chia seeds have rich antioxidant content, that not only slows down the aging process but also helps the body to fight against diseases like cancer.
  • These seeds contain highly soluble water content. It means they can absorb water and expand in your stomach making you feel full. In this way, they help in weight loss.
  • These tiny strength boosters are good for your bones as they contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • According to Healthline, research has proved that chia seeds are helpful in reducing an increase in post-meal blood sugar.
  • Being rich in proteins and essential amino acids, chia seeds help in reducing appetite and cravings.
  • You can try different ways to add chia seeds to your diet. They enhance the taste of smoothies, juices, and even if added as a topping.
  • Chia seeds are rich in plant-based omega 3 fatty acids, plus they are non-GMO and naturally gluten-free.

2 Delicious Recipes of Chia Seeds

Though you can prepare a lot of healthy recipes with chia seeds, we have mentioned the 2 most delicious of them that you must try. Let’s have a look to know the ingredients and preparation method.

Recipe 1: Chia Choco Banana Smoothie (serves 2 cups)


Chia seeds:               2 tablespoons (soaked in water for 15 minutes)

Banana:                     1 large

Almond milk:              2 cups

Cocoa powder:          1 tsp

Almonds crushed:     1 tsp

Steps for Preparation:

  1. Add 2 glasses of almond milk in a blender.
  2. Add a banana, one tablespoon of soaked chia seeds, and a tsp of cocoa powder.
  3. Blend it till to form a smoothie.
  4. Pour in a glass and garnish it with crushed almonds.
  5. Super yummy healthy smoothie is ready. Enjoy it.

Recipe 2: Chia Oats with strawberries ( serve one person)


Chia seeds:                   1 tablespoon

Instant White oats:         3 tablespoons

Almond milk:                  2 cups

Strawberries:                   2 or 3

Steps for Preparation:

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of instant white oats and 1 Tbs of chia seeds in a glass jar.
  2. Add 2 cups of almond milk in it and give it a mix.
  3. Cover the lid and put it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Open the jar the next morning and add strawberries on the top.
  5.  Enjoy this super healthy breakfast.

How to Grow Chia Seeds?

 Are you worried about how to end a big package of chia seeds before it goes bad? Don’t worry, you can make smoothies, plus, add it to make healthy recipes. However, here is another option, you can grow them to have a fresh and organic one at your home.

Chia seeds can grow easily from the raw seeds that you use in the kitchen. Don’t look at their tiny size, they can grow to become as tall as 6 feet. It’s recommended to grow them in the garden because these seeds attract bees. They can also be grown in the pot.

We have mentioned below steps to growing chia seeds. You can try as they are simple to follow.

  • Sprinkle some chia seeds on the soil.
  • Keep the soil moist and the seeds will start to grow within one to two days.
  • If you live in a cooler climate, these seeds can grow to yield sprouts.
  • You can harvest and eat them when they are 2 inches tall.
  • Severe weather can stop the growth of flowers, you can still use its leaves for tea.
  • If the weather conditions are favorable, these plants will flower after 12 weeks of growth.
  • If your chia plants reach the flowering phase, it means you should get ready for the harvest of seeds.

Related Articles: Grass seed for sandy oil | Click here if you want to learn more about sandy oil.

Final Words

Finally, here is the end of our informative topic about the life of chia seeds.

So, the final words are if stored properly, chia seeds will not go bad for several years.

By following our tips, you will surely store your package for a longer time period.

However, any mishandling or moisture exposure will make the seeds rancid.

If you find any unpleasant smell, you should discard them.

If you find this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with other fellows.

Lisa Marshall

Hi, This is Lisa Marshall. Lisa has been working with farmers for over thirteen years. It is his passion, hobby and profession. To facilitate other gardeners from her experience, she has decided to start this website to share her gardening experience with her plant lovers.

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