Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

A Complete and Useful Guide

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Do Chia Seeds Go Bad

Chia seeds have recently become a trend in the field of healthy eating. Different dietary programs use this product as an irreplaceable ingredient in various dishes and desserts, from ice cream to chocolate and cookies.

No wonder that more and more people start wondering how to keep these seeds at home correctly.

Below, you will find the answer to this question along with several handy tips.

How to Tell If Chia Seeds Are Bad?

Chia seeds are healthy and can even be considered a superfood! Naturally, those who try to eat healthy have already included them into their daily eating.

You might want to buy a whole batch of those seeds and stuff your pantry with them…But do you know how to keep them correctly and, moreover, how to define when chia seeds go bad?

We bet that very few of us are aware of the signs that show chia seeds are spoiled. So below, you will find a list of such “symptoms” that surely indicate your chia seeds (or chia flour, by the way!) are not good anymore.

  1. Mold
  2. Pantry bugs
  3. Rancid aroma
  4. Bad odor
  5. Seeds are clumping together
  6. Bitter taste

Any of these signs mean that your chia seeds are bad and must be discarded.

Don’t try to scoop the mold out of the bag with the seeds! Also, you should not attempt to get rid of pantry bugs.

It won’t help since chia seeds are already far beyond being consumable.

How to Tell If Chia Seeds Are Bad
Credits: Yulia Furman, via

How to Visually Inspect Your Chia Seeds

To get the most clear impression of the state of your chia seeds and their quality, you should inspect them visually. Do it very attentively since you must notice even the slightest changes in texture or appearance of the foodstuff in order to define whether it is good or not.

So, here is a brief guide for you on what to do when you need to give potentially bad chia seeds an inspection:

Check for any signs of mold. There must not be any white fuzzy or slimy-looking coating on the seeds. Also, you should not see any signs of “growth” on them.

Check whether your seeds are clumping together. If they create clumps, even the small ones, it is a clear sign that they are bad. Also, chia seeds start sticking to the sides of the container when getting spoiled.

Is there any evidence of pantry bugs?

If you find at least one of these symptoms, throw the whole pack of your seeds away with no regret! They are not good for consumption anymore.

How to Visually Inspect Your Chia Seeds
Credits: AnjelaGr, via

Why Did Chia Become So Popular? Health Benefits and Usefulness

You may think that the wide popularity of chia is simply a marketing trick. However, it is not so. 

What dishes do you usually cook from chia seeds?
I cook desserts with chia seeds
I add chia seeds to salads
I add chia seeds to yogurt
I add chia seeds to juices

Chia is indeed healthy and nutritious. These tiny seeds are a great source of omega-3 which makes them perfect for vegetarians who can’t get these elements from fish.

Chia also provides us with calcium, iron, antioxidants, and fiber which makes these seeds a great help when preventing different heart diseases and making our teeth and bones stronger.

They can protect us from diabetes, obesity and even overall mortality!

However, remember that chia seeds can be eaten both cooked or raw, only when consuming them raw, previously soak them in water.

How Can Chia Be Used
Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

How Can Chia Be Used?

There are plenty of ways of how chia can be used. The simplest one is to decorate your ice cream or smoothie with them. However, chia seeds can be added to porridge, salads, bakery, juices, and yogurts.

How often do you eat chia seeds?
Almost every day
I do not eat chia seeds

When being mixed with the “wet” food like oatmeal or yogurt, they will swell up a bit but that’s completely fine. 

Shelf Life of Chia Seeds

No wonder that after these extremely useful seeds have come into our lives, people started wondering what the peculiarities of chia shelf life are. How to keep them properly? Indeed, a good point of concern as chia is not that cheap!

So how long do chia seeds last? Now you may become extremely surprised (and happy) because chia when being stored correctly, of course, can remain edible for more than two years in a pantry! And if you decide to refrigerate or – which is even better – freeze them, you will surely be able to use them within four years and more after they were bought.

As for the chia meals, it will be useful to remind you that their lifespan is much shorter and includes only four weeks in a pantry. However, when frozen, chia meals will stay consumable for one or two years which is not so bad!

Of course, after all this information you may probably wonder: do chia seeds expire at all? Unfortunately, they do if you store them under improper conditions. 

Shelf Life of Chia Seeds
Photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash

How to Store Chia Seeds

And now we have reached the most important issue. Let’s find out what we can do to keep chia so that it will remain edible and keep all its useful qualities to its longest.

For storing chia seeds properly, you can choose between the following methods.

Pantry storing

This approach is good when chia is used daily. To keep them in a pantry, simply find a proper-size tank made of glass or plastic with the tightly-closed lid (that’s important!). Pour the seeds into the jar or box and store them in a cool and dark place away from heat. A cupboard will be just fine!


How to Store and Powder Chia Seed for Your Pantry - Facebook liveHow to Store and Powder Chia Seed for Your Pantry – Facebook live

Do chia seeds need to be refrigerated?

Normally, don’t. But this method works for preserving the gel made of them. To prepare such gel, add the seeds to the water, not vise versa, stir and let wait for fifteen minutes. Stir one more time and refrigerate in a tank with a lid being firmly closed.

How long do chia seeds last in the fridge?

Pay attention that, when you refrigerate chia seeds as a gel, they will be edible for two weeks only!

Storing chia for years

The best way to make chia last for several years without any damage is to pour them into the plastic zip-lock bags previously squeezing out the air and then place all the bags into the gallon bucket. Now chia can be kept in a pantry for years!

Can you freeze chia seeds?

In fact, you can. Moreover, freezing chia will enable it to last for more than five years!

What is required to be done is to take plastic bags, remove the maximum of air, fill up with chia and then freeze.

What you must remember is that any seeds can be frozen well when the moisture level is no more than eight percent and the air around is less than forty degrees.

How To Use Chia Seeds For Food StorageHow To Use Chia Seeds For Food Storage

If you don’t follow these recommendations, the ice will crystallize inside the bags and you will get chia gel instead of dry and crumbly seeds.

One more tip to note is this one: use a Food Saver to remove the air, otherwise, you won’t be able to simply squeeze out the required amount of it.

Can Chia Seeds Go Bad?

Of course, when you store chia correctly, the chances that they get spoiled are insignificantly low. However, it can still happen and you’d better be aware of how to define the expired chia seeds from the good ones.

So, to understand that chia seeds have gone bad, simply taste them. 

Fresh chia has a slightly nutty taste whilst when being spoiled, it acquires a recognizable bitter taste.

Can Chia Seeds Go Bad
Photo by Marc Mintel on Unsplash

If your seeds taste bitter, you’d better discard them instantly as consuming the off food may end up badly to your stomach.

As you have probably noticed, there is nothing complicated at all about storing chia. It doesn’t require any specific skills or special equipment from you the same as much effort or time. 

Several simple actions will allow us to preserve this healthy product correctly and avoid its spoilage for a long time, sometimes even for many years, and enjoy their useful qualities and gentle taste in many delicious dishes.

We hope that everything we told you will be useful and helpful for you!

Suggestions For Longer Storage Of Chia Seeds And Flax

How To Eat Chia Seeds? | 4 Different Ways To Eat Chia Seed Everyday | Chia Seeds For Weight LossHow To Eat Chia Seeds? | 4 Different Ways To Eat Chia Seed Everyday | Chia Seeds For Weight Loss

It’s a well-known fact that these tiny black chia seeds have become a true favorite of those who care about their health during the last decade. And with every year their popularity grows more! Naturally, it means that people become interested not only in how to eat chia but also in what to do to provide them with proper storage.

So today we will tell how to keep flax and chia correctly at home to skip spoilage and ensure they will remain of a good quality longer, as well as what sort of container to pick for them, and in what recipes this superfood can be used to eat it.

  • The best container for such content as chia and flax is a mason jar.

Place it in the refrigerator for storage since the conditions are the most optimal there.

Chia Pudding Recipe 4 Ways | Healthy Breakfast IdeaChia Pudding Recipe 4 Ways | Healthy Breakfast Idea

Why mason jar, you may wonder? Well, we can name several reasons for this. 

  • First of all, it’s made of glass which allows you to always see what is going on with the tank content. Like that, it will be much simpler to notice if something went wrong during the storage.
  • Then, when keeping this superfood in a glass tank, it’s easier to see how much you have left. Besides, a see-through jar means that you will always be seeing the product and, respectively, won’t toss it to the backside of the fridge and forget it there. Which in its turn leads to the next benefit: the risk of spoilage will be way reduced if using this kind of container.
  • Chia storage period is quite long and can take more than one year. When using a mason jar, you’ll prolongate this term significantly. Since seeds contain delicate oil that spoils fast, keeping them in a glass tank will be great protection from the air.
  • You can make use of a mason jar to eat chia foods directly from it! For instance, when making a chia pudding or a smoothie. There are so many recipes exist that will teach you how to make quick and simple drinks and meals with this superfood!
  • Finally, glass jars are more nature-friendly since they’re reusable and last longer. 
Suggestions For Longer Storage Of Chia Seeds And Flax
Photo by Ala on Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can I eat chia with milk?

You definitely can. Lots of recipes exist that ask for milk and chia combo. By the way, feel free to use either ordinary milk or its vegetarian counterpart (e.g. almond or coconut milk).

⭐ Why chia seeds spoil?

Well, chia is a bit like nuts due to the oil it has. When this oil gets in contact with air, the seeds start oxidizing and spoil. That’s why chia storage requires firmly sealed tanks.

⭐ I’ve been keeping a container with chia seeds for several months refrigerated. Are they still ok?

Obviously, they are, if they were stored correctly all these months. The average storage duration for this foodstuff is about two years.

⭐ Is it ok to stock chia in a pantry for a year?

Chia lasts long but when we keep it like this unchilled there’s always a high risk of spoilage. You’d better transfer the seeds to the freezer.

⭐ I only know that chia is used in cocktails and yogurts. What other recipes can I use for this superfood?

Try to make a homemade quick high-vitamin jam by mashing favorite fruits and mixing in chia seeds. Chia will make the watery fruit mash jelly-like so no artificial additives are needed! Use 1 tbsp of seeds per every 200 grams of fruits.
Mix chia into a cup of tea, both cold or hot, use these seeds for tortillas recipes, add them to homemade ice cream pops before tossing them to the freezer, or make use of chia for preparing a delicious crispy crust for meat and fish recipes.
Among other recipes that welcome chia, there are baking goods, homemade granola bars, dips, and even pancakes where chia can become a super egg substitute!
And of course, everyone can create their own recipes with this ingredient.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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