Chia seeds are a popular superfood known for their high nutritional value. They are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
However, once you have opened a package of chia seeds, it is important to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and maintain their nutritional value.
In this post, we will explore the best ways to store chia seeds once opened, and how to store them long-term as well.
How to Store Chia Seeds After Opening
Chia seeds can last for a long time, especially compared to other seeds and nuts. (See How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?) This is due to their high antioxidant levels.
Once you open your chia seeds however, in order to keep them as fresh as possible, and lasting as long as possible without losing nutritional value, here are some tips on how to store them:
1) Keep them in an airtight container
The first step in storing chia seeds properly is to transfer them to an airtight container. This will prevent air from getting in and causing the seeds to spoil. You can use any container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a glass jar or a plastic container with a snap-on lid.
Make sure the container is clean and dry before transferring the chia seeds.
2) Store them in a cool, dry place
Chia seeds are best stored in a cool, dry place. Exposure to heat and moisture can cause the seeds to spoil and lose their nutritional value. Avoid storing them near a stove or in a humid area such as a bathroom.
Instead, store them in a pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to consider storing the chia seeds in the refrigerator.
3) Label the container with the date
It is important to label the container with the date you opened the package of chia seeds. This will help you keep track of how long they have been stored and when they need to be used by.
Chia seeds can last up to two years when stored properly, but it is recommended to use them within six months for optimal freshness and nutritional value.
4) Store Chia Seeds in Freezer
If you do not plan on using your chia seeds for an extended period, you can freeze them to extend their shelf life. To freeze chia seeds, transfer them to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag and place them in the freezer.
Chia seeds can be stored in the freezer for up to two to five years. (or maybe even longer!) When you are ready to use them, thaw them at room temperature for a few hours before using them.
5) Keep them away from moisture
As mentioned earlier, moisture can cause chia seeds to spoil and lose their nutritional value. Therefore, it is important to keep them away from moisture.
Avoid storing them in the refrigerator door, where they can be exposed to moisture every time you open and close the door. Instead, store them on a shelf in the main compartment of the refrigerator or in a pantry or cupboard.
6) Do not grind them until ready to use
Chia seeds can be ground into a powder and used in recipes such as smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods. In fact, I highly recommend grinding chia seeds. (See Ground Chia Seeds Benefits and Ground Chia Seeds vs. Whole – Which is Better?)
However, it is recommended to grind them only when you are ready to use them. This is because ground chia seeds have a shorter shelf life than whole seeds and can spoil more quickly. If you do grind your chia seeds, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them within a few days.
When you do grind them, make sure to also not grind more than you will need.
7) Do not expose them to sunlight
Sunlight can cause chia seeds to spoil and lose their nutritional value. Therefore, it is important to store them in a dark place away from direct sunlight.
If you are storing them in a clear container, make sure to place it in a dark pantry or cupboard to prevent sunlight from reaching the seeds. Another option is the fridge or freezer.
Do You Have to Refrigerate Chia Seeds After Opening?
Since chia seeds have a lot of antioxidants, which protect them from going rancid quickly or breaking down, you do not have to store them in the refrigerator. However, if you have room in the fridge for them, it may be slightly better to just store them in there anyway. The cold will minimize any potential nutrient breakdown, and will keep them as fresh as possible.
If you are storing them for a long time however, you may want to store them in the fridge or freezer in order to preserve them.
(See more at Do You Need to Refrigerate Chia Seeds?)
How to Store Chia Seeds Long Term
In the case of storing chia seeds long term, it’s best to store them either in the refrigerator or preferably in the freezer. The cold temperature will keep them from breaking down, and cause them to last longer than they would if they were stored in the pantry.
Remember to still follow the same tips as above and seal them in a tight container, keep them dry, and make sure they are not ground.
Chia seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood that can provide numerous health benefits when included in your diet. However, it is important to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and maintain their nutritional value.
By following these tips, you can store your chia seeds for up to two years and enjoy their health benefits for years to come.
Lance has been passionate about the plant-based diet and we have been following a whole food plant-based diet for over 5 years. We focus on health, natural healing, weight management, animal rights, and the health of the planet and environment by focusing on whole plant-based foods and sustainable practices.
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