Chia is an edible seed obtained from a flowering plant called Salvia hispanica, which belongs to the mint family and is rich in omega 3, but how can chia be preserved?
You can store chia seeds at room temperature for 12 to 18 months, but if you live in a place with an extremely hot climate, then you should keep them in the fridge for 2 to 5 years.
If you want to know how to preserve chia correctly, I advise you to keep reading.
Table of Contents
- How to preserve chia seeds at room temperature
- How to preserve chia seeds in the fridge
- Can chia seeds be frozen?
- How to preserve soaked chia seeds or chia gel
- How to preserve chia flour
- How do you know if chia is in poor condition?
- Why is chia spoiled?
- How long does chia last?
- What is the best way to preserve chia?
How to preserve chia seeds at room temperature
Chia seeds, given their high content of natural fats, can stay in good condition for a long season, as long as you store them in the right way.
And saving them does not involve much work either. You just have to do it this way:
- Step 1: Put the seeds in a glass jar.
Glass is an ideal component to keep food for an extended period, and if the container has an airtight or screw cap, it is much better.
Although you could also use an airtight bag, you should keep in mind that it gets damaged very easily due to the shape of the seeds. Or you can use an airtight container made of plastic.
- Step 2: Tag.
Please write the name of the product (chia seeds) next to the storage date on a label and stick it in the glass jar.
- Step 3: Save the chia seeds in the pantry.
Put the jar with the seeds in a dark area, free of moisture and away from heat sources. In this way, you will keep chia seeds for 12 to 18 months at room temperature. 
How to preserve chia seeds in the fridge
Now, if you live in an extremely hot place, with temperatures above 30°C (85°F), you should keep the chia seeds inside the refrigerator.
In this way, not only will the seeds avoid releasing oil, but insects and other vermin will not have easy access to it. The way to store it is similar to the previous step:
- Step 1: Put the seeds in a glass jar.
If you have a glass jar with an airtight or screw lid, pour the seeds there. However, you can also throw it directly into an airtight plastic container.
If you bought a considerable amount of chia seeds and want to preserve them as long as possible, put the chia seeds in an airtight bag and then put the bags inside an airtight plastic or glass container (double protection).
- Step 2: Tag.
Write the product’s name next to the storage date on a label and stick it in the glass jar. Or write that information on the bags.
- Step 3: Store the chia seeds in the fridge.
You will keep refrigerated chia seeds in good condition for an estimated period of 2 to 5 years.
Can chia seeds be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze chia seeds. However, it is not a method that is necessary to apply unless you do not have more space in the fridge, and it is not safe to leave them at room temperature, especially if you have a vast amount of seeds.
In that case, do the following:
- Step 1: Bag the chia seeds.
Put the chia seeds inside several airtight bags.
- Step 2: Put the bags inside a freezer container.
Put the bags with chia seeds inside a freezer-resistant plastic container that has an airtight lid.
- Step 3: Tag.
Label the container with the date to control the storage.
- Step 4: Save the chia seeds in the freezer.
In this way, you can freeze chia seeds for five years. To thaw it, leave the bag with seeds at room temperature for an hour, or pass it a day before to the fridge.
How to preserve soaked chia seeds or chia gel
When you soak the chia seeds, a gelatinous layer specie is formed. Some consider that chia becomes easier to digest, and others think this way, you can get more omega-3s.
To store the soaked chia seeds, you have to do this:
- Step 1: Put the seeds in a container with a lid.
In this way, nothing will be able to contaminate them.
- Step 2: Paste a label.
If you store the chia in this way, you should stick the product’s name and the date of storage to the jar.
- Step 3: Store the soaked chia in the refrigerator.
Put the soaked chia in the coldest part of your fridge, where it will last two weeks.
Can chia gel be frozen? Soaked chia seeds, or chia gel, can be frozen perfectly. You can use airtight freeze-resistant containers or airtight bags to freeze.
Stick a label on the bag or container before putting it in the freezer. Frozen chia gel can last about six months.
How to preserve chia flour
Chia flour is, in essence, ground chia seeds. And as with seeds, this flour has an extremely long shelf life, although not as long as the whole seed.
The way to store it is similar to that of chia seeds. If the chia flour’s packaging has not been opened, you can put it inside the airtight container. However, leaving it in the pantry in a dark, dry, and cool place will suffice and remain until the manufacturer’s expiration date.
Once opened, put it in a glass jar with an airtight lid (although a plastic container also serves), and store it in the pantry for about 6 or 8 months.
If you live in a hot place, it is better to store the chia flour in the fridge. First, put the flour inside the container and then in the refrigerator. You will keep refrigerated chia flour for 12 to 18 months.
And if you’re wondering if you can freeze chia flour, the answer is yes. In fact, this is highly effective in avoiding bugs, and you just have to:
- Step 1: Put the chia flour inside an airtight bag.
The bags should be able to withstand the freezer, and be sure to get as much air out of them as possible.
- Step 2: Put the bags inside a larger one.
Just in case you have several bags, place them all inside a bigger one to have some order and add a second layer of protection.
- Step 3: Store the chia flour in the freezer.
Chia flour can be in the freezer for 2 to 5 years without problems.
How do you know if chia is in poor condition?
It is difficult for the chia to get bad, but being a natural product, if it is not stored correctly, both the seeds and the flour will be damaged in less time than expected. You can check if the chia became terrible as follows:
- Mold: If you see that it has black, green, or white spots or lint, you should discard it because it is already safe to eat.
- Insects: being a natural product, many insects and rodents will be attracted to it, so if you see insects inside, throw the chia in the trash, as it’s been contaminated.
- Bad smell: if the seeds, gel, or chia flour give off a bad smell, such as rancid or rotten, you should throw them away.
- Bad taste: If they taste too bitter, they will most likely have spoiled.
Why is chia spoiled?
Chia is a natural product that, despite having a long shelf life, can spoil quickly if it does not have the proper storage.
For example, insects and vermin are highly attracted to chia. If they are in bags, they could easily break them to reach it, and if these insects or vermin come into contact with chia, they will contaminate it with bacteria that could be harmful to consumers.
In addition, the humid and hot environments cause mold that would undoubtedly damage the chia in its different presentations (seed, flour, and gel).
However, chia is one of those superfoods that can self-preserve so that you can store them for a long time without much effort.
How long does chia last?
The chia has an extensive duration. Here I leave you a summary of it:
|Chia seeds at room temperature||12 – 18 months|
|Refrigerated chia seeds||2 – 5 years|
|Frozen chia seeds||5 or more|
|Soaked chia seeds in the fridge||2 weeks|
|Soaked chia seeds frozen||6 months|
|Chia flour (unopened)||Until the expiration date|
|Chia flour (opened) at room temperature||6 – 8 months|
|Chia flour (opened) in the fridge||12 – 18 months|
|Chia flour (opened) frozen||2 to 5 years|
What is the best way to preserve chia?
You can store chia in seeds or flour at room temperature without a problem. Just make sure to put it in an airtight container (if it is glass, better) and store it in a dark place.
You can also store the chia in the fridge in case you live in an extremely hot place to prevent them from exuding oil and losing components.
Freezing chia is unnecessary because if you keep it refrigerated, it will stay for a good season, but it is an option to consider when you have a lot and little space to store.
The chia gel or chia you have soaked should always be kept cold to prevent generating bacteria. You can store it in the fridge or also freeze it.
If you need to learn how to preserve any other food, this website has a complete list of topics concerning the proper storage of all types of food which may interest you.