6 Edible Seeds and Their Shelf Life

Did you know that seeds were used for thousands of years to survive? Here are six edible seeds and their shelf-life to help you get started.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflowers are known because of their attractiveness. However, their applications are vast. Sunflowers are a well-known food product.

Sunflower has their roots in North America. Historical records show that Native Americans domesticated sunflowers from the beginning of 3000 BC.

The States that comprise North Dakota, California, and Minnesota have the highest percentage of sunflower farmers. Because of barter trade, sunflower made their way to Soviet Union states. Today, Russia is the chief exporter and producer of sunflower and its by-products.

In terms of nutrition, sunflower contains minerals, vitamins, oils, and proteins. In addition, it is used in many ways, such as:

In the food industry

It is used to make sunflower oil. The oil is utilized in cooking, skin and hair treatments, and as an old-fashioned medicinal ointment that treats lung ailments, insect bites, and snake bites.

The edible seeds have many culinary purposes – they can be consumed as snacks or ground into flour and then used in baked goods.

As animal food

In addition to the human consumption of sunflower, it also provides food for many wildlife and birds. They don’t just eat the crunchy seeds but also the stalks and leaves.

A natural dye

The sunflower’s petals that are colored are widely used to make natural dyes.

Shelf time for sunflower seeds

It is possible to find sunflower seeds as a whole, shelled raw, toasted, or dried. Fresh (raw) sunflower seeds turn rancid quickly. Beyond the date on the label, the raw seeds will last for 3 months in your pantry. Dry sunflower seeds will have a greater shelf life and can last good for six months. In the case of bags that have not been opened, you may choose to freeze them since they’ll last for one year.

The pumpkin seeds

They are edible seeds of squash, pumpkin, or other cultivars belonging to the squash family.

Pumpkins and the squash family, in general, are native to Mexico and South and Central America. Their cultivation is spread across all seven continents.

There are plenty of pumpkin seeds available. They are easy to prepare at your home. Just scrape them away from the flesh, soak them in water to break up the fleshy string, and they’re ready to be used.

Freshly cooked, you can serve them or toast them on the stove or in the oven until they are dried. Every local shop stocks these, and you could also purchase the same.

Pumpkin seeds are widely acclaimed as a source of a wealth of nutrients. They are chock-full of iron, zinc, magnesium, and sodium. In addition, they contain significant amounts of antioxidants such as squalene and amino acids such as tryptophan, phytosterols, vitamins E and E, fiber, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Shelf time for pumpkin seeds

Because of the high-fat levels, the seeds become rancid very quickly. Keep them in a cool, dry location in airtight containers. When stored properly, pumpkin seeds can last for up to four months when they are of good quality.

Flax seeds

Did you know that flax is not just a crop for food but also a fiber crop too? Fabric made of flax is also known as linen. The rope is also made from this fiber.

Flax is also called linseed and is among the oldest cultivable crops.

The flax seed is highly regarded because of its nutritional value. They can be consumed in wide varieties, including whole seeds or powder.

These seeds have high levels of lignans and fiber, and omega fats. They are great to digest, and when combined with water, they create an emulsion-like texture.

Flax seeds have a shelf life of seeds.

Flax seeds have a greater shelf time than flax flour (meal). Keep the seeds in the refrigerator or pantry. If they are stored in the pantry, they will last for six months and one year if they are not opened. Flax meal can be stored within the frig for as long as 2 months.

Hemp seeds

Hemp, commonly called industrial hemp, is a cannabis Sativa plant. They produce edible seeds that can be utilized in a variety of ways.

The hemp plant is used for industrial applications, such as fiber production. Don’t worry about hemp seeds getting you to feel buzzy, as they do not contain a significant amount of chemicals (THC) that alter your mind.

The hemp seeds can be eaten whole, roasted, ground into meal, or made into hemp milk.

In any form, hemp seeds are extremely nutritious and are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.

Shelf time of hemp seed

Use the fridge and pantry for the best shelf life. If stored properly in a cool, dark space, hemp seeds can last up to four months. The seeds stored in a refrigerator last longer and can last up to one year.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds have been popular in recent times. Their history goes back thousands of years, and their usage is attributed to ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and the Mayans.

They were a key component of the food habits of the communities. Chia seeds were widely touted as food sources of energy. In reality, chia could be an ancient Mayan word meaning strength. The use of chia was not restricted to food. They were also used in traditional remedies and in oil processing.

There are two main kinds of chia seeds, white and black. Chia seeds are well-mixed when mixed into desserts, smoothies baking, and eating cooked. They have a gel-like texture when mixed into liquids.

Chia seeds are nutritionally balanced and have significant mineral levels, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. They are also rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The shelf-life of Chia seeds

Chia seeds have a greater shelf life than many seeds. The seeds that are not opened can last about 4 years in the refrigerator and longer than two years in the cupboard. Chia flour is a lesser time frame. Consume within a month when stored in the pantry, or up to one year if it is stored properly in the fridge.

Sesame seeds

Sesamum Indicum crop is an additional ancient cultivable crop. It is abundantly found in specific African areas and is widely grown in India.

It is a tough crop that thrives in dry regions.

Sesame seeds are derived from the okra-like fruit pods of the sesame plant. They can be black or white.

They are often utilized in Asian dishes where the seed is added to buns or made into oil.

Sesame seeds impart a rich, crunchy crunch and contain a wealth of nutrients. They are rich in fiber, lignans, Vitamin Bs, E, unsaturated fats and magnesium, zinc, and calcium.

Shelf time from sesame seeds

Sesame seeds that are fresh and raw have a shorter shelf-life in comparison to the ones that are toasted. Opened and unopened sesame seeds can be kept in the pantry and in the refrigerator. Raw seeds can last one year. The seeds that are roasted can last three years. Be sure to use airtight containers, and avoid damp places.

Storage tips that work

Seeds can turn rancid quite quickly.

  • Keep it in a dry, cool location, free of direct heat and moisture.
  • Utilize airtight containers or bags that seal. Make sure that the storage containers are tightly sealed to stop the infiltration of moisture and contaminants.


  • Be aware of signs of mold growing on the seeds’ husks. Remove them to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Utilize your senses to discern rancid seeds. The seeds that are palatable become unpleasant and would be better replaced.

Seeds have been used for centuries since the beginning of time. The 6 mentioned nutritious seeds, along with their shelf-life, will only give you a glimpse of all the possibilities of seed and their applications.

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