Quinoa is a popular type of grain, similar to couscous, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is partly due to the fact that this product is cheap to buy in bulk, and that it’s relatively healthy as a snack or as a side dish. It’s high in protein and other nutrients, while being easy to prepare without too much effort. It has more protein than any other grain product including rice and corn especially. Quinoa has a mild flavor and a smooth texture. Because of these qualities, it is often added to foods like mushrooms, onions and to ingredients like cinnamon and sugar.
Quinoa can be a substitute for rice when it comes to pudding and can also be used as an additive when making bread. Usually, you can only buy quinoa in a large quantity so it’s important to know beforehand whether or not this product will be ready for long-term storage. If you see a sale in the supermarket and you want to save money along with time, buying quinoa in bulk would be an attractive option for any consumer. The question remains: After we cook and prepare the quinoa, how long will it last for? Can you freeze quinoa?
Can You Freeze Quinoa?
The answer to this question is yes, you can most definitely freeze cooked quinoa but there are certain precautions that have to be observed in order to have successful results. It’s important to freeze the cooked quinoa as well because otherwise the contents will become mushed together and clumpy. Cooked quinoa can be frozen in its regular form or as apart of the pilaf but it is not recommended to freeze it if it has been cooked in a stew or a soup.
Quinoa that has been put into liquids will not maintain its’ former consistency and will absorb it instead. Quinoa that has been put into soup or stew will become mushy and lack the flavor that it originally had. This is also true if you were to put the cooked quinoa to freeze with tomato sauce. The product would soak up the liquid and its flavor and consistency would change for the worse.
The Freezing Process
To freeze your cooked quinoa without any problems, it’s important to adhere to the following steps:
- After cooking the quinoa, allow it to cool off for some time before preparing the product for freezing.
- Since quinoa is often cooked in some liquid kind of substance whether its cooking oil or otherwise, its’ important to store the cooked quinoa properly in the refrigerator before freezing as mold may develop if you leave it out on the kitchen counter.
- After cooking, you should want to freeze the quinoa as quickly as possible for best results.
- Before freezing, remember to place the cooked quinoa in a freezer bag (more than one if you have multiple servings).
- Squeeze out and remove any excess air from the bag before you place the product in the freezer.
- Seal the freezer bag tightly to make sure no bacteria or outside elements will affect the cooked quinoa during the process.
- Remember to label with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing for the individual freezer bag(s) of the cooked quinoa. This way, you can remain aware of how long the quinoa has been frozen for.
- Alternatively, you may use a freezer-safe container to freeze the quinoa. Just be sure to lay the product in flat and even layer(s) for best results during the process. Additionally, adding a layer of plastic wrap on top of the quinoa will keep air from escaping as well as putting a lid or top over the container itself.
The Thawing Process
By using more than one freezer bag of quinoa, you will be able to have multiple servings available at different times and dates depending on how much quinoa you plan on using. For the best results when thawing out your quinoa, take out the necessary amount of product from the freezer and place the bag directly into the refrigerator for the de-frosting to begin.
You could also take the frozen quinoa and add to a food item like mushrooms or onions that may already be cooking at the time to thaw out the product much more quickly. Frozen and previously cooked quinoa can also be thawed out in the microwave after about one to two minutes if you are in a rush.
After thawing out the quinoa in the refrigerator or in the microwave, it will be best to use the cooked product within two days of defrosting for the best tasting results. It’s also very important to never refreeze cooked quinoa after it already has been frozen and thawed out once before. You may also have to stir the quinoa together again to maintain its’ consistency and flavor after the freezing and thawing processes. Frozen cooked quinoa will last for up to six months if you store it correctly in your freezer. Enjoy!
Does Quinoa Go Bad
Does Quinoa Go Bad?
Humans have been eating quinoa for over thousands of years and have been apart of agriculture since the early days of cultivation. Since quinoa is a healthy dish and is easily found in South America and around the world, would it be worth an actual purchase? If you’re at the local supermarket or at an outdoor food market one day and you see a big sale on packages of quinoa, what should you do? If you have adequate room at home for the extra packages and desire to save a little bit of money from your grocery bill, it may be worth it to purchase this very healthy and fulfilling snack. However, how long can you store your quinoa and how long can it last for? The ultimate question remains; does quinoa go bad?
It won’t exactly go bad, but like any whole grain, it can go stale or rancid.
When it comes to quinoa, it’s important to all consumers to know whether or not it will go bad in days, weeks, months or even years. Having said that, you should want to extend the shelf life and storage potential of your quinoa as much as possible in order to get the most bang for your buck. Please read on to find out more about the storage habits, shelf life, and signs of a bad product that relate to this healthy and plentiful grain product.
Storing The Quinoa
In order to make sure that your quinoa product lasts a while, it will be important for you to consider the following steps. The quinoa should remain dry at all times and shouldn’t be exposed to heat, sunlight, water, general humidity, oxygen, and other outside elements. By keeping the quinoa dark, dry, and cool, you’ll be able to preserve the product that much more easily. It’s also recommended to store the quinoa in a Ziploc bag or a container that can be sealed tightly in order to really keep it dry. The quinoa should be stored at an average room temperature and should also be stored in the same place in order to maintain its’ consistency.
While keeping the quinoa at room temperature when it is unopened is a good idea, it’s different when the container or package has been opened. In that case, it would be best to move the quinoa to a sealed container and place it in the refrigerator for the long-term. The quinoa will definitely remain cool and dry by being put into a sealable container and be less exposed to the elements. Remember to label the date of first refrigeration with a permanent marker for each individual container or freezer bag in order to keep track of storage time. You may also refrigerate cooked quinoa as well using the same method if that is your preference.
Cooked quinoa should not be kept at room temperature after a few hours passes. If you plan on storing cooked quinoa, please put it into the refrigerator if you’re going to use it in a day, week or more. Cooked and uncooked quinoa can also be frozen using sealable containers and freezer bags. It’s important to thaw out the product afterwards by mixing it with some steamed water in a closed pot or by microwaving it in the oven on a glass or plastic dish for a minute or so.
Want to learn more about quinoa? Check out this video on how to cook perfect quinoa every time:
Shelf Life of Quinoa
The shelf life of your quinoa will depend on a number of different factors and reactions. Unfortunately, quinoa does have an expiration date and will not last forever. Depending on how it is stored and whether it is cooked or not will help influence just how long the product will end up lasting. The quinoa, when purchased in a package, has a “use by” or “best before” date. This date is not seen as an expiration date but rather as a date when the quality of the seeds will start to inevitably decline and lose their wholesomeness. You should not throw your quinoa out after this “use by” date passes by but rather begin to examine more closely whether the quality is still good enough to consume or if the product should be tossed out.
Whether the quinoa is red, white, black, or any other color or variety, it is likely that an uncooked package will last for about two to three years after initial purchase. If your quinoa has not been cooked and still hasn’t been unopened, it would be best to keep it in the kitchen cabinet or pantry. It’s simply not necessary to store uncooked quinoa in the refrigerator for long-term storage. When it comes to cooked or opened quinoa, it would be best to store it in the refrigerator where it can last for a week or more before losing its’ quality and texture. If you really want to preserve your cooked quinoa but won’t be using it for a week or month, you can decide to freeze the quinoa in a container or freezer bag. Quinoa that’s been stored in the freezer can last from between eight to twelve months before its’ quality starts to decline and lose its’ appeal.
Signs of Bad Quinoa
Unlike most food products, quinoa doesn’t really have a pungent smell or foul taste that gives off the impression that its’ gone bad. It’s easier to tell about the quality of quinoa based off its’ overall appearance. If the product’s texture is uneven or is unusually hard or dry, then there’s something wrong. If the quinoa has developed mold or clumpy, then it has become “stained” and you should probably throw it away. While smell and taste tests are secondary, quinoa will sometimes give off a foul odor or the product will substantially lose its’ flavor. If any of the factors occur regarding appearance, taste, smell, etc. then it’s better to be safe than sorry by throwing your quinoa in the trash. This food product is widely available so there’s no need to worry about it replacing the quinoa for a fair price.
Quinoa is a popular grain product that has its origins in South America in countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, etc. Quinoa is edible and can be cooked without too much trouble. Quinoa can be a healthy side dish or even a main meal. Quinoa is also considered to be an alternative to cereal to be served at breakfast time. Its seeds are edible so do not be worried that you can’t eat this particular product. And if you want your cooked quinoa to last longer then it’s best to freeze it.