Quinoa – The Super Food!
You cooked a huge batch of quinoa for your besties birthday party last week. Are you thinking about how to use it up or figuring out ways to store it? Next, you may wonder: How long does quinoa last without going bad?
Well, I wasn’t sure either on the shelf life period of this healthy grain. Most people are not sure if quinoa will last for weeks, months, or even years. You might be extra worried if your cooked quinoa will last till this weekend.
To understand this better, let’s find out more about the shelf life and storage methods of quinoa. You also need to be aware of signs of spoilage to avoid becoming sick.
How Long Does Quinoa Last
A few years back, quinoa was not well known. Due to its popularity on social media, it has become a part of a healthy diet plan. Quinoa is a rich source of minerals and vitamins.
Quinoa is a super food new to the food market. Hence most people are not sure about how long it will last. The general guidelines reveal the following information.
Raw seeds can last for around 2 – 3 years in the fridge and pantry. Cooked ones will remain fine for 6 – 7 days in the refrigerator and can last up to 8 – 12 months in the freezer. This may differ differently based on the quality of the quinoa used.
Various varieties include red quinoa, white quinoa, and black quinoa. Well, they are more or less the same other than the color variation. You will also find a slight difference in the number of minerals and vitamins present.
The shelf life of quinoa is based on whether it’s in uncooked or uncooked form. Uncooked one lasts longer than cooked quinoa. Hence it would be best if you plan on what you’re planning to prepare.
Cooked Quinoa Shelf Life
Cooked quinoa won’t last long, even if you keep it in the fridge. It’s better to eat it immediately for better taste and freshness.
Once you finished cooking, you can keep it outside for a maximum of two hours. Beyond that, you may have to discard it. Leaving it on the countertop for more than two hours will result in the growth of bacteria. Bacterial growth is high when the temperature ranges from 40°F – 140°F.
For the batch stored in the fridge, it will last for a maximum of one week. Inside the refrigerator, the quality starts deteriorating each day. This is mainly because of the moisture present inside the refrigerator. After one week, discard any uneaten portion.
To store cooked quinoa for long, freezing is the best option!
Uncooked Quinoa Shelf Life
If stored properly, uncooked quinoa seeds have a shelf life of around three years. The best place to store them in your pantry or the cupboard in your kitchen. It’s based on the temperature of the room.
Warmer temperature decreases the shelf life, and cooler temperature makes it last for long. Hence make sure that the storage area is cool and dry always. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
You can also place it in your freezer. This method offers the highest shelf life of around three years.
For more information, check out this video link.
Methods to Store Quinoa
When you purchase quinoa from the local store, it usually comes in huge packages. Online brands such as Kirkland Signature are great options as well. While preparing for a meal, you will have lots of leftover quinoa grains. To use the leftovers later, you need to store it properly.
Well, you cant toss them directly into your pantry, fridge, or even freezer in that case. It will reduce the freshness of the grain if you do so. Proper storage is essential to keep it fresh for long.
Do you wish to use them next week or only after a few months? Based on your utilization, you can store it either in the freezer, fridge, or pantry.
In the Pantry
To store uncooked quinoa in the pantry, keep them in an airtight container or their original sealed packing. Planning to store them for more than a year? Then an airtight jar is the best.
The original store package maybe sometimes damaged or deteriorate over time. This happens due to variation in temperature or invasion of pests.
It’s not advisable to store cooked quinoa in the pantry. Once cooked, it will not last more than two hours and room temperature.
In the Fridge
For storing in the fridge, you can store it in both cooked and uncooked forms. The cooked form can last in the refrigerator for a week if stored well. After cooking, allow it to cool down completely. Then transfer it into an opaque or airtight container once cooled.
Some individuals tend to wrap it in a plastic wrap. This is a wrong idea as moisture will mix with the quinoa. Once moisture enters, it’ll start becoming bad.
For uncooked quinoa seeds, you can store it in the fridge for about 3 years. No special preparation is essential for uncooked ones. Or else you can keep the original package in the refrigerator. If needed, you can transfer it into an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.
In the Freezer
A freezer is the best place to store food for years. However, for quinoa, it’s based on whether it’s cooked or uncooked.
As for uncooked quinoa, it’s not advisable to put it in the freezer. This is because it may result in freezer burn when exposed to oxygen. Storing in the fridge will not extend its shelf life also. Hence it’s better to store in the pantry itself.
For cooked ones, storing in the freezer will make it last for a year.
How Do You Know If Quinoa Has Gone Bad?
Like any other food item, they are perishable after some time or when moisture reacts with it. Let’s see how to find out if quinoa has gone bad or not.
For uncooked quinoa grains, if sealed well, it will last for a long time. However, as time passes, the package will start deteriorating, and moisture will enter and destroy.
If so, the quinoa grains will show discoloration, and the presence of mold will be visible. If this takes place, you will have to throw the entire package.
When you open the package or airtight container, if you do not find any signs of mold or bad ordor, you can cook it. After cooking, if it has gone bad, you will notice a variation in smell, color, and texture
For cooked ones, the main sign that it has gone bad is the formation of the growth of mold. You will also find that it has an offensive smell. When you notice these changes, it’s advisable to discard the food item.
Also, if you cooked quinoa and kept it in your fridge for over a week, throw it away immediately. You don’t even have to inspect it for any variations.
>> Related Post: How To Harvest Quinoa In 10 Easy & Simple Steps
As quinoa is a popular alternative to rice and is gluten-free, you can make it a part of your diet. You can use it to prepare a variety of dishes and include it in other food items as well. Owing to its rich nutrient content, many people prefer to buy them in large quantities.
Quinoa is quite expensive, so storing it well and avoiding wastage is essential. Follow the tips in this post, and you can store them safely for long.
Now that you know how long does quinoa last start buying ones like Kirkland Signature. Also, do share your personal stories with us. Don’t forget to share this post with your other cooking buddies. For more information or questions, you can write to us in the comment box below.