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In this article you’ll find all the information you need to know to keep and store quinoa, answering your question; “How long does quinoa last?”
If you’ve come home from the store with a big bag of quinoa, you may be wondering how to best store and keep it so that it will last you a good long while.
I’m guilty of bulk buying, in fact, I think it’s quite a good idea! Buying certain items in bulk saves money and time!
However, buying in bulk can take the turn for the worse if you don’t properly store your items, and they end up going bad before you can use them.
How long does quinoa last? What if it’s dried, cooked, or frozen?
In this article I review what quinoa is, how to store it properly to elongate it’s shelf life, and how to keep it in the fridge and freezer. Plus, you’ll know all the tell tale signs that it has gone bad!
What is quinoa?
It is an edible seed commonly thought to be a grain. It is a flowering plant from the amaranth family. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, and B vitamins.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber, and it is naturally gluten-free
It is prepared similarly to other gains such as rice, but it is a more well rounded nutritional food. It is the only plant food that contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
It is considered a psedocereal, because it doesn’t grow on grass like wheat, oats, or barley.
While it’s an ancient grain that has been used for centuries, it has become more and more popular as a health food in recent years. Unlike rice, it cooks up quickly, and can be served as a substitute for rice or other grains.
What are the different types?
There are three main types of quinoa: red, white, and black.
Red quinoa seeds are flat, and oval in shape.
When cooked it turns brown in color. It has a richer, nuttier flavor than the other two types, and a chewy texture. When cooked it holds its shape well, making it an excellent addition to salads.
White quinoa is the most common type used in cooking. It has a delicate flavor and a light texture.
Black quinoa has an earthy and a slightly sweeter flavor than white and red.
You can also purchase multicolor quinoa in which there is a blend of the different colors. This combination has a nice variety of texture and flavors.
How to Store
So, you’ve come home with a giant bag of quinoa from Costco! Yay! Now, how do you store it so that it doesn’t go bad before you use it all up?
How to Store Dry
Tip #1 Keep dry, you don’t want your quinoa to come in contact with water.
Tip #2: Transfer to an air tight container or store in it’s packaging. However, I recommend transferring it to an air tight container to keep the seeds dry and sealed.
Tip #3 Store in a cool dark place like your pantry or find a place that has a cool and consistent temperature.
How to Store Cooked
Tip #1 Allow cooked quinoa to cool for 10-20 minutes before transferring leftovers to the fridge.
Tip #2 Transfer to an air tight container to keep it from becoming contaminated.
Tip #3 Do not leave cooked quinoa out for more than 2 hours! This can cause bacteria to form.
Can you freeze cooked quinoa?
Yes, you can freeze it after it’s been cooked!
Step 1: Prepare according to package directions.
Step 2: Allow it to cool for 10-20 minutes.
Step 3: Transfer to a freezer safe container. You may want to divide it into individual serving sizes. Label with the date, and contents.
Step 4: Place in freezer.
How long does cooked quinoa last in the freezer?
While some say it will last 8-12 months in the freezer, I recommend 2-3 months. After an extended period of time it will lose it’s texture and quality.
How long does dry quinoa last?
When dry and stored properly it will last 2-3 years from the date it was produced. There should be a “best by” date on the packaging. Follow the “best by” date because you don’t know how long it was sitting on the shelf before you purchased it.
How long does cooked quinoa last in the fridge?
When cooked and stored properly in an air tight container it will last up to 7 days in the fridge.
How do you know if quinoa has spoiled?
When dry, it will last a long time (2-3 years) if kept in a cool, dark place, in a sealed container. If you notice any mold growth, then it has gone bad, and it’s time to discard it.
Otherwise, it is difficult to know if it has gone bad, as it will not change much in smell or texture. Always do the smell test, before cooking. If you notice a change in its smell, it may have gone bad.
However, the only true way to know if it has gone bad is to cook it. After it has been cooked, if it has a strange aroma, or a coarse, hard texture, it is no longer safe to eat.
After storing it in the fridge, if you take it out to reheat, look it over for any mold growth, and give it a smell. If it’s been over 7 days toss it out.