Quinoa has gained popularity as a result of the widespread switch to gluten-free diets. This has therefore increased demand for it globally.
We’ll discuss how to correctly store and preserve your quinoa in this post, as well as how to determine whether it’s still safe to consume after months of storage.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a plant that is raised for its tasty seeds, to put it simply. Compared to other grains, these seeds are a good source of high-quality protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. It doesn’t naturally contain any gluten.
It doesn’t sprout on grass as other cereal grains do, like wheat and barley. It is hence regarded as a pseudocereal.
Quinoa is incredibly popular, especially given how much quicker it cooks than other cereal grains like rice.
What are the Various Types of Quinoa?
Quinoa comes in various types, such as white, red, black, multi-colored quinoa, flour, flakes, and crisp quinoa. However, we will focus on the three most important ones in this article: red, white, and black quinoa.
• Red Quinoa
Unlike other quinoa varieties, this type has a stronger flavor and a rather chewier and fluffier texture. It produces flat and oval-shaped seeds. Since it maintains its shape when cooked, it’s almost always the quinoa of preference for cold salads. Once cooked, it gets a brownish color.
• White Quinoa
This is the most likable type of quinoa. At times, it is called tan, ivory, yellow, golden, or blonde quinoa. Also, it can be referred to simply as quinoa. White quinoa has the mildest flavor and the thinnest feel of all the other varieties. It also cooks a little fluffier than the other types.
• Black Quinoa
This type has a sweeter and more earthy taste compared to the others.
What is the Perfect Method for Storing Quinoa?
To prevent it from going bad, it is essential for you to properly store Quinoa, both dry (uncooked) and cooked quinoa.
How to Store Uncooked Quinoa
- Ensure to keep it dry – This goes without saying that you should keep your quinoa away from water.
- Keep it in a well-sealed bag – Once you unpack it from the container/bag it came in, transfer it to a well-sealed or airtight bottle.
- Keep it in a cool, dark place – If you are going to put it in the pantry, ensure to place it away from any heat source.
How to Store Cooked Quinoa
After you have cooked your quinoa, you should observe the following to ensure it is safe for consumption the next time you are ready to eat it.
- Cool it – After you’ve finished cooking your quinoa, make sure it’s completely cool.
- Put it in a sealed bag – Once it is cooled, keep it in a completely sealed bag or airtight container.
- Refrigerate it – Put it in the fridge for not more than one week.
Is it Possible to Freeze Cooked Quinoa?
If you’re questioning whether you can freeze cooked quinoa leftovers, the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s how;
- Cook your quinoa, and consume what you can.
- Let it sit to cool a little bit for about 15-20 minutes.
- Put it in the freezer bags in small portions and label them. Do not fill them to the top.
- Now put them in the freezer.
What is the Storage Time for Cooked Quinoa in the Freezer?
If properly stored, cooked quinoa can be frozen for up to a year. To be precise, 8–12 months. If frozen for more than 3 months, expect changes in texture and quality.
How Long Can You Preserve Dry Quinoa in the Freezer?
The “best by” or “expiry date” for dry quinoa is printed on the package. Ensure you follow that when storing your quinoa in the freezer.
Usually, quinoa can last for 2-3 years if properly stored.
How Can You Identify Spoiled Quinoa?
It may be tricky to identify spoiled quinoa, especially when it is uncooked. So, if you want to be sure that your quinoa is safe for consumption, cook it and look for the following signs:
- Presence of mold – If quinoa has spoiled, it may have mold on it. So, if you spot this after reheating your quinoa, discard it.
- Change of smell – If the quinoa has a weird smell other than its usual one, throw it away.
- Change in texture – If the texture of cooked quinoa becomes hard after reheating, simply discard it.
Given how famous quinoa has become in the past few years, proper preservation is crucial. Now that you’re aware that quinoa might spoil and create health problems if not properly preserved, why don’t you start doing that right away?