Quinoa is a pseudocereal rich in protein and the grains contain a high concentration of important elements. Vitamin B, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese are among the nutrients in question. Quinoa, on top of that, includes all nine essential amino acids that are necessary for good muscular health!
Due to the fact that this product is gluten-free, those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease can consume it with confidence. But what about the quinoa’s shelf life once it is harvested? Is it possible for quinoa to go bad?
Does Quinoa Expire?
Yes, quinoa expires after 3-4 years provided it remains in its package unopened. Once the quinoa is opened and cooked, it goes bad after 7 days. However, it can last for up to a year if stored at temperatures below 0°F.
So, how does quinoa go bad? The main carbohydrate in quinoa is starch which makes up 52-74% of the grain. Quinoa is also about 15% protein. When stored at normal temperature of about 37 degrees Celsius, over a long period, say 2+ years, hydrogen bonds holding the molecules in quinoa weaken and begin to break. This exposes amylose and amylopectin, eventually allowing hydrolyzing glycosidic bonds. The breakdown makes quinoa go bad and lose its nutritional qualities.
Uncooked and well-packaged quinoa can be stored in the pantry for up to 3 to 4 years if kept in a cool, dry place. Quinoa that has been opened and stored in the refrigerator will remain fresh for 2 to 3 years.
Quinoa that has been cooked will keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Once it has been stored in the freezer for at least a year at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit, it can last for years and years!
Quinoa is marketed dry, allowing it to have a lengthy shelf life after being harvested. It is not, on the other hand, impenetrable to spoiling.
As long as you keep the product away from sources of heat and moisture, it should last a very long time in your refrigerator. Mold growth is something you should be on the lookout for.
Once mold has been detected, there is no other option than to discard the merchandise. Furthermore, quinoa is not exactly inexpensive, so careful storage is essential to maximizing your supply!
Can You Freeze Quinoa?
Yes, you can freeze both cooked and uncooked quinoa. Freezing will extend the shelf life of the quinoa by up to 250 percent. Uncooked grains in a closed contained can directly go in the freezer and last long before expiry.
To preserve the product, simply place it in an airtight container; no extra preparation is required.
When it comes to unopened packages of uncooked quinoa, simply place the product in the freezer with the original packing intact.
How to Tell If Quinoa has Gone Bad
The color and flavor of uncooked quinoa will not change significantly if it has gone bad, making it difficult to determine if it has gone bad.
Before cooking uncooked quinoa, take a smell of the product to ensure that it is not contaminated. If there is a little change in texture or aroma, it is possible that the product has gone bad.
Cooking the product is the only way to determine if it has gone bad or is still good. It is no longer safe to consume cooked quinoa if it has an excessively hard texture or begins to emanate a bad smell after it has been cooked. If the cooked quinoa has become moldy, discard the product immediately.
How to Store Quinoa
The best way to store quinoa will be determined by the condition of the product prior to storage. The product can be kept at room temperature in the pantry if it is uncooked and unopened when it is first purchased.
There is sufficient protection from the elements provided by the packaging. Keep the quinoa seeds away from any moisture and high heat, however, to ensure that it has a long shelf life.
The product should be kept refrigerated if it is uncooked and has not been prepared. The product’s shelf life will be extended if it is kept refrigerated.
Keeping the quinoa refrigerated also helps to prevent the degradation of the product! Refrigeration is the most effective method of preserving quinoa that is nearing its expiration date.
Cooked quinoa can go bad in a matter of hours, so it is critical to store the product in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you aren’t planning on eating the cooked quinoa right away, you can also store the leftovers for another time. Once you’ve thawed the frozen quinoa and reheated it, however, you should expect a substantial shift in texture.
After opening the product, you can either keep it in the package it came in or transfer it to an airtight container. It’s best to store it in your pantry or another dark, cool location with a steady temperature.
Once you’ve finished cooking the quinoa, store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Cooked Quinoa?
If you plan on storing quinoa for an extended amount of time (weeks or even months), freezing it is the best option. In this case, the procedure is really basic and looks like this:
- Prepare quinoa in the manner of your choice.
- Divide the mixture into meal-sized portions and allow it to cool to around room temperature.
- Place the quinoa in freezer-safe containers or bags to keep it fresh. If necessary, include labels.
- Place the containers or bags in the freezer for later use.
The most effective and recommended method of defrosting quinoa is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Quinoa that is properly cooked has a long shelf life.
Quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week after it has been cooked.
Placed in the freezer for 8 to 12 months, cooked quinoa will still be edible beyond that time period. It won’t go bad if you keep it in the freezer, but it will gradually lose its quality over time. As a result, it is recommended that you consume it within a year of freezing it.