In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does quinoa need to be refrigerated?”, and tell you how to properly store it. We will also tell you if you can freeze quinoa and the proper way to defrost it. We will also discuss the shelf life of quinoa and mention how to spot quinoa that has gone bad.
Does quinoa need to be refrigerated?
Yes, cooked quinoa needs to be refrigerated. Uncooked quinoa can be stored in the pantry. After cooking quinoa, transfer the quinoa into an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Let it cool down first and do not leave it out for more than two hours as it can get contaminated.
Uncooked quinoa should be kept in a cool, dry place away from moisture and air. It should be kept in its original packaging or should be transferred to an airtight jar or container to make sure moisture does not find its way to quinoa.
Can you freeze quinoa?
Yes, you can freeze quinoa. It is the best way to make sure that it lasts longer because it will last for only a few days when placed in the fridge.
However, you should divide the cooked quinoa in individual portions and place these portions in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Then place these bags in the freezer. The quinoa should be consumed within a year. It would not go bad after a year but will start to lose its quality so it is advisable that you use it before that.
How to thaw frozen quinoa?
There are many ways to thaw frozen quinoa as listed below.
- Take it out of the freezer a night before you want to use it and place it in the refrigerator. It will defrost overnight.
- You can also put it in the microwave to defrost it but keep a cup of water next to it so that the quinoa does not get dry.
- You can also reheat it in a pan but keep stirring so that the heat distributes evenly.
- You can also use steam to defrost it in a pan or a pot.
How long does quinoa last?
For uncooked quinoa, check the label on the packaging. The ‘best before’ date will tell you how long it will be good for. Shelf life of uncooked quinoa is usually 2-3 years. However, when stored properly, it can be used for a couple of months past its ‘best before’ date.
The best before date only tells us about the amount of time a product will last in its peak quality. It does not depict safety. Properly stored quinoa will last after this date as well but look for any signs of spoilage to make sure it is safe to eat.
Cooked quinoa, on the other hand, only lasts for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. If you want to store it for longer periods of time, then it is better to freeze it.
Learn about the nutritional value of quinoa here.
How to tell if quinoa has gone bad?
It is very hard to tell if uncooked quinoa has gone bad because it does not show any obvious signs of spoilage.
Look for any insect infestation or mold in it and check if it smells bad.
On the other hand, it is easy to tell if cooked quinoa has gone bad. Quinoa that has gone bad will have a very hard texture and will smell off. It will also taste very bad and not enjoyable at all. Look for mold as well.
The shelf life of quinoa in the fridge is not very long so if it has been sitting in the fridge for more than 5-6 days, it is better to get rid of it.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does quinoa need to be refrigerated?”, and told you how to properly store it. We also told you if you can freeze quinoa and the proper way to defrost it. We also discussed the shelf life of quinoa and mentioned how to spot quinoa that has gone bad.