How to Store Quinoa [Tips, Tricks, Science]


Superfoods are all around us, and one of the most popular ones is quinoa. Despite allowing you to live a long and healthy life, however, quinoa can only last for a couple of years when uncooked or anywhere from a few days when cooked.

Uncooked quinoa should be stored in an airtight container and placed in a cool and dry place. It may also be stored in its original packaging, provided that it’s unopened. Cooked quinoa in an airtight container can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two months.

Quinoa doesn’t come with a cheap price tag. This is why you should store it the right way, uncooked or cooked, to keep your hard-earned cash from going to waste.

More importantly, keeping quinoa in an excellent state for a long time will let you take advantage of the many health perks that it’s known to offer at any given time.

But First: Why Buy and Eat Quinoa?

It may be being marketed as a whole grain, but quinoa is technically a seed. No matter how you wish to look at it, one thing stays true: quinoa is one of the healthiest foods that you can get your hands on.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why quinoa is regarded by many as a superfood:

  • It’s packed with high-quality protein, offering all nine essential amino acids.
  • It has almost twice the amount of fiber in other grains, making it superb for the heart and gut.
  • It’s rich in magnesium, which is why it can help lower hypertension and heart disease risk.
  • It helps fend off or reverse iron-deficiency anemia as it’s rich in iron necessary for RBC production.
  • It has a low glycemic index, making it effective for regulating blood sugar.
  • It’s loaded with B vitamins necessary for energy generation and healthy nerves.
  • It contains no gluten, unlike most other grains, making it ideal for people with celiac disease.

If you are a health-conscious individual, you should welcome quinoa into your life. You should add it to your diet on a regular basis, too.

However, it’s a must that you store quinoa the right way, especially because it can be quite expensive — a five-pound pack is around $20, depending on the brand.

Worry not if this is the first time for you to consider buying and eating quinoa.

Below are some of the steps you need to take on how to store quinoa. So don’t stop reading until you get to the very end of this article!

Storing Quinoa the Right Way

Because of its superstar status as a superfood, you can easily buy quinoa these days.

You can buy it raw at the supermarket or a health food store, online or offline. You can also buy quinoa in the form of flour, bread and others.

No matter the form, it’s a must that you store it properly. Quinoa may not be as highly perishable as dairy products, eggs, seafood and natural fruit juices.

However, you should still store it correctly to avoid throwing it away and flushing your money down the drain. Here’s everything you need to know about storing quinoa…

How Long Can You Store Dry Quinoa

Dry or uncooked quinoa can be stored anywhere from two to three years. It should be transferred to an airtight container if the original packaging has been opened. Quinoa should then be stored in a cool and dry place, such as in the pantry or cupboard. It should be protected against light and heat.

When it comes to storing quinoa the right way, the most important thing you need to remember is to keep it from coming into contact with moisture — the superfood’s number one enemy.

The problem with getting quinoa wet is that it can cause mold to form. The minute that you see mold or you smell a moldy odor, you have no choice but to throw everything away.

It’s also a must to keep quinoa dry to keep it from attracting common household pests, including especially those that love to raid pantries.

And speaking of pantry pests…

How to store quinoa flour

Quinoa flour can be stored in its original packaging until the best-by date, usually three to eight months from the production date. Once opened, quinoa flour should be transferred to an airtight container and kept in a cool, dry place. It may also be refrigerated or frozen for longer shelf life.

In the refrigerator, quinoa flour can stay in tip-top shape for up to a year. In the freezer, it can keep for up to two long years. Either way, just remember to place quinoa flour in a ziploc bag beforehand.

Transferring quinoa flour in a ziploc bag before refrigerating it helps protect it from moisture and refrigerator odors.

On the other hand, it helps protect quinoa flour from getting freezer burn in the freezer.

For best results, squeeze as much air as possible out of the Ziploc bag before sealing it and tossing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

How Long Can You Store Cooked Quinoa

Cooked quinoa can be stored at room temperature for no more than two hours only. If cooked quinoa cannot be consumed right away, it should be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for three to five days. Cooked quinoa in a ziploc bag can keep in the freezer for up to two long months.

Dry or uncooked quinoa is shelf-stable due to the absence of moisture. But when moisture or water is introduced, quinoa can spoil very quickly due to bacterial activity.

The higher the temperature in your kitchen, the quicker you should consume cooked quinoa.

The good news is that you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer where it can keep for a few days or a couple of months, respectively.

But before refrigerating or freezing cooked quinoa, you should allow it to cool to room temperature first.

Otherwise, it will spoil in the fridge or end up with freezer burn in the freezer.

How to store and reheat quinoa

Cooked quinoa from the fridge is easy to reheat. It can be reheated quickly using the microwave. Cooked quinoa can be reheated on the stovetop or in the oven, too. Any remaining portion may be refrigerated again. It’s a must to allow hot or warm cooked quinoa to cool to room temperature beforehand.

Besides storing it in the refrigerator, unused reheated cooked quinoa may be stored in the freezer, too. Sadly, the more you store and reheat quinoa, the more the superfood loses its quality and nutrients.

How long can you store quinoa salad

Storing quinoa salad is just like storing cooked quinoa. You will have to transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two months. It’s not safe to eat quinoa salad that has been sitting on the countertop for more than two hours.

Because quinoa salad contains all sorts of ingredients, some of which tend to perish quicker than the rest, throw it away if there is a change in the way it tastes, looks or smells.

How to store soaked quinoa

Before cooking quinoa, it should be first soaked in water for at least six hours or overnight. There’s no need to refrigerate the pot or bowl with soaked quinoa — it can be kept at room temperature. However, the container should be covered to keep it from collecting dust or dirt or trapping insects.

Do you have digestive issues and you tend to end up with a stomach ache after eating quinoa?

You may soak quinoa for more than 24 hours. Just remember to change the water every 12 to 24 hours.

How to Store Quinoa Bread

Quinoa bread can be stored at room temperature for two days. To extend its life for up to five days, transfer it to a ziploc bag or wrap it in aluminum foil. Refrigerate it afterward. In the freezer, quinoa bread can keep for up to six months. Homemade quinoa bread should be allowed to cool first.

The steps above are the same steps on how to store quinoa chia bread or other bread with quinoa.

When it comes to thawing frozen quinoa bread, there is one very important thing to remember: do not let it thaw on a countertop. The right way to reheat frozen quinoa bread is with the use of a microwave or oven.

Takeaway

Quinoa can last for a few years for as long as you keep it away from the elements, especially moisture and heat. You can store an unopened pack of quinoa in a cool and dry place.

Once opened, you should transfer quinoa to an airtight container and place it where it’s cool and dry. You may also refrigerate it.

Cooked quinoa has a considerably shorter shelf life due to the introduction of moisture. If it cannot be consumed within two hours, make sure that you store cooked quinoa in the refrigerator or freezer.

Photo credit: ©canva.com

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