Quinoa is a kind of seed that is sometimes mistaken for a grain. It is completely safe for human eating and is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and fiber.
It is a well-rounded source of nutrition and a full supply of protein, with all nine necessary amino acids, which contributes to its widespread consumption.
You’ve just finished cooking a massive quantity of quinoa, enough for a week’s worth of meals or more, and now you’re curious about how long the quinoa will stay fresh. It is essential to have a good understanding of the shelf life of these seeds since, after they have gone bad, they may cause severe health issues.
While cooked, quinoa may be stored for a few days in the refrigerator and for up to a year in the freezer; however, its shelf life is between two and three years when it is raw.
You should be careful about consuming spoiled quinoa since it has the potential to induce abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating, gagging, indigestion, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Continue reading to find out how long these seeds may be stored for, as well as how to determine whether or not they have gone bad.
It should come as no surprise that many people assume quinoa to be a grain given that it is really a seed that, when cooked, puffs up in exactly the same way that rice does.
One cup of these seeds has 222 calories, 8 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of fat, and it is important to note that they do not contain gluten.
Both fresh and cooked preparations of quinoa are acceptable.
Quinoa has a high amount of fiber in addition to a variety of beneficial elements such as lysine, manganese, iron, riboflavin, thiamine, copper, and magnesium.
These seeds are most often seen in one of three colors: red, black, or white.
The black kind of quinoa has a flavor that is both earthy and sweet, while the white variety is the most popular and has a light texture and a flavor that is more subtle. When cooked, red quinoa takes on a flavor that is rich and nutty.
These seeds provide a number of health advantages, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes; improved digestive health; and assistance with maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol and glucose in the blood.
How Long Does Quinoa Last? Does Quinoa Go Bad?
When unprocessed, quinoa has a shelf life of between two and three years and may remain edible far beyond the “best if used by” date that is stated on the packaging.
When the seeds are boiled, they become more prone to going bad, but they still have a shelf life of between 5 and 7 days if they are stored in sealed containers and placed in the refrigerator.
When cooked quinoa is frozen, it may be stored for between 8 and 12 months.
Quinoa, like the majority of other seeds, does not have an infinite shelf life, although it may be kept for a number of years if it is stored correctly.
These seeds often have a “best by” date on their packaging, which indicates the quality of the food, rather than a “expiration” date, which is normally used to indicate whether or not the food is still safe to eat.
Because of this, you are free to eat raw quinoa even after the “best by” date has passed.
If the seeds are not subjected to moisture and the quinoa is kept correctly, it is possible to keep uncooked quinoa for up to three years in the pantry and for several months beyond the “best if used by” date that is marked on the package. The cooked version may be stored for a couple of hours at the most in the pantry.
Raw quinoa has a shelf life of between two and three years when stored in the refrigerator and may be used for many months beyond the expiration date indicated on the packaging. If it has been cooked, it will remain edible for between 5 and 7 days if it is stored in an airtight container in the right manner.
Quinoa that has been cooked may be stored in the freezer for up to a year, but during that time it will gradually lose its quality and may suffer from freezer burns as well as changes in texture. When you are ready to freeze the quinoa, store it in containers that are airtight and freezer-safe as well as heavy-duty freezer bags. There is no need to put the uncooked seeds in the freezer.
When storing cooked quinoa in the refrigerator or freezer, you should always wait until the seeds have had some time to cool down before placing them in containers that are airtight or bags that have been securely packed.
How to Tell if Quinoa is Bad?
Due to the fact that raw quinoa has such a long shelf life, it might be difficult to determine whether or not it has gone bad.
However, apparent symptoms that your raw seeds have lost their viability include the presence of mold in the packaging, a peculiar odor, or the presence of insects and other creatures in the bag.
Because these symptoms are less likely to appear if the quinoa is stored in a dry environment, cooking the seeds is the only method to definitively tell whether they are of high quality or not.
When you boil the seeds and observe a change in both the texture and flavor, the seeds have gone bad, and it is recommended that you throw them away.
Discoloration, the formation of mold that appears as black spots, and a terrible, sour smell and flavor are some of the indicators that cooked quinoa has gone bad. Other signs include a quinoa that tastes and smells rancid.
These seeds, when newly boiled, often emit an odor that may be described as pleasant and somewhat nutty.
Both uncooked and cooked quinoa should be avoided if it has mold developing on it. This is because the material has been exposed to moisture.
A sign that the quinoa has gone bad is when it has an off flavor and smell, regardless of whether it was cooked or not. The presence of pollutants and prolonged contact with moisture are often to blame for this.
If the quinoa has changed color, it has become rancid and should not be consumed. This is another effect that wetness has.
If there are insects discovered inside the quinoa, the whole package should be thrown out immediately. These insects will be attracted to your seeds if you do not store them correctly in airtight containers or bags with good seals.
It is a sign that the cooked quinoa has gone bad and should not be consumed if it is runnier than it was when you were keeping it.
The shelf life of raw quinoa in the kitchen pantry is normally between two and three years, assuming that it is not exposed to moisture or insects.
If it is kept properly, it will remain edible after being cooked for four to seven months in the refrigerator and eight to twelve months in the freezer.
The shelf life of quinoa once it has been cooked is just a few hours.
Keep the raw quinoa in airtight containers when it has been fully dried out, and store it in a cold, dark area of your pantry. This will guarantee that you have high-quality quinoa.
If you cooked them, let the leftovers to cool down for about 10 to 20 minutes, then store them in containers that are airtight and put them in the refrigerator or freezer.