Quinoa is the most popular superfood in the world and it is consumed for thousand years. Not only is quinoa used in culinary purposes, but it is also used in medicine, because it is known as a healthy food. If you use quinoa in your diet you are probably wondering if it can go bad or its shelf life is unlimited.
In this article you will find out more about quinoa and its shelf life. Also, we will discuss the proper storage of quinoa and how to tell if it has gone bad.
More about Quinoa
Quinoa is a grain crop and it is grown mostly for its edible seeds. Actually, quinoa is a seed but many people consider it a grain, so it is often called a supergrain of the future. Although quinoa is a seed, it is prepared and consumed similarly to grains.
Quinoa has a lot of health benefits. It contains all 9 amino acids and it is rich in fiber. Quinoa is gluten free and it is especially consumed by people who are allergic to gluten. Quinoa also contains magnesium, iron, manganese, riboflavin and other minerals.
Studies have shown that 2-3 servings of quinoa per day can reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure and even colon cancer. Quinoa also provides high amount of antioxidants that boost our immune system. You can easily include quinoa in your diet. A cup of quinoa with yogurt can be a healthy snack and it can also be used in place of rice in many recipes. Quinoa can also be used in baking and cooking and it can be a healthy addition to many hot side dishes and cold salads.
What Is the Shelf Life of Quinoa?
Like other seeds, quinoa has a best by date and it doesn’t have an expiration date. Because of that, you can use quinoa even after its best by date. The shelf life of quinoa actually depends on whether it is cooked or uncooked quinoa. If quinoa is uncooked it can last between 2 and 3 years beyond the date that is printed on the package. If quinoa is cooked, it will last one week if you keep it in the fridge.
If you store your cooked quinoa in the freezer, it will last 8-12 months. It will stay safe even after this period, but it will lose a lot of its quality. Because of that, it is best to consume quinoa within a year of freezing.
How to store Quinoa Properly?
Quinoa should be stored in an airtight container in a dark and cool place. You can store it in the pantry, in the cupboard or in some other place with a constant temperature. You can also put uncooked quinoa in the fridge, but it won’t extend its shelf life. When it is cooked, quinoa should always be stored in the fridge, but it is important to keep it in an airtight container, in order to keep out contaminants and moisture. Remember that cooked quinoa should not be exposed to room temperature for more than 2 hours because it will spoil.
Also, if you want to store quinoa for a longer period of time, you can freeze it. It is recommended to freeze dry quinoa in an oxygen-free freezer safe containers, if you want to preserve the taste of quinoa as much as possible. Also, you can freeze cooked quinoa in an airtight freezer container.
How To Tell if Quinoa Has Gone Bad?
It is not easy to tell if quinoa has gone bad because it has a pretty long shelf life if it is stored properly. It is known that dry quinoa can last for a long time. To be sure whether dry quinoa has gone bad, open its package and smell it. It will probably have a foul smell if it has gone bad and you should discard it.
Generally, dry quinoa doesn’t become rancid, but when it is cooked it will change in texture and you will easily notice that. Also, if you notice any mold in quinoa, it means that it has gone bad and you should toss it. Remember that spoiled foods can cause many health risks and it is best to avoid them.
As you have seen, quinoa does spoil over time, especially when it is cooked. Uncooked quinoa can last pretty long, but remember that quinoa loses its flavor and integrity over time. Sometimes it can be safe to consume, but it will not have the same flavor and freshness as before.
It also loses a lot of the nutrients and some of the health benefits, so it becomes practically useless. Because of that, you should consume quinoa regularly and make it a part of your diet. This way, you will eat quinoa before it goes bad.