Among grains, quinoa is a super grain. Not only is it gluten free, it is filling and packed with nutrients and minerals. In the vegan world, quinoa has grown to become a substitute for other unhealthy carbohydrates. It is super versatile and is believed to help reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
If you’re new to quinoa, you might be a bit clueless about this superfood. One of the questions you may have is does quinoa go bad? How long does it last?
Well, you’re in the right place, continue reading below as we explore all things quinoa.
Can Quinoa Go Bad?
Like all grains, quinoa will go bad after some time, whether it is cooked or in its uncooked state. Also like other grains, storage will help to determine the shelf life of your quinoa.
How Do You Tell If Quinoa is Bad/Spoiled?
If you’re unsure of the status of your quinoa, there’s a number of checks that you can perform to determine if it is still edible and or safe.
The Smell Check:
Grains generally do not have a strong smell. In fact when edible, most are usually without smell. When they start to go bad, however, they can have a moldy and unpleasant odor.
The Appearance Test:
Uncooked quinoa grains are dry and appear almost weightless. When they start to go bad, the grains tend to become slimy and stick together.
In addition to becoming slimy, spoiled quinoa grains can sometimes become moldy. The mold can be either green or whitish in appearance. At any sign of mold, you should discard the entire batch.
Does Quinoa Need to be Refrigerated?
Uncooked quinoa does not need to be refrigerated. The cooked version on the other hand, should be refrigerated to avoid untimely spoilage. If you happen to make too much quinoa, you may keep it in the freezer for up to a year. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature by spreading it out on a baking sheet or pan. After it’s cooled, divide it into portions and store in a sealable plastic or ziploc container.
It’s recommended that you label your quinoa with storage dates just so you’re aware how long you’ve had it. If you’re gonna eat in a day or two, keep the quinoa in the refrigerator. However, if you do not plan to eat anytime soon, you should store it in the freezer.
When ready to use, just remove from the freezer and allow up to 4 hours for thawing.
How Long Does Quinoa Last?
Uncooked quinoa can last anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on the variety and storage considerations. Cooked quinoa stored in the refrigerator, on the other hand, will generally last only about 3 to 4 days. Frozen cooked quinoa meanwhile will last up to 12 months
Best Ways to Store Quinoa So It Doesn’t Spoil
The pantry is the best place to store uncooked quinoa. Quinoa may be stored in the pantry as long as it is kept cool and dry. If it came in a package that cannot be resealed, pour the remaining quinoa into an airtight glass jar with a tight-fitting cover.
Cooked quinoa should always be kept in the refrigerator. Ensure you place it towards the back and not on a door where temperature fluctuates each time the fridge is opened. Quinoa is quite delicate and must be stored at a constant temperature to avoid spoilage. You should put your quinoa in ziploc or other sealable container with as little air as possible.
Risks of Consuming Spoiled Quinoa
Mild food poisoning is most often the result of consuming spoiled quinoa. Symptoms that would suggest you have food poisoning include headache, vomiting, stomachache and or diarrhea.
Other symptoms could include a general loss of appetite and even nausea. These symptoms generally should not last longer than a day or two though. If they persist for longer, then you should definitely seek medical attention.
If left untreated, the symptoms of food poisoning could result in dehydration, as both vomiting and diarrhea causes excessive amounts of fluid to leave the body. As such if you have any of these symptoms, make sure that you hydrate with coconut water or a similar drink to replace the electrolytes in your body.
Wrapping it Up
Quinoa, the super grain, is very long lasting once stored under the right conditions. Both cooked and uncooked quinoa can be stored for months under the right circumstances.
If you suspect that your quinoa has gone off, then perform the tests outlined above to arrive at a conclusion. If it is indeed spoiled, do not consume as you could end up with food poisoning.