Quinoa has recently risen to popularity as a gluten-free grain with its protein content, digestibility, and good nutritional value. Cooked quinoa is very versatile and can be used for side dishes, salads, hot cereal, or porridge. After enjoying a healthy and nutritious meal, you may end up with some leftovers. To keep them fresh longer, can you freeze cooked quinoa?
Yes, you can freeze cooked quinoa. It should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag when storing them in the freezer. Properly stored, cooked quinoa will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Does Cooked Quinoa Freeze Well?
Yes, cooked quinoa freezes very well. However, there are many factors that will affect how well cooked quinoa actually freezes.
Quinoa freezes well when it has been cooled down before packing into a ziplock bag or container. When the cooking process is done, cool your cooked quinoa quickly by placing them in ice water and placing in an airtight container. This will help prevent clumping and make sure that they don’t stick together when frozen.
Cooked quinoa has a freezing point of about -18 degrees Celsius/ 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the freezer should be set at or lower for quinoa to freeze well.
The freezing point is not the only thing that makes cooked quinoa more appropriate for freezing than raw quinoa. Cooked quinoa is easier to thaw and cook for convenience. It also has a higher nutritional value than raw quinoa.
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There are two ways to freeze cooked quinoa: the old-fashioned way and with an ice cube tray.
To freeze cooked quinoa in an old-fashioned method, you’ll need a large metal bowl, freezer bags, and a freezer with plenty of space for storing it.
Step 1: Allow the cooked quinoa to cool down to room temperature.
Step 2: Place the quinoa into the freezer bag or an airtight container. Be sure to leave some room in the bag or container. This will allow the quinoa to expand during freezing.
Step 3: Press on the freezer bag to remove any excess air before sealing it. For an airtight container, secure the lid to the container tightly.
Step 4: Write the date of freezing on the bag or container.
Step 5: Place the cooked quinoa into the freezer.
Freeze for 12 hours or more before using as needed.
Ice Cube Method
The ice cube tray method is a great option for freezing cooked quinoa. This will allow you to remove the amount of quinoa that you need without having to worry about having leftovers.
Step 1: Get out one or more ice cube trays. Clean them thoroughly with water.
Step 2: Pour the cooked quinoa into each slot of the tray. Keep a small space at the top of each slot. This will allow the quinoa some room to expand during freezing.
Step 3: Place the tray into the freezer. Let it sit for about 1-2 hours to freeze.
Step 4: Once completely frozen, remove them from the freezer.
Step 5: Transfer the quinoa cubes to the freezer bag.
Step 6: Press on the bag to remove any excess air before sealing.
Step 7: Label the bag with the date of freezing and place it into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Quinoa?
Cooked quinoa has a shelf life that can last from 2-6 months in the freezer. This will depend on how well the quinoa is stored. If it’s stored in large portions, it can stay fresh for up to 2-3 months.
On the other hand, if you froze cooked quinoa as ice cubes, it can last for up to 6 months.
After that time, if you still have cooked quinoa in the freezer, you can expect the quality of it to start deteriorating.
How Do You Defrost Cooked Quinoa?
The best way to defrost cooked quinoa is by submerging it in cold water before cooking. Take the quinoa out of the freezer and put it into a bowl filled with water and set aside for 30-60 minutes to thaw.
Another method to defrost cooked quinoa is to thaw them in the fridge. You need to spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet and put it into the fridge overnight. The next day, reheat it in the oven for about 30 minutes before eating it.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Quinoa?
It’s not recommended to refreeze cooked quinoa. The moisture will evaporate once the food is cooled down and refreezing can create a different texture of quinoa.
Other Questions about Cooked Quinoa
Can you freeze cooked quinoa salad?
No, you cannot freeze cooked quinoa salad because the cooking process will change the texture of the ingredients such as breaking down their proteins and making them lose their unique taste.
However, you can freeze just the ingredient of quinoa salad. After it’s cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature and place them into an airtight container or freezer bag.
Can you freeze cooked quinoa and rice?
You can freeze cooked quinoa and rice in an airtight container for up to three months. Make sure the quinoa and rice have cooled completely before freezing them.
When you thaw it out, pour the quinoa and rice into a pot of boiling water and add salt to your taste preference.