Quinoa is a food that’s known as a superfood. This is due to their high content of nutrition packed inside a small-sized seed. These seeds are versatile and can be found as topping for salads and burgers, or can be cooked as a meal. Quinoa usually comes in a large package and most people will rarely finish the entire bag in one sitting. Therefore, you’ll need to find a way to store them to keep them fresh. Would freezing quinoa be an option?
So can you freeze quinoa? Yes, quinoa can be frozen in wither cooked or uncooked form. These seeds are great for freezing and they freeze very well in the freezer. To keep fresh for a very long time in the freezer, you’ll need to properly store quinoa.
Should You Freeze Quinoa?
If you’re looking for long-term storage, freezing quinoa is the best option. By freezing quinoa, you’ll help keep them fresh for up to a year! They’ll last longer than that in the freezer, but the quality of it will start to deteriorate.
If you have some leftovers from a meal, freezing cooked quinoa is the best way to keep them fresh for months. In the refrigerator, you can only store cooked quinoa for about 1 week. But in the freezer, they can be stored for up to 3 months.
As for uncooked quinoa, you’ll need to freeze them if you don’t use quinoa often or you’ve already opened the packaging. You can always store the seeds in the pantry or refrigerator, but they’ll not last very long. The freezer is the best storage for quinoa to stay fresh the longest.
How to Freeze Cooked Quinoa
If you cooked quinoa and have leftovers or you want to save time preparing them first, freezing these grains is quite simple and easy.
Below are the steps to freeze cooked quinoa:
- Let the cooked quinoa cool down first.
- Once it’s cooled to room temperature, divide them into portions or your preferred size.
- In a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container, gently place the cooked quinoa in there.
- If you’re using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag before sealing it. For an airtight container, make sure the lid is tightly secured.
- Label a date on the bag or container.
- Place them at the back of the freezer or somewhere that it won’t be touched often.
To keep them fresh in the freezer for a long time, it’s best to freeze quinoa within 2 days of cooking.
How To Freeze Uncooked Quinoa
If you’ve bought quinoa from the grocery stores, they will usually come in a plastic package. If you need to freeze some of them or all of the grains, never use their original packaging.
The original packaging isn’t meant for freezer storage. The package is meant for storage in the pantry or refrigerator.
If you need to store uncooked quinoa in the freezer, use a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
Below are the steps to freeze uncooked quinoa:
- Unpacked the quinoa from their original package.
- In an airtight container or freezer bag, put the uncooked quinoa in. It’s best to divide them into a portion if you’re planning to use them often.
- If using a freezer bag, press down on the bag to remove as much air before sealing it. For airtight container, make sure the lid is tightly secured.
- Label the bag or container and place them into the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Quinoa?
Quinoa is one of those foods that’s easy to defrost. This is due to their texture and small size.
Both cooked and uncooked quinoa defrost similar ways.
To defrost quinoa, take them out from the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. For best results, leave them overnight in the fridge to let them thaw slowly.
Besides the refrigerator, you can thaw frozen quinoa at room temperature. Take the entire container of quinoa and leave them on the countertop for a few hours. Make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight. If you do, the grains may not thaw evenly and will cause them to go bad.
After it thaws, whether the quinoa is in the refrigerator or on the countertop, place them into the microwave for a couple of minutes. Microwave the quinoa for about 2 minutes. Make sure to not overcook them or they will become dry.
If you’re in a rush, you can defrost quinoa in the microwave. After removing the container from the freezer, add a few drops of water to the quinoa. Keep the lids off the container and place them into the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
If you’re using a freezer bag, remove the frozen quinoa from the bag and put them into a microwave-safe bowl.
After a couple of minutes, check the quinoa to see if it’s cooked. If not, add a couple of drops of water to it again and microwave for another 2 minutes.
How Long Can You Freeze Quinoa?
For cooked quinoa, you can freeze them for 8-12 months. They have to be stored correctly. To keep them fresh for up to a year, keep them in an airtight container or a sealable freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air from the bag before sealing it. If not, the quinoa will get freezer burn and will go bad within a couple of months.
For uncooked quinoa, they can be frozen for 6-12 months. If you’ve frozen them in their original package, it will not last that long. This is due to the material of the packaging that’s usually thin and flimsy, which isn’t suitable for freezer storage.
For that reason, storing quinoa in their original package will last only up to 6 months. After that, the bag will start cracking and tearing, which will cause air to leak into the package. Once the quinoa is exposed to the air, they will get freezer burn and their quality will start to diminish.
Related Article: How Long Does Quinoa Last
Can Frozen Quinoa Go Bad?
Frozen quinoa can go bad from being stored in the freezer for too long or when it’s left to thaw for a while.
Quinoa stored in the freezer has a shelf life of 1 year. If stored in the freezer properly, these grains can last indefinitely. However, after a year, they are still safe to eat, but the quality of the quinoa will diminish.
The longer they stay in the freezer, the more the quality will start to decrease. Usually, after a year and a half, the quinoa will lose all the flavors and textures. This is due to the grains suffering from freezer burn.
They may fine while frozen, but when the quinoa is thawed, you’ll notice how bad the quality is.
Beside going bad in the freezer, quinoa can go bad when it’s left to thaw for too long as well.
Can you freeze quinoa salad?
Freezing quinoa salad is possible, but it’s not recommended. With a salad, there are many different elements used. Some of them may freeze better than others. Once the quinoa salad thaw, you’ll be left with something that’s not very appealing to eat.
If you do need to freeze quinoa salad, it’s best to freeze elements individually. This way, you’ll have a fresh salad with ingredients that will make the quinoa salad taste great.
Which is better chia seeds or quinoa?
As for nutritional value, chia seeds have a more dense nutrient than quinoa. However, both chia seeds and quinoa are both known as superfoods due to their high amount of nutrition content.
As for usage, quinoa is consumed as a grain in higher quantities. Chia seeds, on the other hand, are usually added to smoothies, desserts, and other foods in smaller amounts.
As for storage, chia seeds last longer than quinoa when stored properly. Stored in their original package, chia seeds will last 2-4 years, while quinoa will last about 1-2 years.