Quinoa is a pseudo-grain with tons of health benefits added to it. Let us see its nutrition and health benefits, how to store it, and the shell life like how long does quinoa last.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a pseudocereal with a worldwide production of more than 36,000 tons. It is cultivated in the highlands from Bolivia to Mexico and for thousands of years, it was a staple food for South American Indians. In Europe, quinoa came into existence in the late seventies.
Quinoa was popular as the "Gold of Incas" due to its popularity and high nutritional value. This is a versatile whole food that can be used in many ways. You can use them for your meal prep.
There are many health benefits of this ancient cereal (pseudocereal) including its ability to provide protein, fiber, iron, amino acids, and lysine which are essential for human beings. Overall this is amongst one of the most nutritious food crops on earth.
Different Varieties -
Quinoa seed is available in three colors – Red, Black, and White.
The most common variety of quinoa consumed is the white or pale yellow colored round-shaped seeds with a bitter taste.
The seeds are generally cooked as a rice-like dish however it goes well with salads as well.
Can you eat raw quinoa?
You can eat raw quinoa after soaking them in water overnight. Soaking makes it soft and fluffy and easy to digest too.
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Proteins: Due to its high protein content it substitutes meat products perfectly. It helps to improve stamina.
Sodium: Compared to normal rice, it has just 170mg/serving which makes it the perfect choice for people with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
Folate: For pregnant women or lactating mothers folate or folic acid is extremely important for the healthy development of the fetus and production of breast milk.
Iron: High iron content helps preventing anemia, lack of energy, and impaired immune system.
Fiber - The dietary fiber present in this is also good for improving bowel function and prevent digestive disorders.
Zinc: Zinc strengthens your immune system so that you can fight diseases easily, reduce mental stress and regulate the production of insulin in the body
Magnesium: It contains a good amount of Magnesium. Magnesium helps with calming nerves and muscle functions. It prevents heart diseases and regulates blood pressure.
Calcium: It's a rich source of calcium. It helps in keeping away osteoporosis, muscle cramps, spasms, and hypertension.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. However, because of its high carb content, this is not keto-friendly.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is important for bone health, enzyme activation, proper metabolism, and energy production.
Does quinoa have gluten?
If you are wondering if quinoa is gluten-free, then the good news is that yes this is absolutely gluten-free. And this pseudograin is safe for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
How to store quinoa?
If you have bought these grains in bulk then you will have to store them properly.
- Store it in an airtight box.
- Remember to keep it dry.
- Place the jar in a dry non-humid place since a little moisture in the surroundings also spoils the quinoa.
- Place it in a dark and cool place (no direct sunlight or heat) with a consistent temperature.
How long does dry quinoa last?
If stored right, the dry uncooked quinoa stays good for 2 - 3 yrs from its manufacturing date. Most of them mention their expiry date as 24 - 36 months from the date of manufacture.
But even after the use by date is gone, it is still usable if it doesn't have any signs of spoilage. It's safe to use them for 6 - 12 months the USE BY duration mentioned on the packet if it's in good condition.
How to store cooked quinoa?
You can keep them in an air-tight container. Let it cool completely and come to room temperature before storing the leftover. You can also freeze the leftover in freezer-friendly bags or containers.
How long does cooked quinoa last?
Cooked quinoa lasts for 4 hours but it may stay good for 7 days when stored in the fridge in an air-tight container.
How long does quinoa last in the fridge?
When stored properly and in the air-tight container, it stays good for up to 7 days. Hence good for meal prep too. In the freezer, it lasts up to 3 - 4 months. Don't keep them long for 12 months and so as they'll lose the essence, texture.
How long does cooked quinoa last at normal room temperature?
Two - Four Hours!!
Yes, you heard it right. If you are not planning to use the cooked quinoa immediately, then just cool it for 20 - 30 minutes, and then store it in the air-tight box to avoid spoilage and bacterial contamination.
Can you freeze the cooked quinoa?
Yes absolutely you can freeze the cooked quinoa. Use freezer bags or boxes to store them right. Cool it for 20 minutes and then transfer it to freezer bags or box and store inside the freezer.
You can also pack them in multiple individual portion size bags so that once thawed you don't need to freeze them again.
How long does quinoa last in the freezer?
Cooked quinoa stays good for 4 months in the freezer if stored properly. Though It may stay in edible condition for up to 8 - 10 months, I won't recommend keeping that long. Try to finish them in 3 -4 months maximum for the best results.
If you have any more tips or question related to the storage and shell life of this grain, please feel free to comment below. I will add them to the post (with some more research).