You probably know quinoa as the most popular alternative to rice and cereals that is gluten free in use in most kitchens in this day and time.
Fun fact is that quinoa is actually a seed as opposed to being a grain. Since it is something that is relatively new in our kitchens and pantries, there are loads of people who are not sure about some aspects of it.
These include things such as how long it will last whether it is cooked or not to how you need to store quinoa to ensure that it does not go bad and cause you adverse effects. There exist three main types of quinoa. These are: red, white, and black.
It goes without saying that cooked quinoa generally will not last very long. Because of this characteristic, it would be best to eat it soon after it is prepared in order to get the best taste and quality out of it.
Also remember that once cooked quinoa is placed in the refrigerator, its quality begins to reduce and deteriorate gradually each day that passes.
This is normally due to the moisture that is present in the refrigerator making its way into the cooked quinoa.
How long does cooked quinoa last? As a general guideline, cooked quinoa will last for between 6 – 7 days properly kept in the refrigerator and up to 12 months if frozen in the freezer. Keep in mind that this is all dependent on just how fresh it was at purchase and if it was properly stored in the first place.
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How do you know if cooked quinoa is bad?
Just like any other food item in the kitchen or pantry, cooked quinoa goes bad after some time the length of which depends on if the product was properly stored or not.
As always, to tell whether your cooked quinoa has gone bad, we rely on our trusty senses. The signs that cooked quinoa has gone bad are usually quite obvious.
First, give the quinoa a whiff before cooking it. If there is a change in the smell to a funky smell that causes you to throw your head back or gag, it has probably gone bad. Another way to tell if the quinoa has gone bad is to pay keen attention to its texture.
Spoilt quinoa will have an unusual hard texture to it. and of course, if you open your container of stored cooked quinoa and you notice any mold growing on it, throw the whole thing out immediately.
You can also look out for a change in color. Anything from the original color equals spoilage. This is the case as well if you notice any insects or bugs in the container. There is nothing positive that can come out of using this quinoa.
Finally, if the quinoa looks alright and smells okay, you can give it just a little taste test. If the quinoa tastes off even just a bit, spit it out and throw the whole batch out.
Do not attempt to use it or consuming it anymore.
Can you reheat cooked quinoa?
The simplest answer, yes. It is actually quite simple to reheat and enjoy your cooked quinoa without it losing its great taste and quality.
The fastest way to reheat your quinoa is in the microwave. In order to end up with perfectly moist seeds, use a large dish, and ensure to break up the quinoa into small pieces as much as you can. This will ensure that it heats up evenly.
It would also be best if you add a spoonful or two of water to the center of the quinoa in the microwave. Further, heat up the quinoa in bits of 30 seconds each and if you have a microwave cover at hand, use it. This will keep the steam trapped inside the seeds and soften them.
Cooked quinoa can also be reheat using the stove or gas cooker. For this method, simply add some little bit of cooking oil into a cooking pan or pot and allow it to warm up on low heat. After that, add in your quinoa and stir regularly until warm.
This should ideally not take longer than seven minutes. Alternatively, you can choose to steam the quinoa instead. For this, place the quinoa in a cooking pot or pan and add some water to it.
Once that is complete, place it on the stove or gas cooker on low heat and covered tightly. Stir the quinoa frequently and if you notice it to start getting rather dry or sticky, do not hesitate to add in more water.
A further method of reheating quinoa is in the oven. All you will need is an oven safe dish with a good lid that will keep the quinoa from drying out in the process.
As an alternative, you can use foil to cover an oven safe dish. Before placing the dish with quinoa in the oven, add about four spoons of water to the quinoa. They may suck up more water so do not be shy to add more water.
Place the dish in the oven that is heated up to about 176 degrees Celsius and leave them for between ten and fifteen minutes.
How to store cooked quinoa
When it comes to cooked quinoa, there are a couple of suitable locations that you can store them.
Foremost is the refrigerator because quinoa is a very perishable food item that will not last for very long if left on the kitchen counter.
In this instance, once the quinoa is cooked you need to allow it time to cool first. Next is to take an opaque, airtight plastic container that is resealable and to transfer the cooked quinoa into it.
Then simply place the sealed container into the refrigerator.
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Can you freeze cooked quinoa?
Generally speaking, freezing is one of those methods of food preservation that is loved and commonly used because of the fact that in the process it slows down the spoilage process and as such extends the shelf life of many food items.
As per this, freezing quinoa is a welcome idea. The only downside is that the texture, flavor, and overall quality of the quinoa will degrade after some time.
The process of freezing cooked quinoa is quite easy to follow and achieve success. You start off with quinoa that has completely cooled off after cooking and is now at room temperature.
A wise thing to do would be to store the quinoa in portions that are just enough for a meal.
Proceed to transfer this portion into a container or Ziplock bag that is airtight and resealable. It would also be very beneficial to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag prior to sealing it.
Remember to note that for the best quality, it is advised that one should only defrost frozen cooked quinoa overnight before consuming it.
What are the health benefits of quinoa?
Quinoa can easily be said to be one of the most nutritious foods that one can eat.
It is one of the very few foods that are not only gluten free but rich in protein as well as being one of the few foods that contains all nine essential amino acids in a sufficient quantity.
Some other benefits of eating quinoa include;
- Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other seeds contain. While it is widely known to be used to relieve constipation, fiber can also help in the prevention of heart disease. It does this by reducing a person’s blood pressure. It also helps in lowering cholesterol and glucose levels and thus may help you to lose weight.
- Quinoa contains Iron. As we all know, iron is key in helping to keep our red blood cells healthy and tip top in their function of hemoglobin formation. It goes further in carrying oxygen from one cell to another in the body and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction.
- Quinoa is magnesium and manganese rich. On one hand, magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and promote healthy blood sugar in the body. Magnesium also goes a long way in the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain to the rest of the body, assisting in body temperature regulation, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. It can also be used in detoxifying the body when need be. Manganese on the other hand is an antioxidant. This means that it helps in energy production and the protection of the red blood cells within our body as well as other cells from injury from free radicals in our blood.
- Finally, quinoa is high in Riboflavin. Riboflavin is an element that helps in the body by increasing energy breakdown within the brain and muscle cells. Riboflavin is also known to help create proper energy production in cells.
- Quinoa is also quite easy to incorporate into a person’s diet since it is tasty and goes well with a variety of other foods. It also takes a relatively short time to get ready, usually between fifteen and twenty-five minutes making it a go-to dish even for the lazy cook.
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