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How Long You Can Store Cooked Quinoa In The Fridge And Freezer

raw and cooked quinoa
raw and cooked quinoa - Umpaporn/Shutterstock

A few years ago, U.S. restaurants began serving quinoa, giving the ancient ingredient a new fanbase. Native to South America, quinoa soon became associated with eating healthily and known for its versatility. If you can't get enough of it, it's easy to make a large batch to save for later. But first, read ahead to learn how long to store quinoa in the fridge and freezer.

Beyond its benefits of great fiber and protein levels, quinoa is beloved for its nutty flavor. Although it's technically a seed, quinoa is prepared like a grain. When steamed or simmered with water or broth, it expands, taking on a soft, fluffy texture. A rival to rice or barley, quinoa can be cooked in batches as your carb of choice for the week. This way, you can store the cooked quinoa in the fridge for up to five days.

Once it's cooled down, put it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator, ensuring the tub is well sealed. From there, you can eat a little of it at a time, using it for quick dinners like quinoa fried rice or colorful roasted veggie pesto quinoa salad. If you won't be getting through your quinoa within those five days, the seed can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. To store it, put the cooked quinoa in an airtight container or plastic bag after it's cooled down, seal, then place it in the freezer.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

How To Know When Quinoa Has Gone Bad

Quinoa in skillet
Quinoa in skillet - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

If the temperature in the fridge isn't kept low enough or your container isn't properly sealed, quinoa can easily go bad in less than five days. The most obvious indication that quinoa is spoiled is the smell. In the fridge, it won't smell like much unless it's begun to spoil. Then, it will take on a rotten aroma, letting you know it needs to be tossed. It may also start to change texture, emitting a milky liquid or turning overly soft, rubbery, or tough.

It only takes a few days for quinoa to go bad, so keep it in the freezer if you want to extend the shelf life dramatically. Frozen quinoa can be reheated straight from frozen. Heat it in the microwave using one-minute intervals until it's reached your desired temperature. You can also place it in a pan and heat it on the stove, stirring it until the water has evaporated.

Leaving a large batch of quinoa in the freezer in servable amounts is perfect for when you want to utilize it in a variety of recipes over an extended amount of time. Plus, since it's reheated quickly, it doesn't take too much time out of your day. It has so many tasty culinary uses, both sweet and savory. For example, it's great for a quick breakfast quinoa bowl with plums and dark chocolate or a California avocado grain bowl that can be pulled together for lunch.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.