If you have leftover quinoa, you may be wondering if you can freeze cooked quinoa. Keep on reading to find out how to save time by freezing.
Quinoa is a lovely seed that is bursting with health benefits, read all about it in this article from Healthline. Quinoa, unlike other seeds and grains, is a complete protein. This is great for those on a plant-based diet needing protein in their diets.
With the popularity of gluten-free diets, quinoa has seen a surge in popularity as it is naturally gluten-free. Just remember if you have serious gluten allergies make sure you check the packaging first.
While some people might think the different kinds of quinoa are whole grains, they are in fact seeds.
Even if you love to buy local foods, finding quinoa grown here in the United States is tricky. Most of the quinoa I have purchased is from South America.
Why freeze quinoa?
- For one, to save time. I love to batch-cook grains and seeds. Then when I need a quick meal, I can pull them out and reheat them.
- Freezing unused quinoa also helps reduce food waste. I try really hard to minimize this in my kitchen and hope you do as well.
- Quinoa is a great way to add added health benefits to almost any dish. If they are already cooked, you don't have to give them much thought.
- If you are a meal-prepping person, you know the value of cooking food ahead of time. It makes healthy eating an easy process. Frozen quinoa can last up to 4 months in the freezer if packed well. This is a very long time. Perfect for meal prep.
Can you freeze cooked quinoa?
The quick answer is YES! This is good news if you have leftover cooked quinoa.
I will share my favorite methods for storing and preparing, this should help you have a good idea of how to do this.
Freezing cooked quinoa
- Start by cooking your quinoa according to the directions.
- Make sure your quinoa is completely cooled before cooking. I do this at room temperature, but if it is already partially cooled, you can finish cooling it in the refrigerator if you want to speed up the process.
- Now, you will need how you want to store the quinoa in the freezer.
- You can use an airtight container or a freezer-safe container (be sure it is a tightly sealed container). These are great for stacking in the freezer. The quality of your container will determine long-term freshness.
- If you prefer, you can also use a resealable plastic bag or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
- Another option is a vacuum sealer. This will remove all the excess air.
- However you choose to store it, just make sure it is sealed well. This will go a long way in preventing unwanted freezer burn,
- Then, set them in the freezer to freeze. Depending on how well your freezer works will depend on how long the freezing process takes.
Freezing uncooked quinoa
You can also freeze uncooked quinoa to extend its shelf life. It is also good to do if you have opened the bag and live in an area with lots of humidity and bugs. This was always a concern for me when we lived in Texas.
before you freeze, make sure and check for obvious signs of spoilage. This would include signs of mold or even a rancid smell. Quinoa naturally has an Earthy smell, and this is what you are looking for.
Freezing raw quinoa is very easy. If the bag it came in is still in good shape, I will always use this for storage. If it is opened, make sure and secure it closed really well. You DO NOT want quinoa spilled in your freezer, don't ask me how I know...
If the bag is not in good shape, you can always store it in another way. If it is stored in a plastic bag, make sure you get as much air out as possible. That is an advantage of using bags instead of containers.
A vacuum sealer will greatly extend the shelf life of uncooked quinoa if you have one. They are very simple to use and perfect for extending the life of quinoa.
Freezing the raw quinoa will allow you to store the quinoa for 2-3 years as long as it is sealed properly!
Common types of quinoa
It used to be you could only find quinoa in health food stores. With its increased popularity, you can find it almost anywhere now.
- Red quinoa- in the areas I have lived, this is the most common quinoa I see. It is relatively inexpensive and very good. I like to buy it in bulk. This makes a very pretty addition to quinoa salad. If you are wondering which is the healthiest quinoa, according to this article, it does not matter!
- White quinoa- is also a very common quinoa that is easy to find.
- Black Quinoa- I have a hard time finding this locally, but if you really want to try it, you can also order it online. It is another really pretty quinoa.
- Tri-color quinoa- I used to buy this all the time I loved the look of the blend of colors.
How to cook quinoa
- There are variables of course, but let me share easy fool-proof ways I like to cook it.
- It is a 1.25:1 ratio for cooking. So for 1 cup of quinoa, you will use 1 ¼ cups of water or broth.
- You can rinse with cold water. Some people swear this takes out some of the bitter taste, I am not so sure about this, if I am being honest it really tastes about the same to me either way. But, you can decide.
- Boil your water or broth. Add salt if needed.
- Add in the quinoa.
- Cover and let it boil for about 15-22 minutes. The white quinoa cooks more quickly. Cooking time will also vary depending on the type of pan and size you use, but the times I gave are a good start.
- Leave it covered for about 7 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff.
- That is it! Done!
- Now use the quinoa in your favorite recipe! It makes a great side dish or replacement for plain white rice, or you can even use part quinoa if you aren't used to the flavor yet. But my favorite way to use it is in buddha bowls. Load it with lean meats and fresh vegetables, or any way you choose to prepare it.
Typically cooked quinoa will last at least 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
In an airtight container or resealable bag.
It sure does! As long as the soup is a soup you can freeze, it will not affect the quinoa in it.