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Can Quinoa Go Bad? (Yes & How Long Does It Last)

Quick Answer

Quinoa can go bad, but uncooked quinoa can last up to 2 to 3 years as long as it is stored in a cool, dry place, and the packaging is kept closed. Once cooked, it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one week.

Quinoa has become a very popular addition to many people’s diets, due to its nutritional value.

While many believe it to be a grain, it is actually a seed. However, once cooked, it becomes very fluffy, so people prepare and consume it in meals to replace rice and pasta. It is very popular among those who are intolerant to gluten, as it is completely gluten-free. 

Additionally, it is a whole protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids, so it promotes muscle health! 

It is a must-have in the pantry, but what is its shelf-life like? Can quinoa go bad? This article will be discussing the shelf-life of quinoa. 

Can Quinoa Go Bad

How Long Does Quinoa Last? 

As with all food, quinoa can go bad, but how long it lasts will depend on whether it is cooked, and the environment it has been stored in. 

It is a seed that is sold dry, so it has a relatively long shelf life, but this does not mean it can’t get spoiled. 

Normally, it has a shelf life of around 2 to 3 years, and if unopened, it can surpass this by a few months. Food is packaged with a ‘best buy’ date, which relates to food quality, not safety. 

Therefore, food that has not been spoiled, is normally safe for some time after the ‘best by’ date.

Shelf Life Of Cooked Quinoa 

Once quinoa has been cooked, you can expect it to last around 4 or 5 days as long as it’s placed in the refrigerator in a sealed container. 

You also have the option of freezing your quinoa. If so, you can expect it to be safe to consume up to 8 to 12 months later. 

How To Tell If Your Quinoa Has Gone Bad 

When it comes to uncooked quinoa, it can be difficult to tell if it has gone bad or not, but there are some obvious signs you can look out for. 

Some of these include a funny odor, any signs of mold, or any little insects or bugs that have made their way through the packaging. 

While you sometimes may not be able to tell when quinoa has been spoiled when it’s raw, once you cook it, it will have an altered texture and taste, which will be the tell-tell sign that it is no longer safe to consume. 

If your cooked quinoa has gone off, there are some easier signs to spot. You’re likely to notice a change in odor that is unpleasant. There may also be some changes to the color or some signs of mold. 

If you notice any of these, then you should dispose of your quinoa. If your cooked quinoa has been in the fridge for over a week and still looks okay, you should still throw it out, as it may still have gotten spoiled. 

How To Store Quinoa To Extend Its Shelf Life

How To Store Quinoa To Extend Its Shelf Life

If your quinoa is uncooked and unopened, then it can be stored in a dark place at room temperature. The best place would be your pantry or any other cupboard in your kitchen. 

It should also be kept away from any moisture, or too much heat, in order to prevent it from spoiling.

If your uncooked quinoa has been opened, rather than closing off the packaging and placing it back in the pantry, you should place it in the refrigerator. This will extend its shelf life as it will slow down the spoiling process. 

When it comes to cooked quinoa, it needs to be refrigerated the minute it cools down, otherwise, it will spoil if left out for too long. It should be placed in an airtight container and left in the refrigerator for no longer than a few days. 

Interesting Facts About Quinoa

Quinoa is a great food to add to your diet, and these facts are going to prove why!

  • It can be ground into flour to make gluten-free pasta. 
  • One cup of quinoa will provide you with half of your daily supply of fiber. 
  • It is high in vitamin B-6 which is wonderful for your immunity and nervous system. 
  • Quinoa can be a delicious breakfast. Simply cook it the night before and reheat it by mixing it with milk in the morning! 
  • Black quinoa has an earthier taste than the other varieties.
  • Red quinoa keeps its shape better after cooking, so it is the better variety to add to salads

Final Thoughts 

Like all food, quinoa can go bad, but as long as it is uncooked and stored properly, you can expect it to last from 2 to 3 years. 

Cooked quinoa can last you up to a week as long as it is stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

It can be hard to tell if uncooked quinoa has gone bad, so if it has surpassed the 3-year mark, this is a good indication. 

However, cooked quinoa will show signs of spoilage, such as a foul odor, signs of mold, and an unpleasant taste. Even if your cooked quinoa looks as it should, if it has been in the refrigerator for over a week, it should be thrown away. 

Jess Smith
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