Quinoa is a healthy grain-like edible seed that is rich in vitamin B, dietary fibre, and protein – it’s super healthy and makes a great addition to many recipes and meals.
But can you save yourself from having to cook it all the time? Can you freeze it instead?
Quinoa can be frozen for up to 12 months. You can freeze it both uncooked and cooked. Freezing cooked quinoa is far more beneficial as it gives you a ready-to-go meal direct from the freezer.
Can You Refreeze Quinoa? No
Does Quinoa Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Uncooked Quinoa
Quinoa is really easy to freeze, and whether you have leftovers that are cooked or uncooked, you are just a few simple steps away from freezing it.
Uncooked quinoa is super-fast, easy to freeze and freezing extends its shelf life. The method is simple and easy:
- Portion into Bags
Pop the quinoa in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Put the bag or container into the freezer. Don’t forget to label it!
If you have purchased bulk quinoa, you can freeze the whole package or open it and separate into smaller portions, placing it in a resealable plastic bag that will be easy to cook quickly.
How to Freeze Cooked Quinoa
If you plan to make yourself a healthy quinoa snack, then why not cook yourself a little extra? Then you can freeze the leftovers for a quick, easy and healthy snack whenever you want.
Freezing cooked quinoa is simple and easy because there is no prep work involved.
- Cook and Cool
Cook quinoa how you normally would and then allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Portion Out
Once the cooked quinoa cools down to room temperature, divide it into portions and put it in a resealable freezer bag or if you prefer an airtight container.
- Seal and Freeze
Squeeze out the air to prevent freezer burn- and stick it in the freezer! Don’t forget to label the bag or container with the date.
It is best to freeze quinoa within a day of cooking.
3 Tips for Freezing Quinoa
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing quinoa to have the best results:
Dried quinoa will sit happily in your cupboard for months, so there’s no need to take room up in your freezer. Instead, cook quinoa before freezing to save yourself time in future.
Make a Meal
Don’t limit yourself to freezing plain quinoa. Instead, try freezing it as a ready-to-go meal by mixing it with roasted vegetables or shredded meat.
Try Different Quinoa Varieties
Quinoa isn’t only available in the plain white version. There are various options to choose from so try to mix up the type of quinoa you use.
How Long Can You Freeze Quinoa?
You can freeze uncooked quinoa for 6-12 months.
If the uncooked quinoa is not in its original container but individualized and frozen, it is critical to keep all oxygen out of the container, whether it be a plastic container, or a resealable bag, to keep it from becoming freezer burnt.
You can freeze cooked quinoa for 8-12 months, as long as it is stored correctly.
You Can Freeze Quinoa for up a FULL Year
How Do You Defrost Quinoa?
Both cooked and uncooked quinoa is defrosted the same way. This is one of the easiest items to thaw.
To defrost quinoa, take the quinoa out of the freezer, either put it in the fridge overnight (best recommendation), or let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours, and then it is ready to go into the microwave.
What about those unexpected guests or those times you need a quick meal?
To quickly thaw quinoa, you can take it out of the freezer, add a few small drops of water and put it in the microwave for about a minute.
Venting the bag slightly and adding a small amount of water will keep it from hardening during reheating.
If quinoa is thawed, put it into a microwave-safe bowl forming a small hole in the middle. There you will place a few drops of water and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook or let the quinoa dry out.
Can You Refreeze Quinoa?
We would always suggest erring on the side of caution when freezing any food items. This is especially true for grains such as quinoa. Try freezing quinoa in suitable portions to make it easier to thaw a portion at a time.
By doing this, you won’t need to refreeze it.
The only exception to this rule is if you have frozen uncooked quinoa, have then cooked it and now want to freeze it. This second freeze will be fine.
Does Quinoa Freeze Well?
Quinoa has a long shelf life, but if the product becomes freezer burnt or shows apparent signs of decay, discard the product.
Providing the quinoa was frozen properly and used within the 8-12 month window, and is thawed out properly with proper moisture, and it does not harden, there is no difference in the taste or texture of the product.
However, It can lose its nature-infused vitamin health quality over time, so make sure you plan to use your frozen quinoa within the recommended time.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing quinoa or quinoa in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Quinoa Salad?
You can freeze quinoa salad but we would advise against it. With lots of different elements, you will find some freeze better than others, and you’ll ultimately be left with a less than satisfactory quinoa salad after defrosting.
Instead, we’d suggest freezing the elements of your salad individually. You can then defrost what you need and construct and freshly dress your salad when you’re ready. Just freeze your quinoa as outlined above, then defrost.
Once defrosted, you can toss with whatever fresh or defrosted ingredients you fancy.
Can You Freeze Quinoa Baby Food?
Generally, the packaging for baby food will list whether it is safe for home-freezing. If it doesn’t state so, then you should be able to freeze quinoa baby food with ease. Ensure it is stored airtight.
Can You Freeze Quinoa Salad from Costco?
We would be cautious when freezing grains and seeds from the supermarket. It’s impossible to know what process the food has been through before it gets to you. This means some of the ingredients in the salad may have previously been frozen.
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