Have you seen quinoa on the menu, in the grocery store, or hear a friend talk about it but have no idea how to cook or it what it tastes like? Let us help you!
What is it?
Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. After harvest, the seeds need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds, containing essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
How to prepare for cooking:
Clean it thoroughly!
As mentioned above, you will want to make sure to clean your quinoa before cooking to remove saponins. If you do not remove the saponins, when cooked it will produce soap-like foam that will give the finished product a very bitter taste.
- ♥ First placing the amount of quinoa you want to cook in a glass measuring cup or bowl (1 cup is about 2 servings)
- ♥ Filling the measuring cup or bowl with twice as much water quinoa
- ♥ Agitating /stir off & on for about 5 minutes
- ♥ Let rest for about 5 – 10 minutes
- ♥ Rinse quinoa until the water runs clean
- ♥ I usually repeat this procedure about 2 – 3 times
Optionally soak the quinoa
Many of my friends and family suggest soaking the quinoa for 6 – 12 hours before cooking. You can find more information here, where they suggest soaking nuts and seeds to:
- ♥ Remove or reduce phytic acid
- ♥ Remove or reduce tannins
- ♥ Neutralize the enzyme inhibitors
- ♥ Encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
- ♥ Increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins
- ♥ Break down gluten and make digestion easier
- ♥ Make the proteins more readily available for absorption
- ♥ Prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss
- ♥ Help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean
- ♥ Prevent many health diseases and conditions
I associate cooking quinoa like rice or oatmeal. To cook:
- ♥ Add cleaned quinoa to pot
- ♥ Add water to cover quinoa with approximately ½ inch of water
- ♥ Bring water to a boil
- ♥ Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes
- ◊ You can adjust the length of cooking as you desire. More cook time will yield softer quinoa while shorter time will yield more firm or crunchy quinoa.
Well there you have it! You can now venture into the kitchen with something new to try for dinner.