How to Cook Quinoa

by katerina on January 6, 2011

Quinoa is the new thing. But not only is it hip it is also an extremely healthy and convenient grain to eat.  Have you tried it yet? It is available in more grocery stores but if you are having trouble locating it, try your local health food store.  This whole grain is a good source of fiber and protein, gluten free, and once you know how to cook quinoa it cooks in less than 25 minutes.  Try one of these four basic ways to cook quinoa perfectly.

[print_this]Preparing Quinoa to Cook it:
It is important to wash your quinoa before cooking it.  Not only does this avoid any grit, but it will help wash off any of the less digestible enzymes on the outside of the grain.  If you have extra time you can also soak it for a few hours, just discard the water after soaking and  before cooking the quinoa.

Generally, to wash it, place it in a pot and cover it with cold water. Rub the quinoa between your hands and under cold running water to clean. If the brand of quinoa you have bought is of an inferior quality you may find little rocks, in this case, allow the quinoa to sit in the water for a few minutes and you should be able to pick any out. An alternative is to place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rub it under cold running water, using your fingers to rub the grains together. This process shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.

Red Quinoa Salad with Mango, Avocado and Pecans Recipe

How to Cook Quinoa:

1. Cooking Quinoa by Boiling

Place 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to a rolling boil . Add one tablespoon of salt and half a cup of quinoa. Cook for 10 minutes or until the germ starts to separate from the quinoa seed. Drain excess water.

2. Cooking Quinoa like Rice

This is probably the most common method of cooking quinoa. To cook quinoa like rice combine 1 1/2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa with a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Now reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat completely but let stand for another 5 minutes before removing the lid. Now fluff and serve.

3. Don’t Cook it at all, instead Soak the Quinoa

When you soak quinoa for long enough it will germinate and be soft enough to consume raw. Sprouting quinoa is very simple, simply place the washed quinoa in twice as much water, refrigerate for 12 hours or until it starts to sprout. Drain and taste, it will now be edible but with a slight crunch.

4. Toast the Quinoa

Prior to boiling or steaming, if you actually toast the quinoa it will have a lovely nutty flavor to it.  After washing your quinoa place in a skillet over a medium heat and start tossing it. Continue tossing until it develops a nutty smell to it, it should take about 3 minutes. Proceed to cook it by boiling or cooking it like rice.[/print_this]



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