How To Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa - Basic Preparation2

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA), is a seed with a nutty flavor. Quinoa flour is used in making pasta and a variety of baked goods such as pancakes, bread, muffins, and crackers.

Quinoa - Basic Preparation2

  • 1 cup (250 ml) Quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Before cooking, rinse the seeds in a sieve to remove their bitter resin-like coating, called saponin. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again to remove any of the powdery residue that may remain on the seeds.
  2. For every one cup of quinoa, bring two cups of water* to a boil (just like rice). If you prefer your food more al dente, then use just 1.5 cups of water.
  3. Cover the boiling quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl (like the ring around Saturn).
  4. Let quinoa stand for about 3 minutes to enable it to reach complete fluffiness.

*Variation: Try replacing water with chicken or vegetable broth to flavor the quinoa and add some spice to your meals.

Recipe Suggestions

  • Uncooked seeds can be added to casseroles, soups and stews. Add during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.
    Substituted whenever rice is called for.
  • Cook in fruit juice then add to your breakfast cereal, yogurt or desserts.
  • Make your own fresh quinoa sprouts, and add to your salad or sandwiches. To sprout the seeds, soak 1/3 cup seeds in a jar for 2-4 hours, drain and rinse the seeds twice a day for 2 to 4 days. When the sprouts are about 1 inch long, place the jar near a window for chlorophyll to develop, which will give them a vibrant green color.
  • “Pop” the seeds in a dry skillet and eat them as a dry cereal or snack.

Nutritional Information

Quinoa is a source of all essential amino acids according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It’s a great source of B vitamins containing niacin, thiamin and B6.It contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin. It’s also good source of zinc, copper, and manganese, and magnesium. It contains folic acid and vitamin E.

Storage

Due to the relatively high oil and fat content of quinoa, the grains and flour should be stored in glass jars in the refrigerator. Use the grains within a year and flour within 3 months.

Here are some delicious quinoa recipes to try:

 

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