How to Cook Quinoa
Did you know that quinoa could be dried, fried, toasted, milled, or even grinned? Did you know that there are different recipes to add quinoa to, starting from the different cooking recipes and sometimes ending with desserts? You should believe this piece of information right now because later on through the article, you will be introduced to the different ways that you could cook quinoa as well as know the different instructions that you have to follow. Quinoa is believed to be a grain although it is a seed; this seed is native to the Bolivians who used to refer to it as “the mother grain”, this superfood have different recipes out there to be done and all will still deliver its important benefits.
Quinoa Cooking Instructions
According to each type of food, there are always some cooking instructions to be followed in order not to ruin the seed or make it unable to be eaten. Quinoa has also its different instructions that should be followed according to the recipe that you are trying to prepare; for example, sometimes rinsing the seeds before cooking them is considered important in order to get rid of that bitter taste that might be accompanying those seeds.
There are several reasons that could convince you to cook quinoa and start eating it or making it part of your eating habit, such as being beneficial since it carries complete protein, meaning that it has all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Quinoa is also important since it lowers the blood sugar level, lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, helps with relieving constipation, helps in weight loss programs, as well as different other benefits that it could still deliver through its nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.
Quinoa has been always regarded as a grain crop since it has been used in almost the same way, but it is actually a type of seed that is used for its edible feature. There are three different varieties and colors of quinoa; the white, the black, and the red; although they all deliver the same benefits, some people still choose specific ones according to the dishes they are preparing.
Here are some instructions to follow when you are cooking quinoa:
- Always Check Whether You Need to Rinse it or Not
Quinoa sometimes comes with a bitter taste that is considered the result of the protective coating that grows with it which is known as saponin. Usually the quinoa that people buy from the stores are pre-rinsed, which means that this bitter taste might not be there, but it is always important to check whether you will need to place them under the faucet again or not.
In order to rinse your quinoa seeds, you have to place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and run it under cold water for several minutes then shake the sieve in order to get rid of any excess water. This process will make your quinoa ready to be used in your cooking meal.
- To Get More Flavor, Toast Your Quinoa
One of the several options that you could follow when it comes to cooking quinoa is toasting it, and it is usually preferred because it adds more to its flavor. In order to toast quinoa, you have to add some oil to a skillet and heat over medium-low heat – you will most probably need one tablespoon of neutral oil for every 1 ½ cups of quinoa – then add your quinoa to it. Stir your quinoa constantly inside the skillet in order not to burn it, for about 6 to 8 minutes, until it starts to turn brown. Adding quinoa to oil for toasting will help in giving it a more intense nutty flavor.
- Cook Your Quinoa in Something Else Besides Water
After the toasting process, you will most probably be asked to add the quinoa seeds to boiling water, this happens by adding them to the water and stirring, cover, and then simmer on low heat until they are done. Water is considered the healthiest and the easiest liquid choice to make, but there are other options to choose from according to the flavors that you mostly prefer, such as low-sodium chicken, mushroom, or vegetable broth, which could be found in the supermarkets and are considered as easy as water in using them.
The ratio that you are supposed to follow when you are using water or any other liquid is two cups of the liquid being used to one cup of chia seeds.
- Always Watch Your Quinoa While Cooking and Pay Attention to the Time
In order to cook quinoa correctly, you have to watch for it while being cooked and pay attention to the time in order not to burn and lose your meal. Quinoa is known to cook quickly since it takes no longer than 15 minutes. Sometimes there are specific package directions that will tell people to turn off the heat once the liquid boils, but there are also other package directions that advise people to bring the cooking liquid to boil, add the quinoa, and then turn down the heat to low before covering and simmering gently until the liquid is absorbed.
You will always notice when the quinoa that you are cooking is finished and done because it will pop out and the inside germ of the kernel will be revealed.
- Fluff the Quinoa before Serving it
In order to get the best outcomes for the quinoa recipes that you are preparing, it is important to fluff the quinoa a little bit before serving it. In order to do so, use a fork to fluff and separate the seeds from one another.
- Don’t Forget to Drain it After it is Cooked
There are some common mistakes that people get involved with when it comes to cooking their quinoa. For example, the rinsing part is one of the most forgotten about things that people pass by when they are preparing their quinoa dishes. In addition to the rinsing part, it is always important to remember that quinoa needs to drain after being cooked since no one likes the idea of eating their dishes watery.
- Let Your Quinoa Rest After it is Drained
That last important instruction to keep in mind when it comes to quinoa cooking is to let it rest after the cooking and the draining process ends. When you drain your quinoa after it is cooked, place it back in the hot saucepan, cover it, and let it sit there for 15 minutes in order to dry and never end up with having a wet and clumpy quinoa.
Healthy Quinoa Recipes
There are several easy quinoa recipes out there that you could try to prepare and you will even find some which you already do without the quinoa addition. The best thing to use these seeds in are the different types of salads, and in order to make one that is a little bit different, you should try the recipe for the quinoa tabbouleh.
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is a famous salad made by the Lebanese people who managed to pass it over to all the other countries around the world; one that is liked by all those who indulge in the Lebanese cuisine.
- 3 cups cooked and cooled white quinoa
- 1 ½ cups flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
- ¼ cup snipped chives
- 4 ounces of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Feta cheese
In order to create the tabbouleh salad from these ingredients, you have to add the quinoa, parsley, mint, chives, tomatoes, and lemon zest together in a bowl and toss to combine them together. In another separate bowl, add the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper then pour them over the salad and toss in order to combine them all together. You can always top them with crumbled feta if you want.
- Quinoa Ginger Pecan Muffin
When quinoa is used in its ground form, it might be used as flour in some of the baking goodies that you are preparing. One of these baked desserts that you might prepare in a healthier way to enjoy with your cup of tea is the quinoa ginger pecan muffin.
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups reduced fat Bisquick
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup fat-free milk
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- Cooking spray
- First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse your quinoa in order to get rid of the bitter taste that comes with it. Combine the cup of water to the quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring them to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat then simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork then set it aside.
- Combine the Bisquick and the pecan, sugar, ginger, and salt in a bowl; make a well in the middle of the mixture.
- Combine the milk, molasses, and egg in a separate bowl by stirring them well. Now add this mixture with the quinoa and the apricots to the dry ingredients and stir them all until moist.
- You can now spoon the batter into the muffin cups that you have coated with the cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes and remove.
Muffins and cupcakes are always preferred by people but those which they buy from stores or supermarkets are overstuffed and oversized, only loaded with fats and calories. So substituting these muffins with the ones you prepare with quinoa at your home is million times better and healthier.
There are still other recipes with quinoa that you could prepare; these are just to show you a sample of the things you could have the power to create with quinoa. There are different benefits of quinoa that could be delivered to the body and exchanging some of the calorie-loaded foods with it will be much better for your own personal health.