Instructions for Cooking Quinoa
Yes, it is simple to prepare quinoa but there are still some different steps that you should go through in order to prepare it in the most right way. There are different seeds that you could depend on in order to gain several benefits for your body, such as chia seeds which could be added to drinks and could be sprinkled on food, as well as quinoa which could replace rice and could be eaten as a meal on its own. Quinoa also comes with some benefits that your body will need and thus it is important to think about adding it to your life routine and start creating your own healthy life. This article will give you some instructions to follow while cooking and preparing quinoa.
How to Make Quinoa?
It is healthy, easy to cook, could substitute rice, and at the same time it is prepared in 15 minutes only; so why would you not think about it as something to eat? There are now millions of those people who eat quinoa and make use of the benefits it could deliver to their bodies and maybe that was one of the reasons why it suddenly became well known and became easy to be found in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Preparing quinoa is not a secret but there are those for example who never tend to wash it before the cooking process and thus receive that bitter taste at the end, and there are those who never wait enough or else leave it for a long period of time; these different types of people should know that quinoa is supposed to be prepared and cooked in a specific way.
There are some cooking instructions for quinoa that you have to know about, and by cooking we are not only referring to those which are related to the time it takes to be cooked on the heat, but it is also related to the steps that should be followed before. Here are the right cooking directions:
- Rinse Your Quinoa Seeds
One of the most important first steps to follow is the step of rinsing the quinoa seeds before doing anything with the other steps related to cooking it. The packaged quinoa which you buy from the supermarket is usually pre-rinsed but sometimes doing it one more time at home will place you in the safe side. The reason behind rinsing the seeds goes back to the natural coating that is added to it, which is called saponin, and which makes its taste bitter.
It is not hard to remove this saponin coat from the seeds, all you have to do is soak them in water; place the seeds in a fine mesh strainer and put them under the water for a couple of minutes. In the middle of the process, rub the seeds between your both hands. When you leave the seeds to dry, you could taste one and see how it feels on your tongue, if it still feels bitter, you could wash it one more time.
- Toast the Seeds before Cooking
After you make sure that the seeds are no longer bitter and are ready to go into the process of being cooked, you should first toast them in order to receive more flavor. This toasting step does not take a lot of time and you should be always paying attention because the seeds might burn so easily, and the main reason behind going through this step is just to get a nuttier flavor.
To toast the quinoa seeds, you will need to place them in a skillet with a bit of oil (for every 1 ½ cups of quinoa, you will need one tablespoon of oil) and put them over medium-low heat by stirring constantly in order not to burn the seeds. This will take from 6 to 8 minutes and should be removed once their color starts to turn to golden brown.
- Start Cooking the Seeds
Most of those who prepare quinoa tend to cook it in water, but it could be actually added to any liquid of your choice; it could be added to low-sodium chicken or mushroom or vegetable broth. Water is considered the easiest, healthiest, and even the cheapest to get, but those other options could still be used from time to time in order to change the taste and add more of it.
In order to cook quinoa, you will just need to add two cups of the liquid you are using to every one cup of quinoa. There are different instructions followed in the cooking process; there are those who turn of the heat once it boils, and there are those who tend to bring the liquid to a boil, add the quinoa seeds to it, and then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed.
Quinoa cooking time usually takes about 15 minutes only which is considered the shortest amount of time you might need in order to prepare something to eat.
- Fluff the Quinoa before Serving it
In order to know whether your quinoa is ready and cooked or not, you have to look at it; the water should be totally absorbed and it should pop open revealing the germ of the kernel. Once you see those signs, you will be prepared and ready to eat your quinoa but you have to fluff it first by using a fork in order to separate them from one another.
Benefits of Quinoa
After reading all these quinoa cooking tips and after being fully aware of how it should be prepared and cooked, it is the time to know why it is healthier to substitute rice with it and what are the different benefits that it could deliver to your body. There are some benefits related to quinoa that we have to mention here in order to make you more aware of these seeds and the different effects they could have on your overall health.
- Quinoa is Rich with Fiber
It might be considered one of the richest grains out there with fiber and this is considered important because fiber carries different benefits for the body; first of all, it helps in relieving constipation; second, it prevents heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes; third, fiber lowers the levels of cholesterol and glucose; fourth, it helps in weight loss because it makes the person feel fuller faster with small amounts of it and for a long period of time and thus will prevent him/her from eating all the time and gaining more weight through the process.
- Quinoa Contains Iron
Iron is another nutrient found in quinoa and which is responsible for different tasks as well. One of the main roles that iron play is that it is healthy for the red blood cells and is also considered the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron takes the oxygen from one cell to another and also supplies the muscles with oxygen in order to aid in their contraction. Your brain also benefits the most from iron since it takes about 20% of the oxygen blood. Actually the benefits that the iron found in quinoa could deliver to the body are numerous; they also include regulating the temperature of the body, aid in the enzyme activity, and aid in the process of energy metabolism.
- Quinoa is Rich with Proteins
In addition to the fiber and the iron, we should never forget one of the basics of quinoa; the thing that might make it one of the healthiest foods being used nowadays. Quinoa is rich with proteins since it contains all the nine essential amino acids that the body might be in need of. There are those foods which have good amounts of protein as well but not all of the nine essential amino acids, which is why quinoa is always seen as a unique and different type of healthy food.
Lysine for example is one of the amino acids that might be found in many plant foods, and it is also found in chia seeds, which is important for the growth of the tissue and in the process of repairing it.
- Quinoa is Rich with Magnesium and Manganese
Quinoa is rich with anti-oxidants in general which are mainly important for fighting aging and protecting the red blood cells. Magnesium is an anti-oxidant that is used for the production of energy by preventing the damage of mitochondria during the process and it is also important for protecting the red blood cells and any other cells from the free radicals.
On the other hand, manganese is another anti-oxidant that is important for different reasons; it is beneficial because it relaxes the blood vessels and thus helps with alleviating migraines, it reduces type-2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar level, regulating the temperature of the body, producing energy, and forming healthy bones and teeth.
- Quinoa is High with Riboflavin (B2)
The last important benefit to mention about quinoa is its content of riboflavin which is needed by the brain since it improves energy metabolism within the brain and the muscles and at the same time help in the process of energy production in the cells of the body.
Quinoa cooking instructions are definitely the first step in the process of adding these seeds to your life; they should be tasty in order to get more attached to them. In addition to the different instructions and tips, knowing about the benefits that quinoa could deliver to your body is considered important because it will convince you to substitute your rice and pasta portions with it and make it part of your healthy lifestyle.