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How to Cook Perfect Quinoa

A few years ago I wanted to quit quinoa.  Every time I cooked it according to the directions of the 1:2 ratio that you find everywhere, it came out mushy, soggy and bitter.  I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about!   Eventually I got it through experimenting with different amounts of water.   Quinoa is good.  Really good.  And when cooked properly, it is light and fluffy, each grain defined.  Quinoa has an airy and slightly nutty quality that makes it perfect alone or easy to dress it up with endless possibilities. 

Quinoa-dry

In light of the gluten-free era, quinoa has become very popular, but it’s actually an ancient grain.  And when I say grain, I mean seed.  Because it’s the seed of the plant that we eat.  And that makes it gluten-free, high in protein, and packed with all sorts of nutrition.   It’s related to the spinach and swiss chard family.  

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Quinoa is a great source of antioxidants and flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.  Higher amounts than you would find in cranberry, amazingly enough.  It has many anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, like omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and vitamin E. In fact, because of it’s oxidant protection, the cooking process doesn’t destroy it’s nutritional integrity which can happen with most foods.  It’s also a complete source of protein, as it contains all the necessary amino acids to declare it so.  South Americans who started eating quinoa 4,000 years ago were definitely on to something.

High in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, FIBER, gosh this grain seed is amazing!

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Here’s how to cook quinoa perfectly, every time.

The most important step is the rinsing.  Rinsing is important so that you remove some of the saponins from the quinoa, which give it the bitter taste.  You can also soak your quinoa overnight and then rinse well, this will actually makes its nutrients more available for absorption.

1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cup water.  Not 2…..definitely not 2.

pinch of salt

Bring rinsed quinoa and water to boil.  Once it reaches boiling, cover and simmer.   Set a timer for 12-15 minutes.  Once water has been absorbed, remove from heat.  Let sit another 5 minutes with a kitchen/paper towel resting on top of the lid (another important step).  Fluff with a fork.

How to Cook Quinoa
Yields 3
How to cook quinoa perfectly, every time.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 1 3/4 cup water
  3. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Bring rinsed quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt to boil.
  2. Once it reaches boiling, cover and simmer.
  3. Set a timer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Once water has been absorbed, remove from heat.
  5. Let sit another 5 minutes with a kitchen/paper towel resting on top of the lid (another important step).
  6. Fluff with a fork.
Notes
  1. The most important step is the rinsing. Rinsing is important so that you remove some of the saponins from the quinoa, which give it the bitter taste. You can also soak your quinoa overnight and then rinse well, this will actually makes its nutrients more available for absorption.
Adapted from It's All Good
Adapted from It's All Good
Molly Bea https://www.mollybea.com/

4 thoughts on “How to Cook Perfect Quinoa

  1. Love this! The only way I’ve ever really enjoyed quinoa without faking it was a recipe that prepared it more like a tuscan risotto – white wine, garlic, chicken broth and lots of parmesan cheese! This recipe will help it taste better for all of the other awesome quinoa recipes out there. Thanks for the thorough tutorial! xo

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