I discovered quinoa a few years ago and it is a wonderful addition to a healthy pantry. It tastes good, is super healthy and it’s incredibly easy to cook with. Before you dive into this amazing ingredient, however, you should read these tips for cooking with quinoa for guaranteed success! I encourage you to start with a few easy quinoa recipes and see how delicious this ingredient can be!
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Tips for Cooking with Quinoa
Quinoa comes in several varieties, including white, red and black. I haven’t noticed too much difference in flavor between them but you might, depending on how you cook them. Quinoa is considered a ‘superfood’ because of its rich nutritional content and it has tons of protein in it.
That makes cooking with quinoa a great idea for people looking to eat less meat! It contains eight grams of protein per cup. Plus, it’s considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs. Here are a few tips for cooking with quinoa and some easy quinoa recipes if you would like to experiment a bit!
Should you rinse quinoa before cooking?
Yes. Quinoa is a seed that has a slightly bitter coating on it so rinsing will improve the flavor. Use a fine mesh strainer since the seeds are tiny!
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How to Cook Quinoa
Cooking with quinoa takes only a short time. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water or stock in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
Drain briefly after cooking
Quinoa will hold a lot of water and doesn’t always absorb everything you put in the pot. Drain the cooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before adding to your dish.
Should you let it rest?
After draining, return the quinoa to the pan and cover. Let sit 10 minutes or so to help dry it out more before adding it to your dish.
How to boost the flavor of quinoa:
If you want more flavor to your quinoa, try roasting the seeds briefly before boiling. Place on a dry cookie sheet in a low oven for 10 minutes or so, just until you start to smell a nuttiness to them. You can also heat olive oil in a pan and toss the seeds in to saute for a few minutes before adding the water.
Cooking quinoa in a rice cooker:
You can cook quinoa in a rice cooker. Just rinse your quinoa and put it in the rice cooker with water or broth. Add a pinch of salt and turn on the rice cooker. Most quinoa will be tender in about 30 minutes. Just let cool slightly and fluff with a fork. It will yield about 3 to 4 cups of quinoa.
Easy Quinoa Recipes
Quinoa is an incredibly versatile food. Loads of fiber and protein make this superfood a must have ingredient in any healthy pantry. Here are a few easy quinoa recipes for you to try this week. If you don’t like any of these, there are a ton of quinoa cookbooks on Amazon. For more information about this healthy superfood, check out the Whole Grain Council.
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe: Super healthy and plenty of fresh herbs!
- Quinoa and Lavender Healthy Chocolate Bark Recipe: A unique combination of lavender and raw quinoa in dessert form!
- Coconut and Almond Breakfast Bake: A delicious and healthy way to start the day!
- Tabouli Salad Recipe with Quinoa & Sprouts: Contains heart-healthy fats, fiber and lots of phytonutrients
- Quinoa & Mushroom Stuffed Peppers: A healthy Meatless Monday recipe!
If you are trying to eat healthier, I highly recommend you add quinoa to your diet. It is an incredibly versatile and inexpensive food that will boost your protein intake without requiring you to eat more meat. Have any other tips for cooking with quinoa to share?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.