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Cooking With Quinoa

22 March 2012 - Posted by Ashley under

Since we’ll be adding quite a few recipes that include quinoa – a tastey, magnesium-packed, and highly versatile ingredient – to our blog, I thought it would be prudent to give some basic “quinoa cooking” instructions so that we don’t have to continue repeating them throughout each post.

Washing Quinoa

Quinoa is coated in naturally bitter saponins. For this reason it is usually a good idea to wash the them prior to cooking – even if the bag says that they’ve been “pre-washed”. It’s surprising how much this can change the flavor of the dish when this simple step isn’t followed.

I recommend that you not only wash your quinoa once, but several times, in order to make sure you’ve removed as much as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to add plenty of water to [measured] quinoa in a bowl, then massage the grains thoroughly with your hand. Drain off majority of water from the bowl (quinoa will sink to the bottom), and repeat. Once that’s done, you can drain excess fluid using a fine mesh colander. If you prefer, you can also choose to rinse them a final time in the colander.

Cooking Quinoa

A good rule of thumb is a 2-1 ratio of liquid to quinoa.

Bring water (or meat/vegetable stock) to a boil, then whisk in quinoa. Cover pan. Reduce heat to med-low or low and let simmer until fluid has been absorbed. You’ll notice small air holes develop at the surface.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before fluffing with a fork.

*If you are planning on using the quinoa as an ingredient in another recipe, it is likely that it will need to be cool rather than hot.

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