If you found this page by searching, “How to Cook Quinoa,” you might already know that it’s a nutritious seed often mistakenly referred to as a ‘grain.’ (We wouldn’t say a sunflower seed is a flower, right?) Quinoa is high in protein and its nutritional profile is similar to a grain.
Rinse and Soak
If you don’t want to complain about the taste of quinoa, you’ll want to rinse and soak it before cooking to remove both phytic acid and bitterness. Phytic acid, known as an anti-nutrient, interferes with absorption of some important nutrients. At the same time, it might also be a good chelator for unwanted minerals. (I think the jury is still out on whether or not there is a health benefit to phytic acid.)
I usually rinse, then soak for anywhere from six to twelve hours. Never let it go more than eight hours without rinsing and I always rinse again before cooking. If there’s no time to soak it before cooking, be sure to rinse several times. Mason jars with sprouting caps work great for both soaking and rinsing. Quinoa cooks much quicker, after it’s been soaked.
We purchase food by weight, but we measure it by volume when we cook. A 12-ounce bag of quinoa seeds measures about 2 cups. Scroll down to see the picture of how one cup grows in size. You can see how it goes a long way.
This seed is a powerhouse of nutrients, including protein. It can easily replace brown rice in many recipes and is You can see the complete nutrient profile here: USDA Nutrient Database.
If you’re not sure if this seed would be too high-carb for you, the information in this article by Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat belly, might help. Can I eat quinoa? Carb-Counting Basics
- 1 Cup Quinoa Seeds
- 2 Cups Water
- Water for rinsing
- Place Quinoa Seeds in a one-quart Mason jar
- Secure strainer cover onto top of Mason jar.
- Rinse seeds.
- Add 2 cups water to Mason jar.
- Soak for 8 to 12 hours (Rinse at 8 hours).
- Rinse again (before cooking) to remove phytic acid/bitterness.
- Remove water.
- Place seeds in pot on stove.
- Add enough water to cover seeds plus about ½ inch.
- Cover pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Simmer for approximately 10 minutes checking water level.
- If quinoa is not cooked after 10 minutes, remove from burner and keep covered for 5 minutes.
(Quinoa is done when rings are visible.)
This is a great strainer set. It can be used for not only quinoa, but also for kefir grains and Kombucha.