Quinoa is a superfood, it’s nutritious, delicious and versatile. Once you master how to cook quinoa perfectly fluffy, you’ll have a wonderful alternative to rice, millet, farro, oats or any other grain.
What is Quinoa
Officially, quinoa is not a grain; it’s the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant, but generally speaking, it is considered a grain, a whole grain to be more specific. The quinoa plant finds its origin in South America and once it made its way into the US, it became a popular ingredient.
This image below shows 3 different types/colors of quinoa: red, white or a mix, and there is also a fourth one, a black quinoa.
Quinoa is considered a superfood. This is not a scientific term, but it does indicate that the food in question is special, that is contains a lot of important nutrients that we need in a dense form. In other words, you don’t need much of it to obtain all important nutrients that they posses. As far as quinoa is concerned, it is loaded with fiber, antioxidants as well as omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids and protein. And it’s a good source of manganese, magnesium, and copper.
Key Ingredients to Cook Quinoa Perfectly Fluffy
- Water and salt or any type of broth or stock
How to Cook Quinoa ?
Step 1 – Rinse or not before you cook?
The grains are coated with saponins (a natural component that prevents animals in the wild from eating quinoa), which can result in a soapy/bitter taste. It is totally OK to cook the quinoa without rinsing it first, but some people are more sensitive than other and experience the off flavor. I would suggest you try it both ways and see whether you taste a difference.
Step 2 – Measure water and quinoa. The perfect ratio is 2 : 1. Two cups of water or stock/broth and 1 cup of quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water with salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 – When the quinoa is cooked the pearls are popped open. If this did not happen within 10-15 minutes, please cook a little longer. Once they are popped, turn off the heat, uncover the pan and allow the quinoa to steam for another 5-10 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and the quinoa is ready.
How to Store Quinoa
This is very simple. Dry quinoa can be stored in a air tight container, out of direct sunlight. Cooked quinoa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
Recipes with Quinoa
- Quinoa Salad with Bean Sprouts
- Quinoa Salad with Peach, Herbs and Pecans
- Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Orange Dressing
How to Cook Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Rinse the quinoa under water. (NOTE 1)
- Take the pan off the heat, uncover and allow the quinoa to steam dry in about 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and the quinoa is ready to be used in one of your recipes.
- If you like a slightly nuttier flavor, skip the rinsing part. Add a few drops of olive oil into your pan, add the dry quinoa and toast for 4-6 minutes. Then add water and quinoa and bring to a simmer.