18 February 2011

How to cook quinoa

Lately I've been fielding a lot of questions regarding how to cook quinoa and so decided to write a very basic guideline.

1) Most packages will tell you to rinse the quinoa to remove the saponins, but this is always done in Bolivia, so just skip it.

2) Heat a cup of dry quinoa (to make 2 cups of cooked quinoa) in a pan over medium heat, stir frequently.  This will bring out the more complex flavors of the quinoa and make the final dish much less bland.  It's done once you hear some of the seeds popping.

3) Add one and a half cups of water and cover.  Cook until the seeds are tender, unless you prefer that they pop in your mouth.  Sometimes you'll need to add a little more water, just keep your eye on it and taste it once in awhile until it's the desired texture.

4) Remove the lid once the quinoa is cooked and water is boiled away and let it cool.

Alternatively, at step 2 you can leave the quinoa dry and let it pop to make popped quinoa.  This goes great with salads or granola or can be used to make granola bars.

Hope this helps!

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