Quinoa pronounced [KEEN-wah] is incredibly nutrient rich, especially on certain anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and heart-healthy fats, it has a lot of fibers too and is gluten free. Even though quinoa looks more like grain, it is actually a seed and a closer relative to spinach and beets. It gets even better, the cooking or steaming are not changing much its nutritional values.
If you have already been convinced of all the health benefits that quinoa can give you, you might want to try it in some of your meals. It has quite neutral lightly nutty taste and it will be easy to incorporate it in the salads, just add cooked quinoa for some protein burst or substitute it for rice, oats or cous cous, in the soups and other meals, there are also some wonderful desserts and you can look at our really good recipe for energy bars with quinoa, it is just so versatile.
Quinoa is quick and very easy to cook
The dry quinoa shall be always rubbed and rinsed very well in water for at least 2 minutes. You can soak it in water too, just to make sure you get rid of the saponin that is naturally coating it and has a bit bitter taste. 10 minutes soaking are enough.
For 1 cup quinoa you will need 2 cups boiling water or broth with a bit of salt. Do not add salt if you are going to use it for desserts, it is 1:2 quinoa to liquid ratio and you can even cook it in your rice cooker.
Bring the water to boil and add the rinsed and drained quinoa. Cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Let it steam for another 5 minutes with the lid on, away from the heat, do not peek. Let it cool. It is ready for use.
For extra nutty flavor
Quickly toast the dry Quinoa in little olive oil for a couple of minutes before you cook it.
Quinoa will be nicer if you fluff it with fork before serving.
How to use quinoa
If you are going to use it in soups you can add the dry quinoa about 20 minutes before you take the pot from the heat. Or just at the end add already cooked quinoa.
How to store quinoa
The raw, dry quinoa can last for a couple of years in a sealed container in the pantry. Cooked quinoa can be kept in the fridge for a week, again in an air tight container, and for up to 12 months in the freezer.