How To Cook Quinoa Perfectly Every Time
Quinoa is one of the most delicious, gluten free, high protein seeds out there. This power packed super food has a lovely neutral flavour, with earthy undertones that makes the perfect canvas for just about any dish you want to create. What I love about it is that quinoa is quick to cook, around 15 minutes so you can create a healthy meal without any fuss in the kitchen. It has a delicate and nutty flavour which is very addictive and I often can’t put down the spoon once I’ve started eating it. I love to use any leftover cold quinoa as a base to salads and fold through lemon, olive oil, massaged kale and fresh chopped garden herbs.
What’s great about it:
Technically quinoa is not a grain but a seed that a relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach. It’s gluten free and has a low GI of 53. Quinoa is also a complete protein which means that it contains all the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs for repair. Quinoa is also a good source of lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair and the formation of collagen which is important for healthy skin.
HOW TO COOK QUINOA PERFECTLY:
STEP 1 – Measure out your quinoa
I normally use 1 cup of quinoa to 1 ½ cups of water. My advice is to make more so that you can enjoy it the next day and create an awesome high protein salad for lunch.
STEP 2 – Wash the quinoa
Wash quinoa well under cold water in a fine strainer, gently rubbing the seeds together with your hands to ensure that any saponins have been removed. Saponins are just a natural insecticide that forms naturally to protect the seed and can give the quinoa a slight bitter taste if not removed. It should be noted that harvesting methods used in the commercial cultivation remove much of the saponins that can coat quinoa seeds, but it’s still a good idea to thoroughly wash the seeds to remove any remaining residue.
STEP 3 – Cook the quinoa
Combine 1 cup of washed quinoa to 1 1/2 cups water and place them both into a pot.
Add a very small pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and place on a lid.
STEP 4 – Simmer
Over a low heat for 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed then turn off the heat.
STEP 5 – Rest for at least 10 minutes
This is probably one of the most important steps.
Fluff up the quinoa lightly with a fork.
Notes + Inspiration
If I’m serving as part of a main course side dish, I often drizzle in a little olive oil or fold through a little cultured butter.
Mushroom + Quinoa Risotto w/ Brazil Nut Parmesan.
Quinoa w/ Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini + Basil Pesto.
Quinoa Salad w/ Pomegranate Dressing.
HOW TO STORE IT:
Store raw (uncooked) quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge.
Per 50 g serving of raw quinoa
Protein: 6.8 g
Total fat: 3.9 g
Saturated: 0.5 g
Carbs: 28 g
Sodium: 1 mg