Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quinoa, have you tried it?

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is an ancient grain that has made a real splash in the United States in the past few years. I think that the fact that it is easily and quickly cooked is part of the reason that it has become so popular. For years, people have associated whole grains with brown rice and other grains that take nearly an hour to cook stove top, therefore; whole grains seemed like too much work. Whatever the reason, quinoa is more readily available then ever. It is usually available in the bulk bins at grocery stores, but now is being found prepackaged in the isle with the rice. If you have not tried it yet, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Quinoa is quick easy to prepare.
Always rinse the quinoa before cooking.  The seeds are naturally coated with saponin a slightly sticky substance that is bitter tasting. It is removed during processing, but sometimes there is some residue left. It is advisable to soak the seeds in cold water for 5 minutes then rinse well before cooking.

Cooking time is quick; about 15 minutes.
1 cup will yield 3 cups cooked.
1 part grain to 2 parts liquid is standard (some people will go a bit less on the liquid for a firmer texture)

basic cooked quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups stock, water, or broth

In a medium saucepan, begin warming the liquid that you are going to use. While the liquid heats,
rinse the quinoa under cold running water for 2-3 minutes. Drain of any excess water.
Combine the quinoa and hot liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium low and cook until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Fluff with a fork before serving.

Quinoa seems to be a great substitute for rice in many households. It is finding it's way into casseroles, soups, salads, and desserts. Many people starting to get whole grains into their diet find quinoa appealing. Its light and creamy texture doe not scream "whole grain, or high fiber". It is a small grain that is easily added to dishes with little or no resistance from the clan. Parents and children alike seem to enjoy quinoa as it is added into the diet. If you have been thinking of adding more whole grains this is a good place to begin.

Additional resources:

savvy vegetarian (a great how to cook guide plus a question and answer section about the grain)

cooking quinoa

quinoa basics


  1. I didn't know that about soaking the quinoa first! Thanks for the info :) I would love to have you share this on Wildcrafting Wednesday tomorrow! The link isn't live yet, but you can find it on my blog in the morning at:

  2. Great little quinoa primer. :) I love quinoa! I recently posted a super easy recipe that is sort of the quinoa equivalent of mac & cheese. So yummy!


  3. WE love Quinoa, this is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Thanks for joining us on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Check out our poll for the People's Choice Awards this Wednesday :) Check my site at:

  5. We love quinoa at our house and eat it all the time! Its so simple to cook :) My name is Cindy and I blog over at Vegetarianmamma.com I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe and any others at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we'd love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! It doesn't mean that you have to be a gluten free bloggers. If you have some recipes on your blog that are gluten free that counts! :) Many recipes are naturally gluten free.
    Also be sure to link up your blog on our Gluten Free Bloggers directory. You can reach the directory by clicking the "glutenfree bloggers" tab on our blog! Thanks, Cindy :)