How To Cook Quinoa – Try It – It’s Good!

Don’t let this wonder food called Quinoa fool you!  Just because it’s good for you does NOT mean it is difficult to learn how to cook Quinoa.  Quinoa cooks similar to your normal household rice does.  For starters, all you have to remember is 2:1 – 2 parts water for every 1 part of Quinoa (note: if using a rice cooker to cook your Quinoa, you might need more liquid than what you use for standard white rice).

Quinoa can be used in many recipes.  Since it is gluten-free, you can also work with it to put some baked goods back into your diet that you CAN eat.

Vegetarians can really benefit from adding Quinoa to their diet, too.  Quinoa is a wonderful source of iron and protein and the slow-releasing carbohydrates in Quinoa can help maintain blood sugar levels.

How to Cook Quinoa, the Incan Superfood

If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you owe it to yourself and your family to cook and serve some tonight.

This cereal-like food was eaten for thousands of years by the Incas of South America, who worshipped it as sacred. And no wonder. It is one of the most nutritional foods in the world, higher in essential amino acids than wheat. Yet unlike wheat, quinoa is gluten free.

Although some natives of the Andes region where it originated also eat its leaves, most people eat quinoa in its seed or “grain” form. Happily, it’s easy to prepare and cook in this form.

Quinoa is showing up on more supermarket shelves in the United States, Canada and Europe, but—depending on where you live—you might have to seek it out in a specialty or organic grocery store. Try to find a package containing seeds that have had their waxy outer coatings removed through rinsing or some other process.

If you buy quinoa with its coating still on, you must rinse it vigorously in a strainer, then soak it for several hours in water, then rinse it again. If you leave behind any of the coating, which is full of a bitter substance called saponin, your quinoa will taste terrible.

Fortunately, most commercially marketed quinoa sold in North America and Europe today has been pre-processed to remove the coating.

The easiest way to prepare quinoa is to cook it much as you would rice. Just put a cup of the de-coated grain in a saucepan and pour two cups of water over it. Bring the pan to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, then remove from heat.

Your cooked quinoa should be light and fluffy, much like cooked rice; in fact, you can use it in almost any dish where you would normally use rice. Add your favorite vegetables, meats or seasonings and enjoy. My south Louisiana heritage is showing here, but I have to say that my own favorite way to make quinoa is in a jambalaya with shrimp and sausage.

If you would like to try baking with it, look for quinoa flour form in the store. You will probably need to combine it with something else such as sorghum flour or tapioca starch to get a good baking mix. Some cooks recommend a mix of 2 parts quinoa flour, 2 parts sorghum flour and 1 part tapioca starch.

Is there a gluten allergy sufferer in your life? Try making some special treats using such a quinoa-based mix and see how easy it is to bring baked joy back to the table.

Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah’s article where she reveals her secret source for the most mouth-watering restaurant recipes in America:

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Cooking quinoa is easy and fast.  Watch our quick video lesson and learn how to cook Quinoa.

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