How to Make Quinoa Simply and Easily
Quinoa has become a popular alternative to rice and other grains simply because of how easy, versatile and delicious it is to eat. Not only that, but it is very popular due to its low glucose index compared to white rice or other starchy grains.
In this article, we explore the different methods on how to make it by providing you with a solid base to work from. Once you learn the basics of how to make quinoa, you can then apply them effortlessly and without having to be tied to your iPad or tablet recipe app.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is native to the South American Andes and was a common food of the Incas, who referred to quinoa as the “mother grain.” Although not botanically a true grain, quinoa’s tiny seeds are treated as such. The grains are small, flattened spheres, approximately 1/16″ (1.5mm) in diameter, ringed with the germ.
Quinoa becomes transparent when cooked and have a slightly smoky or sesame-like flavor. Several varieties of quinoa are available, ranging in color from dark brown to almost white. The larger whiter varieties are the most common and are considered superior.
Quinoa has a natural, bitter-tasting coating, which protects them from birds and insects. When learning how to make quinoa, you would benefit greatly by rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under cold water for several minutes.
A Complete Protein
Quinoa is marketed as the world’s “super grain” because the seeds form a complete protein (with all of the essential amino acids) and contain important vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrates and fat.
Quinoa should be stored in the refrigerator. For long term storage, keep in the freezer.
Uses and Types of Quinoa
Surprisingly, quinoa can be used for a variety of applications. It can be used as a healthy hot breakfast, used as a thickener for soups or stews and in salads, casseroles, breads, and desserts.
Types of Quinoa
This is the most common type of quinoa available in stores and you will often find it marketed as plain.
This type is known by chefs to hold its shape much better when cooked compared to the white variety, making it a suitable choice for salads.
Black quinoa is a bit sweeter and earthier than white quinoa and is able to retain its black color when cooked.
Uses for Quinoa
- Substitution for Rice
- Hot Breakfasts
- Sweet or Savory Flavor Profiles