Welcome to another addition of gluten free super grains! We’re talking and cooking with QUINOA today. This gluten free grain should be a staple of your gluten free diet. It is a complete protein that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s delicious and versatile enough to add to any meal.
And we’re back with the SUPER GRAIN SERIES! Let’s talk QUINOA. the pseudo grain. You’ll understand more about that in a minute. We’re also going to be walking you through how to cook quinoa, what to make with it (recipes), the health perks, and of course, how to devour it!
What is quinoa?
It’s known as an “ancient grain” because it has remained largely unchanged in the way it is consumed for thousands of years. This super pseudo grain has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. Originally, it was known as “the mother of all grains” to the native Incas.
Quinoa is actually a seed, even though it is prepared and eaten like a grain. Technically, it is classified as a pseudo-cereal, meaning that it can be used in the same way as other cereal grains. However, it is a whole grain; the entire seed is used intact. You can also mill or grind it into flour.
Quinoa has become a very popular health food, and with good reason. Nutritionally, quinoa is:
- Gluten free. It’s safe, even for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance (source)
- A complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, including Lysine. Our bodies do not make amino acids naturally, so we need to get them from the foods we eat.
- It’s rich in minerals, most particularly folate
- High in fiber and potassium
- A rich source of antioxidants
- Packed with a hefty dose of fatty acids
How to cook quinoa
Quinoa is a versatile addition to your menu. It can be used in savory or sweet dishes and greatly increases the nutritional value of any meal. There are a variety of cooking methods, but there are some general steps to follow when you cook quinoa.
Here are the basic quinoa cooking instructions, shared from the Bob’s Red Mill website.
- People often rinse it due to bitter saponins in the seed coat. Bob’s Red Mill quinoa has been pre-washed to remove this bitter coating. Yay for saving time!
- You should use twice as much cooking liquid as you do quinoa. So, one cup of dry quinoa needs to be cooked in 2 cups of liquid.
- No matter what method you choose, allow the quinoa to sit for five minutes before serving, and fluff it with a fork first.
You can prepare this gluten free grain a number of ways. The cooking time varies, depending on the cooking method.
If you make it on the stovetop, it will take about 15 minutes to fully cook.
INSTANT POT / PRESSURE COOKER
You can also cook it in an Instant Pot. Many Instant Pots and other brands of electric pressure cookers have a multigrain setting. It will take 8 minutes to pressure cook. After cooking it, allow it to naturally release for about 5 minutes. This way, you’ll avoid splattering your kitchen with the foam that accumulates in the pot.
It cooks perfectly in a rice cooker as well. The total cooking time will take about 30 minutes. If you have a mini rice cooker, the cooking time will take less. I can make 3 cups of quinoa in 15 minutes with my mini rice cooker. LOVE IT!
You also have the option to cook the gluten free grain in a slow cooker. It will take 4 to 6 hours on low, depending on how much quinoa you want to cook, but you will have perfectly cooked quinoa ready for dinner. TIP -> Mix the quinoa a few times throughout the cooking so it fluffs up nicely! If you won’t be around to do so, no prob! It’s still delicious. .
Ways to Eat It
Quinoa can be eaten savory or sweet. It can be served by itself or as an accompaniment to any number of other foods. Try making it in some of these ways:
- In quick breads, like this Banana Bread
- As a replacement for rice, like in this Mexican Skillet Dinner
- In a salad, like this super delicious gluten free Moroccan Salad
- As a breakfast cereal, like this vegan Pumpkin Porridge
- In healthy snack bars, like these Energy Bars
Let’s make it!
How To Cook Quinoa & Nutrition Facts (VIDEO)Print
Alright my friends! Super grain series QUINOA 101 is complete! Did I miss anything? Ask away! Next up, buckwheat!