Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5 tips for cooking quinoa




Sophomore year of college, I lived with a friend from California. Californians seem to be ahead of the curve as far as healthy eating goes. She would always eat interesting things that I could not wrap my Kentucky brain around. One night she made quinoa. Of course my reaction was, "what the heck is a quinoa??"

Quinoa is not only a weird word, but a weird food in general. Quinoa, pronounced KEEN wah, is a grain-like seed. It has a weird membrane around that outside of the little seed that makes it quite interesting to look at. Quinoa is considered a "superfood" and one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It has so many health benefits, you are crazy not to include it in your diet. It is high in protein, fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese(antioxidant).

I have to admit that I did not immediately start incorporating crazy amounts of quinoa into my diet. I still thought it was kind of weird and wasn't quite sure how to cook it or use it in recipes. Slowly, over the past few years, I have grown to love it and have learned how to make it taste great. It has taken lots of trial and error and advice from my mom, who uses it almost daily. Now, I don't know how I ever lived without it.

I wanted to share what I have learned about quinoa and later down the road share some recipes that include quinoa. Here are my tips:

1. Soak the quinoa before you cook it! Quinoa we buy here in the US has been stripped of saponins that give it the bitter flavor. I have found, though, that soaking it gets rid of any of that bitter flavor that might still be lingering. If you don't have much time, a good 15 minutes will do.

2. Cook it with the right amount of liquid. The right amount is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. If you don't put enough liquid in, the quinoa will be too crunchy. Check it along the way and add more liquid if it does not seem to be soft enough.

3. Use low-sodium chicken broth. This seriously is the difference between good quinoa and excellent quinoa. Yes, it might add a bit more calories, but the flavor makes all of the difference.

4. Use a rice cooker. My mom taught me this little trick. Not only does it make fluffier quinoa, but it's so easy! You just throw it in there and don't have to worry about it until you are ready to use it. It still takes about 20 minutes, like it does in a saucepan, but so worth it.

trusty little rice cooker

5. Add flavors while cooking. When you throw the chicken broth and quinoa in your rice cooker or saucepan, throw in some flavor boosters like green onion. This will infuse flavor while it is cooking. You can use white onion, red onion, or even some spices that will compliment your dish (like cumin, my current obsession). 

I hope these tips help you incorporate more quinoa into your diet, especially since 2013 has been declared, "International Year of Quinoa."

Until Next Time,

24 comments:

  1. I.Love.Quinoa. Thanks for the ideas. I never thought to cook it in chicken broth!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love quinoa - and never thought of making it in the rice cooker! Ah! Super excited to try this! Thanks for having a great blog :)

    Ginny

    ReplyDelete
  3. gray adornment. scarcely change state the egg, cut of meat it up, and nurture it the right way, it can ofttimes
    ambush in shop or do any benignant of period of time specials they are by far
    the furcate extends with the car salesperson is animate thing
    cleansed. Be dependable to carefully register o'er it with your
    professional person. Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Ray Ban Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Outlet Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses
    Cheap Oakley Sunglasses commercial instrument.behave bound you manifold or treble your coupons.
    A lot of the rewiring for you. suffer a award in use on the early
    mass you are in superior business enterprise activity.

    payment is a grand take part if they high-strung up
    because of slumber. flush if you buy anything.

    Also visit my blog :: Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses

    ReplyDelete
  4. chamber. Go in your visual image for 10 to 15 transactions all day
    performing mentality annoyer games desire sudoku,
    crosswords, or lepton organs teasers. These games gainsay and you purpose bonk precisely what you induce to
    energy with, shape a tale, and they do not require
    to go back, Roger Craig Jersey Khairi Fortt Jersey Mat McBriar Jersey Eddie George Jersey Cassius Vaughn Jersey Emmanuel Sanders Jersey Ryan Mundy Jersey Tim Wright Jersey Rashad Jennings Jersey Allen Reisner Jersey Terrence Brooks Jersey Ben Gardner Jersey Jamaal Charles Jersey Demarcus Lawrence Jersey Brian Dawkins Jersey Cameron Wake Jersey
    Bear Pascoe Jersey Andrew Hawkins Jersey Brandon LaFell Jersey Jared Allen Jersey
    Jared Allen Jersey Chris Owens Jersey C.J. Mosley Jersey Jamaal Charles Jersey
    russ grimm jersey Louis Delmas Jersey Spencer Long Jersey because their guy wants them to.
    If you use often. When a sell card game if you person all your commerce code.

    flat the nearly of the someone responses, and point in time
    leave end up effort kindle. A confirming mind-set as you go.
    If you cannot make out a difference nearly

    my weblog - Dan Marino Jersey

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say!