Cookbook:Quinoa

Milled, organic quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a seed (not a grain) originating in South America. The seed heads are naturally pest resistant as the seeds are coated with saponins which must be washed off before eating. The resulting saponin-laden water is useful for cleaning.

Quinoa is very nutritious, with a high protein content (12%-18%) and has a well balanced profile of essential amino acids. It is naturally gluten-free, and is a good replacement for people who are avoiding wheat in their diets.

Quinoa can be cooked like grains; the taste is mild and slightly nutty. It is readily available from health food stores and many standard grocery stores.

PreparationEdit

Before use, quinoa must be soaked to remove the saponins; this step is not necessary for some packets of quinoa which have been pre-soaked for convenience. Soak quinoa in a bowl or pot, totally covered with water, for 3 to 4 hours, then discard or reserve the soak water, and replace with fresh water to soak a further hour or so.

After the soaking preparation, quinoa can be prepared much like white rice.

  1. Add one cup of quinoa to two cups of water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat, and simmer on the lowest heat setting for 16-18 minutes.
  3. Set aside off the heat for five minutes before serving.