Every Sunday and/or Monday, I try to prep my meals to last for the next few days. This is a time saver for me as I can use quinoa as a side for just about any meal. I’ll add it to my egg omelet in the morning for some good carbs after my weight training or I’ll add it to my salad for lunch for filling fiber. Today, I’ll be sharing with you how to make the perfect fluffly quinoa. It’s super easy and the best part, it’s super good for you too.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) comes from South America. Thousands of years ago this super grain was an important grain during the Inca civilization. The Inca’s referred quinoa as the “Mother Grain” because of it’s health benefits.
Five interesting facts about quinoa:
1. Quinoa is a high quality protein. Is one of the only grains that stands alone as a complete protein grain. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Most grains are not considered “total protein” sources because they lack adequate amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa has a significant amount of both lysine and isoleucine making it a great choice for vegetarians who may have trouble getting in all their amino acids.
2. High in vitamins and nutrients. Quinoa is rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and potassium. Quinoa is one of the richest sources of potassium, which helps to control blood pressure.
3. Gluten free grain. Contains no gluten so it’s perfect for those that follow a gluten free/wheat free diet. Plus, quinoa is so versatile in many recipes. (see below some of my favorite quinoa recipes).
4. Great source of iron. One serving of quinoa contains 12% Daily Value of iron.
5. Source of heart healthy fats and fiber. One serving of cooked quinoa contains 3 grams of dietary fiber and 2.5 grams of fat. Perfect for keeping you full and satisfied.
Most conventional grocery stores carry it, you’ll find it down the rice aisle. You can for sure find it at any health food store. At one point Costco use to sell a big bag of quinoa, recently I haven’t seen it on the shelves. They come in a variety of colors, such as ivory (white), red and black.
1 cup quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
2 cups liquid, such as water, broth or coconut water
1 Tbsp of Olive oil (optional) or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Fine mesh strainer
2-quart saucepan with lid
1. Measure quinoa and liquid. Measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid.
2. Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, and rinse for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain.
Why rinse quinoa? Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although the boxed quinoa I purchased says pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.
3. Add rinsed quinoa and liquid in saucepan, bring to a boil. Add quinoa, stir in the liquid and the salt (if using) and bring to a rolling boil.
4. Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.Let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered.
5. Fluff and eat! After 5 minutes, remove the lid, fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. (You should see tiny light green spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa.