The Secret to Making Perfect Quinoa
Packed with micronutrients like magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, iron, folate and B vitamins, quinoa is a nutritious and versatile little seed that is cooked and consumed like a grain.
1/2 cup cooked quinoa provides 80 calories, 3 g complete protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and minimal fat. It is low-glycemic and gluten-free, making it a great option for diabetics and those with Celiac disease.
I recently learned I’ve been making quinoa wrong – I followed the package directions, but it always turned out gummy and I never really enjoyed eating it. Now that I’ve mastered the perfect pot of quinoa, I want to share the strategies I’ve learned with you in case you too have been disappointed by mushy quinoa.
Step #1: Rinse the Quinoa
Rinsing the quinoa is crucial to remove any bitter flavour. Measure out your dry quinoa and add it to a large bowl of cold water. With a clean hand, swish the quinoa around in the water for a minute until you notice the water is murky and frothy. Strain and rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh sieve and shake off as much excess water as you can.
Step #2: Ignore the Package Directions
For 1 cup of dry quinoa, use 1 ½ cup of water or stock. Most recipes (including the package directions) suggest a 1:2 ratio (2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of quinoa), but this tends to create that gummy texture we’re trying to avoid. By adding less water, you’ll end up with fluffy quinoa that separates easily and retains its chewy texture.
Step #3: Don’t Remove the Lid
It can be tempting to check in on your quinoa as it cooks and give it a stir but resist the urge! We don’t want any of that steam to escape from the saucepan, so allow your quinoa to cook undisturbed for 13 minutes then immediately remove it from the heat. Your perfect cooking time may vary depending on your stove, so set a timer and find what works best for you. Allow the quinoa to rest and steam for another 10 minutes before you remove the lid. Fluff it with a fork and serve it however you like or let it cool and freeze in individual portions for later.
Tip: Quinoa will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer.
What Can I Do with Quinoa?
Quinoa doesn’t have to be just a plain side dish; it can also be eaten like oats in porridge, tossed into a salad, or rolled into nuggets and served with dip. The possibilities are endless! Here are some fun ideas to try: