I fell in love with Quinoa a few years ago. Since then, the mini "pseudo-grain" has become an important staple in my diet. The gluten-free pseudo-grain isn't only super healthy, but also adds a wonderful, mildly nutty flavor to your meal. I love using Quinoa for example for salads (especially my colorful rainbow bowls), as well as a simple side to any sort of roasted vegetables. And of course, Quinoa also works perfectly for fancier vegetarian dishes like these.
Red, Black, White or mixed - you decided which Quinoa you want to use. In my personal opinion, they all taste pretty "similar". Generally, the darker you go, the crunchier it gets. Black Quinoa normally keeps its crunchy texture after being cooked, whereas white Quinoa becomes pretty soft. I highly recommend you to give all of them a try and then decide which Quinoa based on your decision on what to serve it with.
YES, if you can, you should soak your Quinoa thoroughly before you enjoy it. Quinoa, like other pseudo-grains, is particularly rich in saponins, tannins and several other naturally occurring phytic acids, which bind nutrients and negatively affect their digestibility (especially if consumes in large amounts).
To get a maximum nutrient-level from your Quinoa, you should therefore always wash and also try to soak it for about 0.5-2 hours. Below you find a step-by-step guide on how to soak your Quinoa properly. (If you click on the link, you will find more in-depth information on the science behind soaking grains, nuts, seeds and legumes).
Once you have soaked and washed the Quinoa, it is ready for cooking. The cooking time varies based on how long you soaked your grain as well as your desired Quinoa texture. Generally, estimate 15-20 min for the cooking process. (see recipe on the bottom of the page).
You can always "spice" your Quinoa up during the cooking process. Your options are pretty much endless at that point. Depending on what I will eat with my Quinoa, I love to experiment with
- Herbs: Add herbs (Parsley, Cilantro, Chives) after the cooking process, alongside with a bit of extra virgin olive oil for example
- Spices: Try to use curry powder, chili or any other spice of choice to give the mix additional flavor
- Add Flavor: Besides herbs and spices, I sometimes add homemade veggie stock or soy sauce to my Quinoa (the soy sauce after cooking, the veggie stock during the cooking process). Both add great flavor as well.
There are so many incredible Quinoa recipes out there. My "Go-To's" are definitely easy cooked Quinoa as a salad / rainbow bowl or marinated veggie side. To give you some inspiration, here my
- Favorite "Sweet Potato-Quinoa Tartar"
- Quinoa as part of a Rainbow Bowl
How do you prep your Quinoa? Do you have any other ideas on what to do with the delicious Superfood Quinoa? If so, let me know. Also, I would love to see your delicious Quinoa food stories. Comment below or tag me in your healthy "Quinoa Food Story" on social . Happy Quinoa Everything!