How to Cook Quinoa
Quinoa is one of the world’s greatest superfoods, so if you know how to cook quinoa well, you’re in position to take advantage of some of the best nutrition that nature has to offer!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah) is not exactly a grain, like most people think. It’s really a seed from a beet-like plant. Quinoa is an ancient food that’s native to Central America, and has been around for centuries. Not that you care, but now you know!
So, let’s get right to it! Cooking quinoa is not that complicated, so here we go:
How to Cook Quinoa
- Soak about 1 1/2 cups of red or white quinoa in a large bowl of water
- Strain & rinse until it’s no longer foamy (DON’T SKIP THIS STEP – it has a bitter coating that has to be rinsed off in order to taste good)
- Combine in a pot with an equal amount of fresh water
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook on low for around 30 minutes
- Once all the water has been absorbed, turn heat off and let it sit covered for about 5 minutes
- Fluff with a fork, add sea salt, black pepper, and butter (or whatever else you’d like to add) to taste, and serve!
If you’re cooking black quinoa, you might want to cook it in a little more water, because it absorbs more.
Why Would I Even Want to Know How to Cook Quinoa?
Well, I’m glad you asked! Quinoa is amazing; it’s one of the most healthful foods on the planet. Check out these quinoa nutrition facts:
Quinoa Nutritional Value
- Quinoa is low-glycemic; which means it won’t spike your blood sugar. That means it’s great for diabetics and people with blood sugar issues. Also, it’s a great way to get some carbs that won’t turn to sugar after you eat it, which is great for weight loss!
- Quinoa reduces asthma in children up to 50%
- Quinoa is rich in protein – in fact, it is one of the few foods that is a complete protein. It contains all 9 amino acids, which makes it a great addition to a vegetarian diet
- It strengthens your immune system
- It is an excellent source of lysine, which makes it good for tissue growth & repair
- It is a strong antioxidant, which means it helps prevent all kinds of disease including cancer
- It helps stop headaches
- It protects you from gallstones
- It reduces symptoms of high blood pressure & high cholesterol
- It will improve your digestive health
- It will improve your cardiovascular health
- It is a natural source of vitamin B2, thereby increasing your energy
See? It really is a superfood! And now, after I’ve told you how to cook quinoa properly, I’m going to tell you how you’re really going to like it…
How to Make Quinoa Delicious
Most grocery stores carry some kind of quinoa noodles or spaghetti. I’m telling you, this is the way to eat quinoa! I was very hesitant to try it at first, because I’d tried the black bean pasta, and the brown rice pasta, and all the other weird-thing-pastas. And it all tasted about like I expected – dry, tasteless, and gross. Then somebody convinced me to try one more – quinoa pasta. And it is amazing! In fact, I GREATLY prefer quinoa noodles over any other noodles for spaghetti, or mac & cheese, or lasagna, or any other pasta dish. IT. IS. AWESOME. Just make sure you undercook them a little, because if you overcook quinoa pasta by even a minute or two, you won’t like it, believe me. Read the recommended cooking time on the box, and then undershoot that by a minute or so.
I’ve even shared quinoa spaghetti with friends without telling them it was anything different, only to have them tell me (without being prompted) that it was the best spaghetti noodles they’d ever tasted! So see, it’s not my healthy eating obsession that’s calling the shots here! I promise – you’ll love it. And you’ll be healthier in the process! Bon appetit!