Perfectly fluffy quinoa anyone? It has been a while since I wanted to share a post on how to cook the perfect quinoa. For me, that only means al dente quinoa, not mushy quinoa.
Have you ever experienced going to a restaurant, trying to eat something healthy, asking for quinoa and get the most overcooked, mushy thing, pretty much flavorless? Me too! So you’re not alone…
In spite of all its super powers, quinoa is still one of the most underrated foods. Why? I think the main reason is we don’t cook it properly. When quinoa is well done, properly cooked, it’s an amazing ingredient.
Why quinoa should be a staple in your kitchen
Quinoa can be the core ingredient of a dish. It can also be the vehicle to transport a myriad of ingredients, including all kind of veggies, herbs, fruits, and animal protein. These days quinoa is a staple in my kitchen as it is going to be in yours, once you discover that cooking it to perfection is not complicated at all. Keep reading.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. As if that wouldn’t be enough, quinoa has another charm. Unlike other plant based proteins, quinoa contains all nine amino acids needed by the human body. This means it’s a complete protein. Bingo!
Technically a seed, quinoa is considered a grain and is naturally gluten free. Originally from the Andean region of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, this seed has been cultivated for more than 5.000 years by the indigenous people of South America.
How to cook perfectly fluffy quinoa
My “secret” to cook the perfect quinoa is not a secret at all. I simply toast the quinoa before adding the liquid to cook it.
Do I rinse the quinoa before toasting and cooking it? Only if the quinoa doesn’t come pre-rinsed. The reason to rinse it is to take away the bitter flavor of the saponin, a quinoa’s natural coating. If you prefer to rinse it no matter what, go ahead. It won’t hurt. The only thing is the toasting process will take longer.
The quinoa/liquid ratio is 1:2. That mans one part of quinoa for two parts of liquid. This can be simply water, water with some seasoning like fresh or dry herbs, or broth. Since I use my plain quinoa in multiple recipes, I prefer to cook it with water and a pinch of salt. Keep in mind that one cup of quinoa yields three cups of cooked quinoa.
Do I boil the liquids before adding them to the quinoa? The answer is no. Once the quinoa is toasted, I add the liquids at room temperature, add a pinch of salt, bring them to boil at high heat, and then cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
Where to buy quinoa
The most common quinoa types are white, yellow, red and black, but there are at least 120 different varieties. You can easily find quinoa online through my Amazon Affiliate Program, including: black, red and white quinoa, all organic.
Plain quinoa recipe
Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa organic, pre-rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- In a small pot, add the quinoa and toast it by cooking it at medium heat and stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water and salt, stir, increase the heat to high and bring to boil.
- Once it boils, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
Following are some of my favorite recipes made with my perfectly fluffy quinoa:2