Quinoa is often seen as a grain but it is actually a seed, though it is used virtually the same way as other whole grains. It has been called ‘the gold of the Incas’ because of its superfood qualities.
It’s a complete protein source as it contains all 8 essential amino acids. It’s also high in iron, magnesium and fibre.
There are many different types of quinoa (eg. red, black and white). I like the white as the others are quite a bit earthier in flavour, plus, it’s the easiest to get hold of. If you’re not keen on the bitterness, you can rinse it before cooking. This also helps get rid of the natural coating, called saponin, which can make the grain taste bitter and soapy.
You can use quinoa just like any other grain, so therefore makes a great side dish to almost any meal. You can serve it with currys, chilli, stews, fish, meat, you can also add it to salads and use it instead of oats for porridge!
It’s not only a great, healthy kitchen staple, it’s also very easy to cook! Here’s how to cook perfect, fluffy quinoa-
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups filtered water (could add broth instead, or a tsp of vegetable bullion powder)
- Boil the kettle with filtered water and whilst doing that, rinse the quinoa in a strainer.
- Add the quinoa and boiled water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Lower heat and cover for 10-15min.
- When cooked and all the water has gone (the seeds will have split and it will look like a dot with a circle around it), you can eat straight away, or let it sit for 5min with the lid on (this will make it even fluffier…and cool it down!).
- If it is still crunchy or has some water left in the bottom, simmer until all the water has been absorbed.
Click here for a delicious quinoa recipe.
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