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Basic Grains: Quinoa

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Basic Grains: Quinoa | Homemade Dutch Apple PieNow that you understand why it’s so important to properly prepare your grains (and nuts and seeds) it’s time to start learning how. Let’s start with the basics.

Today I’m starting my basic grain series with quinoa.  Although it is technically a seed it is treated the same as a grain. Plus it is a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet, even if you are gluten free.

It took a long time for me to understand how to work with quinoa. I treated it like I did rice – add water, boil, done. But quinoa needs more care than that to make it digestible.

The first step is soaking the quinoa to remove the bitter coating and start the fermenting process.

Then the quinoa is rinsed. Finally it is cooked, preferably in broth for a nutrient boost and easier digestion.

If you look at the directions on a package of quinoa it will usually say to cook about twelve minutes and then let it sit for fifteen minutes.

But to really cook it properly quinoa should be cooked for about an hour.

After the soaking, rinsing and long cooking you’ll have a flavorful dish that is easy on the tummy.

If using the quinoa for something that is not savory you can simply cook it in water. It will still be prepared well for easier digestion.

Quinoa can be cooked in advance and used in cold salads, added to soups or even used as a replacement for oatmeal for breakfast. It will add great texture and flavor to your food. Plus it has a lot of protein.

Are you sick of rice or just want something different? Thinking about trying quinoa? Get it soaking a day ahead and you’ll be all set for an easy and nutritious part of your meal.Basic Grains: Quinoa | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Basic Grains: Quinoa
Serves 4
Basic cooking directions for properly prepared quinoa.
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  1. 1/2 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups warm water
  3. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, kefir or whey
  4. 1 1/2 cups water or broth
  5. seasoning (optional - salt, garlic powder, herbs)
  6. 1-2 Tbsp. EVOO, coconut oil or butter (optional)
  1. Combine the quinoa, water and lemon juice.
  2. Let sit 24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the quinoa.
  4. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add the broth/water and seasoning.
  6. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered about one hour. Add extra liquid if getting too dry.
  7. Remove from heat and add fat if desired. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  1. If using the quinoa for a breakfast cereal or something not savory use water for cooking and don't add seasoning.
  2. Quinoa can be cooked in advance and kept in the refrigerator until needed. Simply reheat with a bit of broth or water.
  3. Cooked quinoa can be added to soups and salads.
  4. Cooked/cooled quinoa can be used in place of polenta.
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One comment

  1. Jessica W. says:

    Thanks for this Mary! I was wondering about the proper way to prepare quinoa. I have a pot soaking now to cook tomorrow. I like to freeze cooked quinoa in ziploc bags so it’s easy to pull out for soups or whatever recipe needs it 🙂

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