Different Ways Of Cooking Quinoa | How To Cook Quinoa

Cooking quinoa is not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it is very similar to the process of cooking any other grain. Here are two simple and tried & tested ways to cook quinoa at home.

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Quinoa, a gluten-free grain, is known to be amongst the best substitutes for rice. It is rich in protein as well as carbohydrates and is essentially an edible seed. It is botanically related to spinach and the benefits of this super-grain range from weight loss to promoting heart health. The world over, quinoa is being hailed as a superfood that anyone looking to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle can adopt. When cooked properly, this gluten-free super-grain can also make for a delicious meal. (If you are looking to also get information about various health benefits of quinoa, then click here).

While choosing quinoa would prove to be a great choice for staying healthy and active, it’s the way you cook quinoa that ultimately matters in bringing out its nutty, wholesome flavors. Picking the right brand is also equally important. With so many companies now selling a variety of quinoa, selecting the best one makes half the job easier. You want grains that cook well, are fluffy and do not taste bitter or have that musty smell. Once you select the right brand, the next steps involve ensuring you cook quinoa the right way. It is not difficult to cook quinoa, there are many ways you can prepare a healthy and delicious bowl of quinoa, provided you follow a few simple steps.

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Here is a guide for you to learn simple ways of cooking quinoa.

Different Ways Of Cooking Quinoa

The cooking process for quinoa is not that different from most of the other grains. In fact, it is way too similar. For starters, their two basic methods involved in its preparation, one involves a stove, while the other uses a pressure cooker. The only difference between the two is the fact that the pressure cooker requires less cooking time, thus making it both time and energy-saving method. Let’s take a more detailed look at these methods.

Cooking Quinoa With The Stovetop Method

cooking quinoa using the stovetop method
Using a saucepan for cooking quinoa can be a time-consuming process, but still, it yields a tasteful meal.

Apart from the use of pressure cookers, the method of stovetop cooking is the second most common method of quinoa’s preparation. Though it may take more time to cook, it is still a simple process that just involves a few key ingredients. These ingredients are:

  • 1 cup of quinoa.
  • 2 cups of broth or water.
  • A quarter teaspoon of table salt.

With just these three ingredients you can end up with a much healthier breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are the few basic steps that you need to follow to prepare a satisfying meal.

  1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan (medium-sized).
  2. Bring the broth, or the water, to a boil, and cover the lid in order to trap the heat and fasten the process.
  3. After one minute, reduce the heat, keep the saucepan covered, and let it simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  4. Stop the flame and let the quinoa sit for a few minutes. The lid must still be kept on, as the steam makes it more moist and fluffy.

Cooking Quinoa With The Help Of A Pressure Cooker

The use of a pressure cooker helps to speed up the cooking process. To be precise, it can cut your cooking time to one-third of the time it takes to cook quinoa using the stovetop method. It is important to keep in mind that the water to quinoa ratio must be 2:1. Unlike the previous method, the use of a cooker allows you to have more flexibility while cooking, as it is a completely stress-free method, and you can do other tasks while the cooker works its magic ().

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Buying Quinoa

As for recent times, quinoa has become widely available throughout the world due to its rising demand. It can be easily found in any health-food store near your house, and also in supermarkets. Furthermore, there are different variants of quinoa, namely red, black, and white quinoa, each having their own set of nutritional content, so it is advised that you pick the one that suits your lifestyle.

buying guide for quinoa
The different varieties of quinoa include red, black, and white quinoa.

White quinoa, out of its various types, tends to be fluffier after cooking. Meanwhile, the other two types (red and black quinoa) have a crunchy texture with the grains not sticking together at all.

Also Read: Quinoa Vs Rice: Differences And How To Use

Tips To Add The Flavor To Your Meal

Though the dish might be simple, with some little twist and turns, you can add more flavors to your quinoa meal and make it more flavorful and hygienic. Here are some tips that’ll make your meal a healthier and flavorful mix of ingredients:

1. Washing Quinoa

Apart from all the points that we are going to discuss in this section, this is one that cannot be ignored. Thorough rinsing of these grains helps in removing any dirt or bacteria present in it, thus making it more hygienic and ultimately healthy. It also gets rid of the musty smell quinoa can sometimes have.

washing quinoa before cooking
Washing the grains is one of the most vital parts of preparation before cooking.

2. A More Flavorful Broth

Though water might be one of the most common media that is used to cook quinoa, you can also use other liquids such as chicken or vegetable broths. Furthermore, after placing the ingredients in the saucepan or cooker, you can add other spices as well for more flavor and enhanced taste.

3. Quinoa Can Also Be Toasted

Toasting quinoa in a spoonful of oil will help in releasing its nutty taste. But, while toasting, make sure that you constantly stir it so as to avoid burning. Stop toasting when it turns into a perfect golden-brown color.

4. Stay Vigilant

While cooking quinoa, it is important that you use the right amount of ingredients for creating a perfect mix of flavors. Moreover, make sure to keep your eyes on the stove, for quinoa can cook faster than other grains.

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Healthy Quinoa Recipes

Now that you know different ways of cooking quinoa, let’s take a look at some simple and healthy quinoa-based dishes that’ll help in paving a way for your healthy lifestyle.

1. Quinoa And Chickpea Salad

A salad based on quinoa and chickpea would without a doubt be a great way for you to fulfill that daily protein intake. Other ingredients of this recipe include spinach and avocados, thus making it rich with anti-oxidants as well. So not only will this salad help in the development of the muscular tissues, but it will also take care of the free-radical concentration in your blood, which ultimately prevents the occurrence of free-radical damage.

2. Roasted Vegetables With Quinoa

A dish like this would work as a wonderful side for other meat-based dishes, or if you are a vegetarian, then this dish would itself be a healthy main course. The quinoa added to vegetables that are roasted with just a little bit of oil would be a perfect choice for lunch. And if you further choose to add a salad dressing then it would be a great standalone salad as well.

3. Multi-Seed Crackers (Homemade)

A mixture of brown rice and quinoa can be made into some delicious crispy crackers loaded with three superfood seeds. This results in an irresistible nutty flavor, without a single nut itself. This cracker recipe, unlike others which are made from grains, is completely gluten-free and is quite rich in fiber as compared to another healthy snack. They also taste great alongside cheese and hummus.

quinoa based recipes
Apart from crackers, quinoa can also be an ingredient for granola bars.

4. Quinoa Alongside Fruits

This is indeed a very unusual recipe as compared to the other ones. Cooked with water, milk, cinnamon, salt, and then topped with different kinds of berries, this recipe is rather sweet and fruity at the same time. It works very well for breakfast, and it can also be a great choice for dessert.

The Final Note

It is now clear that cooking quinoa is much simpler than what it is normally thought to be. All you have to do is mix the ingredients, each in a particular quantity that is suitable for getting the right flavor, and simply let it heat for a few minutes. Quinoa also offers several flexible options in terms of its recipes. It can be used in a salad, it can be used alongside roasted vegetables, and not to mention its use as a protein-rich grain served along with cooked meat or vegetables.

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