How to Cook Quinoa

If you don't know how to cook quinoa, a wonderful gluten-free grain, you'll be happy to hear it is almost as easy to cook as rice. The only real difference is that quinoa has a tough outer coating called saponin that can taste pretty bitter if it is not loosened and removed before cooking. For this reason, you will want to soak and rinse your quinoa before cooking it.

Place your quinoa in a generous amount of water so that it is covered completely, and let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes. If you don't have this much time, put the quinoa in a generous amount of hot but not boiling water, and let it soak for five minutes.

Afterwards, you will want to stir the quinoa in the water vigorously, using either a wooden spoon or your hand to loosen the coating of saponin. You will see pieces of the coating floating to the top. Pour the quinoa into a sieve, allowing the coating and water to run through and into the sink. Then rinse the quinoa with more water to try to get rid of any extra coating.

After you have rinsed all the saponin off the quinoa, drain the quinoa well, and put it in a heavy saucepan. You will need a tight-fitting cover for the pot.

For every cup of quinoa, you will need one and half cups of water. Figure out the calculations, and combine the appropriate amount of quinoa and water in the heavy saucepan. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt, less than ½ teaspoon per one cup of quinoa.

Bring the quinoa to a boil over medium high heat. Then cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the quinoa to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and allow it to rest for 5 more minutes, still covered.

Fluff quinoa before serving, and use it as a hearty, nutritious alternative to rice.

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