Quinoa has become a staple in a lot of North American diets over the last few years. We love that it’s a gluten-free grain. We love that it’s a complete protein. Unfortunately, too many of us still haven’t learned how to cook it without burning it to the bottom of the pot. Luckily, I have stumbled upon the secret to cooking quinoa perfectly, and I’m going to share it with you now.
Step One: Rinse One Cup Of Quinoa
Have you ever noticed what looks like soap bubbles coming off your quinoa when you add water? Those “soap” bubbles are called saponins. They’re the plant’s natural defense system against insects and other plant predators. Because they make the quinoa taste bitter, the bugs back off.
But, because they make quinoa taste bitter, we need to rinse them off before we eat it. You can either use a strainer, or rinse it directly in the pot. Discard the water.
Step Two: Add Two Cups Water And Boil
The proper ratio of water to quinoa is 2:1. If you’re bad at ratios, that means 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa, or 4 cups of water to 2 cups of quinoa. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil.
Step Three: Turn OFF The Heat
Once the quinoa is boiling, turn off the heat. Yep, turn it off. Leave the lid on, and let the pot sit on the burner.
Step Four: Wait
Waiting is the hardest part of cooking quinoa. Luckily, you don’t have to wait long. In approximately 10 minutes, you’ll notice that all the water is gone, and you’re left with a pot of fluffy, delicious quinoa to enjoy.
That’s it – that’s the big secret to cooking quinoa – patience. If you can give yourself enough time to let it sit, and not boil it to death, you’ll get perfect quinoa every time. Then, when you get REALLY good, try cooking quinoa with broth instead of water. It’s a whole new taste sensation!