How to prepare Quinoa in 3 easy steps

In this week’s blog we will take you through the 3 easy steps on how to prepare quinoa. It is so simple and easy and takes just 15 minutes to make a delicious meal of it. Quinoa is technically a seed, although it is often promoted as a gluten free or maize free grain alternative for couscous or bulgar wheat. Quinoa has a neutral taste with a slightly nutty texture. It can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes, and is equally delicious eaten hot or cold. Follow these three easy steps to start to create delicious quinoa meals:


Step 1 – How to measure quantities and proportions of quinoa


1 cup (250ml) of dry uncooked quinoa will provide 4 medium servings. Depending on how many people you are preparing the meal for, measure out the quantity of quinoa into a saucepan or rice cooker.  For every cup of quinoa, then place 2 cups of cold water into the saucepan or rice cooker. A rice cooker is convenient to use because you can put the quinoa on to cook and then leave it to simmer. You do not need to keep an eye on it as you would have to with a saucepan on the stove.


Step 2 – How long to cook quinoa


If you aren’t using a rice cooker, place the saucepan on the stove and turn to a medium heat. Place a lid on the saucepan – preferably one that has a hole through which the steam can escape.  This will prevent the liquid from boiling over. Bring the quinoa to the boil and let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes until all the water has been soaked up. The seeds will break open and a small curly tail will pull apart from the seed. This is an indication that it is cooked.


 Step 3 – How to prepare quinoa as a meal


Once the quinoa is cooked take the container off the heat. Using a fork, gentle stir the quinoa so that it separates, it should appear light and fluffy. If you are preparing quinoa as a sweet breakfast, you can add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or add some honey and plain yoghurt. If you are preparing a savoury quinoa dish you will start by adding some olive oil. This will help separate the kernels and give the quinoa a more rounded flavour.


Season with some salt and pepper and add some fresh herbs to taste. Select from thyme, fresh basil, rosemary, parsley or fennel. If you are looking for ideas on how to prepare quinoa to have a more spicy flavour, you could add some curry powder, crushed cumin seeds or chilli. Because quinoa has a neutral flavour you can use almost any herbs or spices to flavour the meal.    


Fresh fruit and vegetables that go well with quinoa include: figs, dates, avocado, bean sprouts, baby spinach or red cabbage. Roasted vegetables with garlic added to quinoa make a delicious side dish for a main meal.  

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