Hello. Meet Quinoa [Keen-wah]. This is one of the most protein packed little balls of goodness that you will ever meet…and eat. You cook and eat it like a grain but it’s actually a seed! Wha??!! I know, crazy huh. Let me give you a few tips on cooking it so you can bask in it’s greatness. 🙂
First of all let me just tell you why I love this little seed.
It’s so tiny! Everything tiny is so cute!
It’s PACKED with antioxidants, fiber, magnesium and protein. 24 g of protein per cup! Now that’s a protein punch!
It has a low glycemic index which means it will keep you feeling fuller, longer, and because of this, it can also LOWER your blood sugar and triglyceride levels.
It’s gluten free.
It easily replaces rice in all of your rice dishes.
It’s soo easy to prepare and serve! Let me tell you how.
The first thing you need is a mesh strainer. This is SUPER important. I didn’t realize what a difference it made in the texture until I finally got one. Because quinoa is actually a seed it is still covered in dust and dirt particles from harvest. Having a strainer like this one will allow you to wash the seeds well without losing tons in the process.
Ok, you’ve got your strainer, now measure out the desired amount of quinoa you would like to make. The general rule for quinoa to water ratio is 1:1 1/2. So 1 Cup quinoa for every 1 1/2 Cup water. This will make amount 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Measure your quinoa directly into your strainer and wash thoroughly. Mix the seeds around with your hands while rinsing to make sure you’re getting it super clean otherwise it will come out sticky and chunky after you cook it. When the water is clear as it passes through the strainer, you know you’ve done it! 🙂
Now maybe this should be embarrassing for me but honestly I think a rice cooker is an amazing invention and time saver so I ALWAYS cook my quinoa and rice in this baby. I just have a little one like this that holds 3 cups which is great for my family. All you have to do is dump in your rinsed cup of quinoa, then pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, cover it with the lid and push the cook button. Ta-da!!! It’s done in like 20 minutes and you don’t have to even think about it again!
See how fluffy and beautiful is turns out to be! This is what it looks like after your little rice cooker “cook” button pops up and it switches to “warm”. It’s lovely. It has a sort of nutty smell to it (because it’s a seed), so don’t expect it to taste just like rice, but it can be used in nearly every rice dish you’ve got.
You can just leave the plain quinoa in the fridge for those times when you need a little extra protein on your sandwiches, salads, in stir fry, I’ve even put it in my spaghetti sauce. Honestly, the kids and husband had NO IDEA that they were eating quinoa, yet they reaped the benefits of all the added nutrients. I love sneaking in the goods!
Go ahead, try it! I think you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to incorporate it into your everyday meals.