Quinoa is best rinsed thoroughly before eating or cooking. This is because the quinoa seeds are coated with bitter-coating saponins. Although this coating is usually removed during manufacturing, traces can remain which lend an unpleasant taste to an otherwise tasty grain. So after a good wash, quinoa can be eaten raw or cooked.
Quinoa can be boiled in much the same way as rice, risotto or couscous. Like rice, 1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 cups of water is usually the best way to ensure that your quinoa doesn’t turn mushy. When cooked, the quinoa will roughly triple in size.
It should take around 15-20 minutes to cook quinoa, and it is ready once most of the liquid has been absorbed, the grain is tender, and little white spirals are curling around the seed. These are the germ of the seed.
Quinoa holds a lot of water, so it is important to drain it thoroughly, otherwise you will end up with a wet and sloppy dish. Often a fine sieve is the most effective way of alleviating this problem. Allowing the quinoa to rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking and fluffing it up with a fork or whisk after cooking helps ensure that it is light in texture.
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