How to cook Quinoa

January 23, 2018

Quinoa is a seed (also known as a pseudo cereal) and is therefore considered “grain-free”.  It can be cooked as a grain base to any meal, as a coating instead of flours, as a porridge, in desserts and tossed into salads or stir fries as a carbohydrate source. It is most commonly eaten as a grain (either hot or cold).  It is also a popular addition to baking recipes.  It has a nutty flavour and is really easy to cook and very versatile. Ps – it’s pronounced – Keen-wah.

You can also get red quinoa – a little more expensive than the white quinoa. The difference between the two is that red qiunioa is slightly higher in fibre (in a 1/4 cup – red has 5g while white has 3g).  However with regards to vitamins and minerals – the white quinoa is higher in iron, riboflavin and phosphorus.

A 1/2 cup cooked serving provides 464kJ (111 calories), 15g Carbohydrates (low GI), 2g Fat, 3g Fibre, 4g Protein (Quinoais a complete protein – all essential amino acids are present in this powerhouse grain).

Quinoa is a firm favourite in our home. I use it as a Gluten Free grain in salads and also hidden in burgers (see this delicious recipe here).

How to cook Quinoa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A recipe for how to cook quinoa as a grain
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  1. Rinse Quinoa well - helps to remove bitter aftertaste once cooked.
  2. Boil water and add 1 cup of quinoa, cover, and turn down the heat to low.
  3. After about 15 minutes, lift up the cover and stir. You'll know it's done when the grain turns slightly transparent, and the curly string-like germ has separated from the circular part (about 20 minutes total).
  4. Drain and rinse if necessary Allow to stand for 5 minutes and fluff up with a fork.


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