You usually find it sold in plastic packages or cardboard boxes. I store mine in a air-tight glass jar, just so everything stays fresh and tasty.
WHY EAT QUINOA?
The first interesting thing about it is that it isn't actually a grain. Although it is commonly used in place of grains, is treated like a grain, is cooked like a grain and tastes like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed.
Quinoa is a complete protein which means it provides all the essential amino acids. It's gluten free. It contains nearly twice as much fibre as other grains, it is high in riboflavin (vitamin B2, which helps maintain healthy nerves and skin.) It has a high content of manganese, which helps aid fat metabolism, not to mention helping to keep nerves, brain and cells healthy. It contains iron, and is rich in magnesium, which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as helping energy production.
Are you convinced yet that quinoa belongs in your diet?
ENOUGH OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS, HOW DO I COOK IT??!
- Quinoa is covered in something called saponin, which is actually a toxic chemical, so it is really important that you rinse your quinoa thoroughly before cooking it, making sure you rub the seeds with your fingers while you are rinsing it (in cold water) to ensure removal of the saponin. This will also get rid of the bitter taste that some people complain about when eating quinoa.
- Quinoa is similar to rice in that it needs to be cooked in water at a ratio of 2:1, so however much quinoa you are cooking, just use double the amount of water. This is why I find it easy to measure it out with American cup sizes. I find that 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa is plenty for one person once cooked.
- SEASON IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough, quinoa on its own is fairly bland, so please, please, please season the water you cook it in. You can use whatever flavours you like, however I really recommend a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a splash tamari soy sauce and a generous sprinkling of dried mixed herbs. The only time I don't season the water is when I make my quinoa sushi, as I season the quinoa once it is cooked.
- Once everything is sitting happily in your saucepan, bring the water to the boil, then once it is boiling, reduce the heat, cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. The cooked quinoa should taste light and fluffy, trust your instinct, you'll know when it is cooked!
So....to reiterate, here is what you do step by step:
- Measure out quantity of quinoa you want
- Rinse thoroughly in a sieve with cold water
- Transfer to a saucepan
- Add double the amount of water to the amount of quinoa you are cooking
- Season the water
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 10-15 mins or until cooked.
- Serve and enjoy!
I hope that was helpful to you, now go and fill your tummy with quinoa like a pro!!