Quinoa is a great replacement for people who want a break from grains and/or gluten. Even though you may hear it referred to as a grain, it is in fact a seed. It is a highly nutritious food source with lots and lots of wonderful health properties. We were put off quinoa for a while as it seemed we were getting worse and worse batches containing lots of hard grit which would take away the enjoyment of a meal and quite possibly result in someone cracking a tooth. We used to painfully sort through batches picking out grit prior to cooking, wasting lots of time. So we did a little research and soon learned where this grit was coming from. Most of the quinoa you buy from overseas has already been washed and dried to remove a natural coating on the outside of the seed called saponin, believed to be the plants natural deterrent from being eaten by animals and insects. It is in this drying process where quinoa is laid out over mats/sheets on the ground that stone contamination occurs. Thankfully in Australia we have an Organic Tasmanian grower of quinoa called Kindred Organics who ships the product unwashed, meaning no stone contamination and way fewer food miles for us Ozzies!! The only downside is that you have to spend around 5-10mins washing the quinoa before use to remove the bitter tasting coating. In North America you can source North American grown Organic quinoa from here which has the saponin removed but in a method which should contain less stones than South American quinoa – someone let us know if this is the case.
- 1 cup of Quinoa of your choice (this will yield around 3 cups of cooked quinoa)
- 11/2 cups of water
- 1 tsp Veggie or chicken stock dissolved in a little bit of warm water (or just a little salt if you prefer)
- Wash and stir quinoa in a fine sieve until the liquid passing through it begins to look relatively clear
- Place in a pot and add stock and then add remaining cold water to cover the quinoa by around 12mm or ½ inch (about a thumbnail)
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to very low and place on a lid
- Simmer until the water has been absorbed (12-15 mins) and rest for 5 mins.
- Fluff it up with a fork before serving.