Quinoa: gluten-free pseudo-grain
In Germany, the Inca grain is particularly valued by people with celiac disease, because quinoa is gluten free.
The power seeds are not a grain, but an excellent alternative to wheat, rye or barley. The super grain is therefore also referred to as “pseudo grain”.
Best of all: the grains have a very high protein and nutrient content and contain all nine amino acids. Quinoa is one of the best vegetable protein sources and is an asset for vegans and vegetarians.
Quinoa: grain or flake?
There is more than 120 species of the quinoa plant. The seeds can have all shades of color, for example there are red, green or black seeds.
If you don’t want to cook the Inca rice, you can use quinoa flakes. Like oat flakes, they can also be consumed uncooked and are ideal as an addition to muesli.
Extra tip: Vitamin boost through soaking
The kernels can be soaked overnight, which gives the super kernel a nutritional boost. This is how the quinoa seeds start the germination process and activate valuable nutrients.
Amount per person
You calculate about 80 g quinoa per person. (Dry weight)
Prepare before cooking
The super grain must always be used before preparation washed thoroughly will. Simply put the seeds in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse them thoroughly under lukewarm water. Quinoa contains saponins, which give the grain a bitter taste.
Quinoa can be prepared in the pot, steamer, rice cooker, microwave or oven.
Preparation of quinoa in a pot
Quinoa is cooked in a similar way to rice. One cup of quinoa is brought to a boil with 2 cups of water at the highest temperature. Then simply reduce the heat, lift the lid and wait 15 minutes. Now the Inca grain is “firm to the bite”, simply continue cooking for 5 minutes for a softer consistency. Then leave it covered for 15 minutes and drain in a sieve.
Preparation of quinoa in a rice cooker
To do this, put one cup of quinoa with two cups of water in the rice cooker. It takes about 15 minutes for the seeds to be “al dente”. The advantage: Quinoa is kept warm in the rice cooker without further cooking and sticking.
How to prepare quinoa in a steamer
The preparation in the steamer is a very gentle variant, because the quinoa seeds retain a large part of their valuable ingredients.
Simply put the washed grains in a steamer or a separate rice bowl. Only a small amount of water is added because the Inca grain swells in the water vapor. A good guideline is 100 ° C and a steam time of 20 minutes.
How to prepare quinoa in the microwave
The quinoa seeds can also be prepared in the microwave. To do this, place the grains in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a plate. Then cook for 6 minutes at a high temperature and then stir several times. This is followed by another 2 minutes in the microwave. After that, the seeds must rest in the covered bowl for another 10 minutes.
How to prepare quinoa in the oven
Quinoa can be roasted in a preheated oven at 150 ° C for 30 minutes and is a crispy and healthy addition to muesli.
The ideal companions: spices and flavors
The quinoa taste can be refined in many ways. Pre-roasting gives the power seeds their very own taste. Let dry well after washing and then roast in olive oil in a pan for 2 minutes. Then cook and process as desired.
The water can be replaced with vegetable broth or meat broth. The Inca grain can also be supplemented with herbs of your choice, spices or tomato paste. Parsley, oregano and coriander are particularly popular.
For desserts, replace the water with milk and refine it with honey, cinnamon or agave syrup. A little cardamom gives the grains a Far Eastern note.
The biggest mistakes when cooking with quinoa
Quinoa is easy to prepare, but few things should be considered:
- Remove bitter substances! Quinoa must always be washed before preparation, even if it has already been “pre-cleaned”. Otherwise it just tastes too bitter.
- The perfect timing! The super-grains want a perfect cooking time, otherwise they will get mushy. Cooking time for firm grains is 15 minutes and 20 minutes for a softer consistency.
- Let rest! After cooking, let the seeds rest for 15 minutes, then they don’t clump together.
- Drain: After the cooking process, the quinoa must drain thoroughly in a sieve to avoid sticking. (except in the rice cooker and the oven)
Cook quinoa in advance and freeze
The seeds can be frozen in portions, preferably in freezer bags. The super grain has a shelf life of 8 months.